In an unexpected move, VentureBeat.com is reporting that John Smedley has resigned as the CEO and president of Daybreak Game Company, formerly Sony Online Entertainment. Current COO Russell Shanks will temporarily step into Smedley's place until a replacement is found.
“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,” a spokesperson for Daybreak told GamesBeat. “Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”
While not confirmed by a company spokesman, the resignation comes on the heels of the recent Twitter war Smedley engaged in after Julius Kivimaki from Lizard Squad received what Smedley ascertained was a too-light sentence for his part in a bomb threat that caused a plane he was flying on to be grounded.
A day after the sentencing of a member of Lizard Squad and subsequent Twitter tirade by Daybreak Game Studio's John Smedley, it appears that all of DGS's titles and its website are under DDOS attack, with players unable to log into either.
The altercation between Smedley and remaining Lizard Squad members began after Julius Kivimaki, the now-convicted criminal of more than 50,000 counts of computer crimes, was sentenced yesterday. Smedley took to Twitter to express his strong feeling that the sentence meted out by the court in Finland was too light.
His parents need to be held accountable for his actions in addition to his going to jail. @what_security - So I'm coming for you Julius.— John Smedley (@j_smedley) July 8, 2015
A Twitter user claiming to be a member of Lizard Squad announced the attacks were imminent. Within minutes, the predicted DDOS began.
At this time, all Daybreak games are down and the team is actively working on a solution.
Shortly after this series of Twitter posts, and the subsequent DDOS attacks on all of Daybreak's games and its site, Smedley removed himself from the social network completely, leading, perhaps, to today's announcement.
Smedley has been a lightning rod of controversy over the years that he has been with the company, yet has been instrumental in the MMO and computer video games genres beginning with EverQuest, one of the first MMOs to hit the internet, and continuing through more recent MMOs including EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, and Landmark.