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Sony Online Entertainment sold, becomes Daybreak : EQ1 EverQuest 1 Discussion

Posted: February 9th, 2015, 11:10 am

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Sony Online Entertainment sold, becomes Daybreak

http://www.pcgamer.com/sony-online-ente ... e-company/

Okay, hands up who saw this one coming. That's nobody, then. Sony Online Entertainment has been bought out by investment management company Columbus Nova, and as of right now will be renamed Daybreak Game Company. Which in no way sounds like a front organisation for a cult in a '90s thriller starring Ethan Hawke.

"Today, we are pleased to announce that we have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies," the MMO publisher formerly known as SOE revealed in a statement. "This means that effective immediately SOE will operate as an independent game development studio where we will continue to focus on creating exceptional online games for players around the world, and now as a multi-platform gaming company. Yes, that means PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!"

SOE—that is, Daybreak—said it will be "business as usual," and that all existing SOE games will continue to operate normally. "In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition," it said. "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 price of the acquisition by Columbus Nova, which in no way sounds like an affordable hatchback, has not been revealed. We've reached out to the former SOE for further detail on what this means for their current and future games

Why Sony sold its online games division

http://fortune.com/2015/02/04/why-sony- ... -division/

The sale of the game publisher now known as Daybreak Game Co. to Columbus Nova shows Sony moving away from desktops and toward mobile devices.

On Monday, Sony sold its online gaming division to New York investment management firm Columbus Nova for an undisclosed sum. The game publisher that was once known as Sony Online Entertainment—SOE to game-industry insiders—is now operating under the name Daybreak Game Company. John Smedley, its president, will remain and its development teams will be kept intact.

Why would Sony SNE ditch its in-house game maker? Because it’s no longer a strategic asset for Sony, according to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. The company, which launched in 1996 as part of Sony’s 989 Studios, was built to develop and run subscription-based massively multiplayer online, or MMO, games. In recent years, the online video game industry has transitioned to a free-to-play business modelrequiring game makers to give the games away and generate revenue through in-game micro-transactions. Few game publishers outside of Activision Blizzard ATVI with its World of Warcraft franchise have been able to maintain a subscription model with all the free online competition.

“Unfortunately, free-to-play is growing most rapidly on phones and tablets, and SOE wasn’t there because those aren’t really core Sony products,” Pachter says. “SOE didn’t support any of Sony’s consumer electronics businesses, so it was easy to sell.”

Pachter believes that Sony was approached by Columbus Nova, which has over $15 billion of assets through its own funds and affiliated portfolio companies, without it having to shop around the business. Sony likely got a fair amount for the division, he adds, though none of the analysts interviewed by Fortune for this story were able to provide even a ballpark figure for the price that Columbus Nova may have paid. All of the analysts agreed, however, that the additional cash will help Sony increase its investment in higher priority areas of the company.

The sale of SOE does not remove Sony from the online games business entirely. Though the division represented a large portion of Sony’s online revenue, the company remains active in digital goods through its PlayStation 4 console, says EEDAR analyst Sartori Bernbeck.

“It’s likely that this move illustrates Sony’s focus on doubling down on its effort to promote and grow its first party platforms as a primary concern over continuing PC development,” Bernbeck says. “We at EEDAR expect Sony to continue to grow and develop their digital and online efforts on first party platforms with continued titles that take advantage of online services and new business models such as free-to-play games.”

At an event in Las Vegas in December, Sony’s internal San Diego Studios debuted its first free-to-play game, Kill Strain, which pits teams of five verses two verses five players in shooting action. Sony plans to announce other free games at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles in June.

The sale of SOE this month echoes another strategic divestment from a year ago: the sale of Sony’s Vaio PC business to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners. In that deal, Sony sought to move away from the declining PC business and toward the booming smartphone and tablet business. Sony Online Entertainment showed its corporate parent that it could make successful games—DC Universe Online, Planetside 2—for the PlayStation 4 and not just the PC. Now it can follow that blueprint on its own

Sony sells its Everquest-making arm; games will expand to Xbox and mobile

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2015/02/p ... rtainment/

In a surprise move announced this afternoon, investment management firm Columbus Nova announced it has purchased Sony Online Entertainment from its long-standing parent company, Sony Computer Entertainment. The studio behind MMOs like Everquest, DC Universe Online, Planetside 2, and H1Z1will now operate as an independent firm called Daybreak Game Company, according to a press release. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The announcement hints that the former SOE might be looking to take some of its properties to systems aside from the PC and PlayStation consoles they currently live on. "We will continue to focus on delivering exceptional games to players around the world, as well as bringing our portfolio to new platforms, fully embracing the multi-platform world in which we all live [emphasis added]," Daybreak president John Smedley said in a statement.

Smedley was even more explicit about the company's multi-platform future in a tweet following the announcement: "Can't wait to make Xbox One games!" And in a post on the company's official forums, the Daybreak team states outright that they will be developing for "PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!"

All current and upcoming SOE games will continue to operate and be developed as normal, Daybreak said in that same forum post. "In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition," the company added, leading to "new exciting developments for our existing IP and games."

Sony Online Entertainment formed in 1998, and it launched Everquest as its first product in 1999, attracting nearly half a million subscribers for the game by 2004. The studio recently released zombie-themed survival game H1Z1 via Steam Early Access and is currently working on Everquest Next, the latest entry in a series that still has its share of dedicated fans.

The sale comes as parent company Sony is struggling financially, projecting a loss of over $2 billion for the fiscal year ending in March, a result that would mean $10 billion in losses over 8 years. There are bright spots within the company though, such as the thriving PlayStation division.




Last edited by hardsell on February 9th, 2015, 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Posted: February 9th, 2015, 12:11 pm

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I was reading about that.

I have a bad feeling about the future of existing games sony/verant/989 has made in the past. The way landmark has been shaping up, I dont think that eqn will be very good. Unless some major changes are in the works (like how ffxiv 14 version 1.0 to version 2.0 was changed.) But we'll see.

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