Sony has just announced the acquisition of Sony Online Entertainment, the studio responsible for the creation of EverQuest, by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm. As a result of this surprising sale, the division will now be rebranded as Daybreak.
Sony Online Entertainment is responsible not just for releasing games such as Everquest and Planetside2, DC Universe Online and H1Z1, but also for giving birth, to a certain extent, to the entire modern massive multiplayer online role playing genre.
It’s true that Sony Online Entertainment has been experiencing a rough time in the previous years, especially since many of its MMO’s didn’t quite live up to the company’s financial expectations. Star Wars Galaxies, DC Universe Online and The Matrix Online are some of these MMO’s. As a result of this setback, Sony was forced to lay off employees in its Austin and San Diego offices.
Sony Online Entertainment, as enthusiasts describe it, began as an organization with a passion and dedication not just for its players but also for its employees. Its vision was to move the gaming experience forward. So when the layoff period began, John Smedley, Sony Online Entertainment’s president, sent out an email to employees. It wrote that those employees who had been laid off had been with the company since the very beginning. However, the company, he said, had to move forward and produce such incredible games that the company can begin growing again.
The company had other problems apart from the not-so-successful games it produced. Back in 2011, a cyber-attack resulted in 24.6 million customer accounts compromised when the company became the target of hackers.
Columbus Nova, the new SOE owner, wishes to continue developing on Sony’s pre-existing lineup. As a result, they are planning on releasing EverQuest Next as soon as possible, so as to not modify the company’s plan before the acquisition occurred. Columbus Nova already bought Harmonix in 2010, and as such, it has a stake in the games industry.
Daybreak, as the publisher is now named, aims to be a multi-platform gaming company and provide interesting games for Xbox, PlayStation and mobile devices alike.
Image Source: All Games Beta