John Smedley is no longer president of Daybreak Games

John Smedley

John Smedley, president of Daybreak Game Company, is retiring from his leadership role. Formerly known as Sony Online Entertainment, Daybreak is responsible for titles like Everquest, H1Z1 and Planetside 2, and has recently been the target of repeated DDoS attacks by hacking group Lizard Squad.

Daybreak confirmed the news with VentureBeat. “I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined,” the statement said. “Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”

According to the report, Daybreak's current COO Russell Shanks will be promoted to company president. Smedley's short term plans are unknown, though he's expected to take on another role at the company at some point.

It's good to hear, because Smedley has always been a very generous, public-facing president. While the reasons for his departure haven't been detailed, Smedley has been subject to some terrible online harassment of late: he's been swatted numerous times, and was the target of an airline bomb hoax.

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.