PlanetSide 2 Dev SOE Is Now Daybreak Game Company

Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) will now be known as Daybreak Game Company after being acquired from Sony by investment management firm, Columbus Nova.

SOE is the studio responsible for games including EverQuest, PlanetSide 2, and the early access zombie survival game, H1Z1. The company notes that the acquisition will not disrupt any of its current games, but will allow them to pursue multi-platform projects.

There’s an official press release over on the site but a warmer version on Reddit offers:

“It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation. In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition. It also means new exciting developments for our existing IP and games as we can now fully embrace the multi-platform world we are living in.”

Columbus Nova manages around $15 billion-worth of assets and portfolio companies across a wide range of fields. You might be interested to know that an affiliate of the firm acquired Harmonix (the company behind Rock Band and Dance Central) from Viacom back in late 2010.

Following their own acquisition Daybreak expects to operate like an independent studio.

The press release version of all this has Daybreak’s president, John Smedley adding:

“We are excited to join Columbus Nova’s impressive roster of companies. They have a proven track record in similar and related industries and we are eager to move forward to see how we can push the boundaries of online gaming.”

22 Comments

  1. Ansob says:

    Some fun facts: Columbus Nova is owned by the Renova Group: link to renova.ru

    The Renova Group was recently-ish in the news: link to themoscowtimes.com

    So SoE is now owned by a company owned by a company whose founders hired Russian mercenaries to take over a Siberian oilfield and bribed Russian officials in order to gain control of a Russian-based subsidiary of a Canadian oil company.

    No idea what this means for Planetside 2, though.

  2. Aetylus says:

    My guess is Aquired by Investment Management Firm + Embrace Multi-Platform World = Thou shalt turn all your games into micro-transaction laden Facebook and mobile versions while we squeeze every ruble out of you.

  3. Duke of Chutney says:

    this could be a good thing. From the limited amount of knowledge i had of SOEs relationship with Sony it seemed the upper echelons were always looking for short term gains wherever possible.

    • Rizlar says:

      Indeed! Independence from an overarching Sony corporate plan could be a good thing. Or it could all end terribly, who knows!

    • airmikee99 says:

      What makes you think an investment firm isn’t in it for short term gains either? After Columbus Nova bought Rhapsody 15% of the companies workforce was laid off, and less than a year later Columbus Nova was investing in Rhapsody’s competitors. Columbus Nova’s owners, Renova Group, is also part owner of oil producer TNK-BP, which averages well over 1,000 ruptures in its pipelines in Siberia each year, depositing almost half a million tonnes of oil into rivers. One of the execs of Columbus Renova purchased game dev Harmonix from Viacom in 2010, and when was the last time they put out anything worth noticing? 2009? Investment firms exist solely to make profits, if that means a long term, viable strategy, they will go for it. If that means a short term strategy, nothing will stop them.

      • Rizlar says:

        He never commented on the investment firm, just pointed out that SOE’s relationship with Sony seemed to have problems of it’s own.

  4. Morat says:

    Bonus points for SWATing the new owners

  5. MrUnimport says:

    Missed opportunity for “Planetsold” headline.

  6. fish99 says:

    While SOE were with Sony they could afford to have a few flops and still stick around since Sony absorbed the losses, but after this I fear they’ll be gone in 5 years time. Can’t imagine they made money from Planetside 2 – all that development time/resources, but the playerbase dwindled pretty quickly. Sony wouldn’t have sold them off if they were doing well. At least H1Z1 is selling well (an odd thing to be saying about a F2P game), and hopefully EQNext gets some traction.

    • MrUnimport says:

      From what I’ve heard PS2 has indeed been turning a profit. As for the sunk costs, apparently development started from scratch 18 months prior to launch, with the developers working to an 8-month schedule that was repeatedly extended.

  7. geldonyetich says:

    Say what you will about SOE’s customer service hurting your feelings from the EverQuest days, I’m not entirely sure Schmed deserved to get hijacked by Russian militant czars.

    On the other hand, maybe making games based off of the later Call Of Duty model of shooter is begging exactly that kind of karma. It’s a gritty, mean-spirited model of gameplay.

    Maybe they’ll get lucky and he’ll turn out to be like Hank Scorpio from the Simpsons.

  8. P.Funk says:

    I haven’t cared for SOE since they destroyed Infantry Online.

    • leontee says:

      Infantry online has been running stable for years over at freeinfantry.org – exact same game!