Columbus Nova Acquires Sony Online Entertainment

SOE will be rebranded as "Daybreak Game Company" under the new owner.

UPDATE: Linda "Brasse" Carlson confirmed there will be no convention this year. "For those asking about SOE Live: we are taking a hiatus from our annual Live event to shift our focus to our exciting transition and the future of Daybreak Game Company."


This morning, Sony Online Entertainment announced that it was acquired by a company called Columbus Nova and will be rebranded as "Daybreak Game Company." SOE will operate as an independant studio and will even branch out into the Xbox platform.

"Sony Online Entertainment, newly rebranded as Daybreak, is a great addition to our existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies. We see tremendous opportunities for growth with the expansion of the company's game portfolio through multi-platform offerings as well as an exciting portfolio of new quality games coming up, including the recently launched H1Z1 and the highly anticipated EverQuest Next to be released in the near future," said Jason Epstein, Senior Partner of Columbus Nova. "The recent Early Access launch success of H1Z1 is just one testament to the talent and dedication of the studio's developers to create great online gaming experiences."

According to the official forum post, "...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!"

"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. "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."


Join the discussion on your favorite forum:


Ann "Cyliena" Hosler, Managing Editor

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GAH!
# Feb 04 2015 at 2:11 AM Rating: Decent
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This is now the first time since launch that I don't have at least 1 paid account in my house. Looking to see how this plays out. I was about ready to pay up for 3 accounts for 1 year, For a non gaming company to buy this out seems to me to be a buy and squeeze out al the money you can then sell off the most profitable ones and shut down the rest to maximize the bottom line profit margin.
multiplatform development is not a bad thing
# Feb 03 2015 at 3:56 PM Rating: Good
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This is actually a good thing. Porting to consoles has always been seen as the devil with some good reason. But even before the buyout soe was developing new games to coexist on playstation - but no other. So this isnt going to introduce console development - that was already here. This is going to free up soe to develop for other consoles besides sony's. Which means more money coming in, which means more money for game development. A win.
From Brasse at Facebook
# Feb 03 2015 at 3:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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As posted by Linda Carlson (Brasse) at Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/Brasse/posts/10153626390619832?notif_t=close_friend_activity

Dear peoples of the Earth, some important facts:
- Daybreak IS the old SOE. Same people, same studios, same locations, same games. We rock, but we now rock as an independent game studio with private funding.
- The transition should be seamless for all of our players. Same account name, password, wallet balance (we will change the *name* of station cash, but the value and volume remain the same).
- memberships and special grandfathered weirdness in accounts will carry on as they do now. You weird ol' grandfathers, you. smile emoticon
- existing station cash cards and codes will continue to work, but seriously, why haven't you claimed them yet? I'd be afraid of losing the darn things, myself!
- all current games remain live and under development. Games in beta remain in development. Doomsayers, go back to your caves, it's not yet your time.
- We were purchased because Columbus Nova thinks we have a future. They don't throw money away. At the same time, *we* are the developer and publisher.
- Yes, we have to make a profit, because that is how business works (and I am not volunteering for 40 hours a week or more, sorry!). This has NOT changed since the acquisition. We know this business and we know our players, all of you, very well.

Do not panic. It's Daybreak, not Sunset.
Yer auld Dwarf

Several questions:
# Feb 03 2015 at 12:27 PM Rating: Good
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Who owns the IPs to the servers?

Who owns the EQ universe?

Who owns the servers?

Who owns the code?

How many, and who from the development staff will continue on with Daybreak?

Sony's philosophy was to do stuff cheap, do it fast, sacrificing quality. The first hack was because they where using freeware to run some of their gaming related software, exposing security vulnerabilities which were exploited in 2010, resulting in about 3 weeks down time compromising customers personal financial data . There was a second major hack around Christmas of 2014. The lack of raid content, in this expansion, i.e. 3 tiers of group content, 1 tier of raid content, is indicative of pushing something out before it is ready to be pushed out. Although I have not confirmed it, I did read someplace that the Test server does not yet have TDS installed on it. If that is true, then this is a major long term mistake which is affecting the quality of the game for the paying customers.

CN is not as high of a profile company as Sony is so I do not expect as lucrative high visibility target for hackers as Sony was. So far, this is the only positive I see. Regarding the rest ... time will tell.

