CEO of Daybreak Game Company, John Smedley, has stepped down and left the developer for an extended period of time. Daybreak’s current chief operating officer, Russell Shanks, will be filling the gap that Smedley has left. Smedley’s departure comes in the wake of a DDoS attack by online harassment group Lizard Squad, which took Daybreak servers offline and crippled games like H1Z1 and Planetside 2.
Over the past few weeks, Smedley, Daybreak Studios, and Lizard Squad member Julius Kivimaki have all been in the news. It started when Kivimaki was convicted of over 50, 000 cybercrimes, but got away with a two-year suspended sentence and no jail time. This in turn angered Smedley who had been personally harassed by Kivimaki and other Lizard Squad members. You might recall that his plane was grounded due to a fake bomb threat; that was Kivimaki’s doing. Smedley, upon hearing of Kivimaki’s paltry slap on the wrist, vowed to take further action and sue Kivimaki and possibly the Finnish youth’s parents. Lizard Squad retaliated with the DDoS attack mentioned above.
It is unknown how long Smedley will be away from Daybreak. It’s also unknown what position he will fill upon his return, but it’s likely to be a fairly low profile one.