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Brad McQuaid

Brad McQuaid is an American computer game designer who was the key designer of EverQuest, a highly successful massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released in 1999. He later co-founded Sigil Games Online where he served as CEO and Executive Producer of Vanguard: Saga of Heroes until Sony Online Entertainment's acquisition of Sigil Games Online in Q2 of 2007.

Biography

Brad McQuaid's start in the video game industry came in 1989 when he co-founded MicroGenesis with Steve Clover. In their free time they created WarWizard, a shareware computer role-playing game that they released in 1993. McQuaid and Clover then developed a WarWizard 2 demo in 1995, which caught the attention of John Smedley of Sony Interactive Studios America. Smedley hired McQuaid and Clover in 1996 to work on an online role-playing game, later named EverQuest (or EQ for short).

McQuaid started as the project's lead programmer but was made the producer and one of the lead designers. While EQ was being developed, Origin Systems launched Ultima Online (UO) in 1997 which became the top MMORPG. EverQuest became a huge hit and within months of its March 1999 launch it topped the subscription numbers held by UO. PC Gamer called McQuaid one of the "Next Game Gods" in October 2000, believing that he would eventually become one of the industry's most influential game developers.

After Sony Online Entertainment acquired Verant Interactive, Brad McQuaid was promoted to Vice President of Premium Games and Chief Creative Officer. He found the lack of hands-on influence over the game upsetting, leaving Sony to create Sigil Games with Jeff Butler in January 2002.

Several years later, McQuaid announced that Sigil would release a new next generation MMORPG. This game was given the name Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. For some years the game was to be published by Microsoft but on May 5, 2006, Microsoft's involvement as publisher ceased for reasons that were never revealed. Instead, in a curious turn of events, Sigil announced that they would co-publish the game in conjunction with Sony Online Entertainment. This put Vanguard in direct competition with Sony's existing MMORPGs EverQuest and EverQuest II. Vanguard: Saga of Heroes was finally released to the public in January 2007, five years after Sigil was founded. However, the game had many technical problems and it was generally regarded as a failure upon launch. Brad McQuaid admitted that the game was not ready in January but was released early due to "financial resources". Full quote

After five months of disappointing reviews and sales, on May 15, 2007, Sony Online Entertainment officially announced that it had purchased the key assets of Sigil Games Online, Inc. Brad McQuaid was removed from his position of leadership within Sigil and was given a very limited role of "creative consultant".

Aradune Mithara

Aradune Mithara is the alias McQuaid originally used for his player character in TorilMUD and other MMORPGs and it is also the name of a fictional character in the MMORPGs he has designed.

In an IRC interview, McQuaid revealed that Aradune was a character from a series of books he started writing in his teens. He first used the name as his pseudonym in MUDs and then later for his test character in the development of EverQuest. Early screenshots often featured Aradune and players began to associate the name with him.

In the lore of EverQuest, the various deities of the Norrathian pantheon often choose a mortal being as their avatar. Aradune Mithara was a Human Ranger chosen to be the Avatar of Storms, under the god Karana. He was noted to wear shining green armor, and wielding a legendary two-handed sword known as the Fiery Avenger (which Rangers are not actually able to use). Despite McQuaid having left Sony Online Entertainment, the memory of his character remains, as does the jestful graffiti of the sewers of the city of Qeynos, stating simply, "Aradune is stinky".

McQuaid continues to use the name Aradune Mithara as his character's name and in the fiction of his new MMORPG, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes.

Current Life

Since the criticized launch of his on-line game Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, McQuaid has disappeared from the public view. His personal website has also gone off-line.

Both Sigil Games Online and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes have since been acquired by Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), and McQuaid is said to have taken a consultant role in the games' further development.

References

External links

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