Also, what I have seen so far is corporate speak, "gobbly ****" coming out of CN and Sony regarding the future of the game. What we want is a clear mission statement for EQ in simple English, with supporting follow through actions.
Several questions:
# Feb 04 2015 at 4:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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From twitter:

Quote:
Cube Cubcial: @everquest @DaveGeorgeson Who owns the legal rights to everquest and all the other SOE games now sony or these new guys?

David Georgeson: @PizzaCube @everquest We do. Same people that have always had it. Us.
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UNOFFICIAL event/group
# Feb 03 2015 at 12:24 PM Rating: Good
For many SOE (Daybreak) community members, SOE Live / Fan Faire has been THE event of the year, for some time. With the transition from SOE to Daybreak Game Company, there will unfortunately not be an officially hosted event this year, however, let's not let this stop us.

We have an amazing and talented community that can come together to plan/organize/fund/participate in a (or multiple) community meet ups in place of this year's SOE Live.

This is an UNOFFICIAL event/group that is in no way affiliated with Daybreak Game Company (formerly SOE). We, of course hope that any employees will participate, and I am adding anyone that I think could help get the word out as an "event host". This implies no responsibi... See More


https://www.facebook.com/events/447542312060278/?ref_notif_type=event_mall_reply&source=1
UNOFFICIAL event/group
# Feb 10 2015 at 1:28 PM Rating: Good
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Isn't that what the tumblr dashcon 2014 thought?
The heart of the matter
# Feb 03 2015 at 11:19 AM Rating: Decent
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Over at SOE / Daybreak's forum, KiLLBUILDv2 wrote something that sums it up for me and I'm confident for most of us regarding the development of EQNext.
It's too eloquent to summarize.
He wrote:
"All the team at day break has to do is make a great game.
That alone will silence pessimism critics and naysayers.
If they can deliver a game that generates content by itself it will sell itself.
Because what is the point of reaching the xbox market and.mobile market if your game isnt good.
Just deliver. We the players will help you. You don't have to wonder if the players will like something ask and we will tell you.
Put the same tools you have into the hands of the players.
Look at what players have done with building tools. If you want masterful storybricks AI give the tools to the people who.spend all their time on your forums who put money in to test, who are dedicated.
If its too much work to have every npc be unique and named let people create their drives.
If you cant find a solution we will and in return all we ask is you listen to our ideas. Its a conversation.
A show where you discuss player ideas would be something that would really show us things are going to get better not worse."
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Changing of the guard?
# Feb 03 2015 at 11:00 AM Rating: Good
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I personally an anxious, nervous and somewhat afraid. EverQuest has been my game for 15 years now. All the countless hours played, friendships made, memories .... it has been amazing. On that note, i say let the dice roll. Perhaps the new company will give greatness to an already great establishment. Perhaps they will listen to the wishes of the players who are the ones that truly give this entity life. Remember, a living, breathing game. Once many years ago it came to life, and it still lives today. Dont breed the hate and fear. Walk the line and see where it takes you. At least give them the chance they deserve!!

All hail the new king, may he live forever!

Winx Ironwulf Ranger 105 FV
curious
# Feb 03 2015 at 8:45 AM Rating: Decent
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I'm just curious as to why an investment firm, with no ties to gaming, would buy a gaming corporation, if it wasn't making money. EQ1 is the oldest MMORPG I know of right now. Personally, I do not believe that a large investment firm would buy out companies making money, to break it up . I say we give them a chance and see if they do right by us long term players . IMO, EQ1 is a cash cow, but if they start merging servers, that's when I will get nervous. PUBLIC RAIDERS RULE !!

Nalinee Von' Zaroviche
105 Necromancer, ECI-Tunare
curious
# Feb 03 2015 at 10:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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It's not unheard of. For example, a little developer called Riot Games is owned by an investment company. As well, Zenimax (parent company of Bethesda) is partially owned by an investment company.

I really hope this means that SOE/Daybreak gets more funding for development on EQ/EQ2.

Edited, Feb 3rd 2015 11:12am by Cyliena
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No longer Sony's EQ?
# Feb 03 2015 at 1:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm still confused about all this, did they just sell the studio, or did they sell both the studio and the IPs?

