Investment firm buys Everquest developer, takes SOE independent.
Sony today sold its San Diego-based online game publisher, Sony Online Entertainment, to investment firm Columbus Nova.
While the sale takes SOE outside of the Sony umbrella, the studio is not being stripped down or sold off in pieces. Instead, Columbus Nova will be keeping SOE independent, and renaming the Everquest studio Daybreak Game Company. The separation also means that the studio will be making games for the Xbox One and mobile, along with the PS4 and PC.
SOE just launched H1Z1, its zombie apocalypse survival MMO, and Planetside 2 has been a steady MMOFPS presence on the PC since the game's release in 2012 (with a PS4 version on the way. Everquest Next and Everquest Landmark, the follow-up to the massively successful Everquest and Everquest 2, is currently in development.
Columbus Nova is "a multi-strategy investment firm managing over $15 billion of assets through its own funds and affiliated portfolio companies." The SOE/Daybreak acquisition appears to be a part of the Columbus Nova Technology Partners group under the CN umbrella -- a group that also controls music streaming service Rhapsody.
"Sony Online Entertainment, newly rebranded as Daybreak, is a great addition to our existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies," said Columbus Nova senior partner Jason Epstein. "We see tremendous opportunities for growth with the expansion of the company's game portfolio...including the recently launched H1Z1 and the highly anticipated EverQuest Next to be released in the near future."
The same "stay the course" plan for SOE was elaborated upon on the Sony forums as well. "It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation." The post goes on to say that "even more resources" are going to be available to the new Daybreak team, which is good news for Everquest fans moving forward.
Based on the above comments, it doesn't sound like any project cancellations or delays are coming up in the near future. We've reached out to SOE/Daybreak for comment and clarification, nonetheless.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Source: SOE PR, SOE Forums