Now here's a bit of shocking news for PC gamers: Sony has sold off its Sony Online Entertainment LLC (SOE) division to investment management firm Columbus Nova for an undisclosed amount. The developer, best known for its MMOGs such as EverQuest and PlanetSide, will now be called Daybreak Game Company LLC.
"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," said John Smedley, President, Daybreak Game Company.
With Sony prime out of the picture, Daybreak can now stand on its own two feet as an independent developer and focus on making great games for the PC as well as additional platforms such as the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and mobile. The studio can also focus on getting EverQuest Next out the door, which is scheduled to launch "in the near future."
On Monday, the studio revealed on the H1Z1 website that even though Columbus Nova now holds the reins to Daybreak, it will be "business as usual," meaning that all projects currently in development will continue. Further, Daybreak said that because of the acquisition, the studio now has more resources to utilize.
"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," the studio revealed in a Reddit post.
Daybreak Game Company launched as Sony Interactive Studios America in 1995, and then re-branded itself as Sony Online Entertainment in 1998. The studio made a name for itself when it launched the original EverQuest MMORPG back in 1999. Since then, the studio has focused on the MMORPG genre it helped create, offering games like Star Wars Galaxies, Free Realms, PlanetSide, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, H1Z1 and more.
"Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together," the Daybreak team said.
Was this a good move? Breaking away from Sony to become a standalone studio? As the team indicated, Daybreak will have more resources now that it has teamed up with investment firm Columbus Nova. But we now have to question what kind of input Columbus Nova will have. Will the games continue to be developed as planned, or will the investment firm have a say in how these titles will be baked in the developmental oven?
Thanks to the acquisition, Daybreak will join a number of other companies in the Columbus Nova portfolio including the Rhapsody music service, TomFoolery Incorporated, chat service Rabbit, NoSQL database Aerospike, the Kaazing WebSocket Gateway and more.