Is EQ still owned by Sony, or is it owned by the Daybreak Game Company?
No longer Sony's EQ?
# Feb 03 2015 at 7:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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From how everything reads, the IPs stay the property of SOE/Daybreak.
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No longer Sony's EQ?
# Feb 03 2015 at 4:16 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ok, thanks for clarifying that.

I'm still not sure how to feel about this random company buying EQ.
Narrow Escape
# Feb 03 2015 at 12:45 AM Rating: Decent
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Unconfirmed sources say that in the fierce competition to buy SOE, Columbus Nova narrowly beat out bids from an anonymous buyer based in a remote location, presumably a privately owned island, named Nilcul.
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Columbus Nova Owned by Renova
# Feb 03 2015 at 12:40 AM Rating: Decent
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Columbus Nova is the U.S.-based affiliate of the Renova Group of companies, one of the largest Russian strategic investors in the metallurgical, oil, machine engineering, mining, chemical, construction, housing, utilities and financial sectors.[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbus_Nova

On youtube I see a lot of Russian language videos for EQ2, so maybe its popular there?

Someone liked SOE enough to buy it, and investment can be good.
I'll be optimistic for now.
So long as they don't rush EQ Next too much, I'll stay an All Access member.
So long as they don't mess with the Storybricks development...
That will be key to EQNext's success.
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"Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. "
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
CN website hasnt' been updated since 2006
# Feb 02 2015 at 11:07 PM Rating: Decent
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They are a big company but can't update a website in 9 years?
Just rebranded to stop getting sued.
# Feb 02 2015 at 11:05 PM Rating: Decent
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Sounds like they are changing names to avoid lawsuits to me.
smart arse
# Feb 02 2015 at 5:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Daybreak Game Company. I can imagine people posting on the forums. "You guys Daybreak all day or are you gonna get back to work?" "Man this sucks. These guys are obviously on a Daybreak. We won't be seeing a fix any time soon" . Things along those lines.
Will they honor our sc cards we already bought?
# Feb 02 2015 at 5:21 PM Rating: Decent
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I bought one today at Walmart. I got home to find they had bought soe out. i went to my account and most of the account information is missing and no link to cash in the cards.

Now i know it takes time to get the website straightened out. so i am hoping i haven't wasted my money and that they will honor my card.
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Will they honor our sc cards we already bought?
# Feb 02 2015 at 5:39 PM Rating: Excellent
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iyeni wrote:
I bought one today at Walmart. I got home to find they had bought soe out. i went to my account and most of the account information is missing and no link to cash in the cards.

Now i know it takes time to get the website straightened out. so i am hoping i haven't wasted my money and that they will honor my card.

According to Smed, SC is staying but will simply be renamed at some point. Your wallet and anything you redeem will be unaffected. As for your account, I have no idea.. they're probably just getting a lot of traffic today, and we've seen how well not-SOE's sites are at handling traffic. My account loads up and everything looks okay.

Edited, Feb 2nd 2015 6:40pm by Cyliena
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Goodbye yellow brick road
# Feb 02 2015 at 4:52 PM Rating: Good
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Well, like everything in this world...you gotta go where the money is or you go nowhere.

here we go
# Feb 02 2015 at 3:42 PM Rating: Good
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I predict cost-cutting measures.
ugh boy
# Feb 02 2015 at 2:47 PM Rating: Good
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Does not bode well....

I look to see even more lower population games cut, further devaluing the all access program, assuming that stays at all.
Yikes
# Feb 02 2015 at 2:15 PM Rating: Good
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This is surprising. I don't know what to say. Usually when a company is bought out that means bad things. Lots of lay offs and things changing. My memory is a bit foggy but it didn't seem so bad when 989 studios was changed into Verant and than bought by SoE. I am going to hope for the best.
Yikes
# Feb 02 2015 at 8:30 PM Rating: Good
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I believe that in 2011, SOE apparently eliminated over 200 jobs and shut down at least 3 of their studios. During the same year, Sony SOE was hacked, once or twice and had to shut down game play for several weeks. I think we've already had our share of bad news.

On a different note, WOW claims at least 10 million in their membership. I wonder how many Everquest (one) claims.
Yikes
# Feb 02 2015 at 9:16 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah i read that the hack happened after they eliminated 205 positions and closed the Denver, Seattle and Tucson studios. They also had to fire more people in august of 2013. We keep on getting bad news. I am still going to hope for the best.
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