Sony and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) – the studio behind games like PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online and H1Z1 – are parting ways, with Sony selling off the latter to investment firm Columbus Nova. Of course, since SOE will no longer be tied to Sony, a name change is now required, and SOE will now be known as Daybreak Game Company, in addition to operating as an indie studio.
Current company president John Smedley will retain his position, and as he said on Twitter, “All of our games are still here and will continue to be.” However, now that the company isn’t owned by Sony, Daybreak can now develop games for different platforms, including the Xbox One and mobile devices.
Not much else will change for the studio, though. As the company said in their announcement, it’s “business as usual,” aside from their newly available resources and feelings of excitement.
“So what exactly does this mean for you? 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.”
As of right now, the financial details regarding the sale haven’t been disclosed, but it’s only a matter of waiting patiently for that information to come out. Reasons for why Sony chose to sell SOE are also unknown, and can only be left to speculation, but a major factor could have been Sony’s lack of success outside of the PlayStation 4.
DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole, speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, noted that SOE developed large games that weren’t really well suited for the PlayStation community.
“So it is not a huge surprise. It just wasn’t fitting into Sony’s current strategy. It is definitely a positive for SOE/Daybreak because I think they were hampered by being tied to the Sony corporate behemoth and now they can concentrate on their core market. Also the other option would probably have been Sony just completely shutting them down.”
It’ll be interesting to see what Daybreak will do now without Sony. As said previously, the studio is currently working on H1Z1, which just went into Early Access last month (and was later met with some controversy). Regardless, Daybreak’s games going multi-platform and becoming available to more people is always a good thing. That said, we’ll have to wait and see what Sony does post-sale, and just how it’ll affect the company on a larger scale.