Sony has sold off Sony Online Entertainment, the studio behind Planetside 2, Everquest, H1Z1 and several other MMO titles.
SOE was picked up by New York-based management firm Columbus Nova for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition essentially secures the studio’s status as an independent entity away from any major video game publisher. It will rename itself to Daybreak Game Company.
The break away from Sony will mean a renewed focus on multiplatform titles where previously games would have been developed for PC and Playstation consoles alone. Specifically, studio president John Smedley tweeted that he ‘can’t wait to make Xbox One games’.
A further post on the the company’s official forums indicates that the company is looking into developing for mobile as well.
Continued development is still planned for the studio’s current projects, zombie survival title H1Z1 and EverQuest successor EverQuest Next.
Established in 1995, SOE’s portfolio includes the modern MMO grandfather Everquest, Star Wars Galaxies, the Matrix Online, Planetside and Planetside 2, DC Universe Online and many more.
SOE’s zombie project, H1Z1, stirred up controversy over its recent launch with the introduction of paid-for airdrops,obtained through microtransactions. This upset many players who had been following development of the game as it was quickly established as a pay-to-win strategy, something that the developers had explicitly promised to avoid in the title.