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Sony Sells Off SOE; Everquest Next Development Will Continue

AngryNarwhal

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A few moments ago, Sony announced that it was selling SOE and all associated IP's to Investment Management Firm Columbus Nova.

"This means that effective immediately SOE will operate as an independent game development studio where 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!"

So what does this mean for their big titles? Those who have reason to be pensive include, but are not limited to, Planetside 2 players, H1Z1 pioneers, Landmark players, those who participate in the Everquest franchise, and those hoping Everquest Next will change the landscape from the WoW dominated MMO market of the last 10 years.
4) We're still making Everquest Next :) nothing has changed.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) February 2, 2015

John Smedly, President of the former SOE, has made clear that EQN is still being made and there is no change as of yet. He also points out that StationCash, while in need of a rebrand that is coming soon, will not change. However, Daybreak has already committed to bringing games to the mobile platform, which does mean dollars being spent on a historically money grubbing platform where they could be spent elsewhere. 
 
3) Station Cash doesn't change at all (though we will be rebranding it soon here).
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) February 2, 2015


Buyouts in the past have a history of not working out in the favor of the players. EA's buyout of Bioware resulted in Dragon Age 2, which was met with terrible reviews and critical failure. Dice now has a reputation of releasing buggy, nearly nonfunctional software since it's ownership change. Activision also managed to drive Tony Hawk Pro Skater into the ground after acquiring the IP from Neversoft. 

Gaming buyouts aren't a land of abject consistent failure however, as the buyout of Infinity Ward from Activision brought the Call of Duty franchise from Call of Duty 2, the mediocre WW2 Shooter, to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. 

The issue here is that acquisitions, especially when done by investment firms, tend to be for the sole purpose of generating as much green on a spreadsheet as possible. This is consistent with Daybreak's commitment to go "Multi-platform" (Or, in laymen terms, 'Yay we're coming to phones!').

I honestly look forward to seeing what Daybreak will do with H1Z1 and EQN. I wouldn't say I'm optimistic, but I would say that I'm curious. I'm a pessimist at heart, and I really hope to see myself proven wrong in this case, because I had a lot of eggs in the H1Z1/EQN basket, and I would really love to keep them there. 

So for now, Here's to Daybreak Games!
Thank
You!
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