EverQuest and Pantheon developer Brad McQuaid has died

Brad McQuaid in 2000.

Brad McQuaid in 2000. (Image credit: Future)

Brad McQuaid, best known as a formative hand in the creation of EverQuest, has died aged 50. McQuaid's death was reported by the official Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Twitter account, which is the MMO he was working on until his death.

A message was also left on the Pantheon MMO forums by user BenD – Visionary Realms' director of comms Benjamin Dean – who writes that McQuaid passed away in his home. "Brad was a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father," the message reads. "He touched thousands of lives with his dreams and concepts. He changed the landscape of video games forever. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered in life and in Pantheon.

"Thank you, Brad, for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace, Aradune. All of us at Visionary Realms offer our deepest condolences to Brad’s family and during this most difficult time, we kindly ask that you respect the privacy of Brad’s family."

Known as Aradune in the MMO community, McQuaid joined Sony Online Entertainment in 1996 as a lead programmer and later producer on EverQuest, before later becoming chief creative officer. In 2002 he left SOE and founded Sigil Games, which shipped the MMO Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Sigil Games was eventually purchased by SOE.

He briefly rejoined SOE in 2012-2013 before going independent. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen was successfully Kickstarter funded in 2014.

John Smedley, former president of Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak Games Company, left the following tribute on Twitter:

Correction: an earlier version of this article stated that Brad McQuaid was 51 at the time of his death. This has been changed to 50.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.