UPDATED 14:30 EST / FEBRUARY 02 2015

Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley NEWS

SOE breaks from Sony, renamed to Daybreak Game Company

Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley

In a surprise announcement on Reddit, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) CEO John Smedley says that the game developer is breaking away from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. after 20 years with the company.

SOE has been the developer behind several popular MMOs, including EverquestStar Wars Galaxies, and Planetside. It is also the developer of zombie survival game H1Z1, which has been the center of recent controversy over alleged “pay-to-win” mechanics.

Smedley told fans in the /r/H1Z1 subreddit that SOE had been bought by the Columbus Nova investment group, and the developer has been renamed to Daybreak Game Company. “This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players,” Smedley wrote.


“Business as usual” for SOE


How will the new ownership affect fans of SOE games?

“It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation,” Smedley wrote. “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.”

According to Smedley, SOE will retain its full portfolio of games, but it is unknown how the break with Sony will affect SOE’s subscription program or its Station Cash virtual currency.

One of the new opportunities coming to SOE as a now independent developer is the freedom to develop for non-Sony consoles, and Smedley posted to Twitter, “Can’t wait to make Xbox One games!” SOE’s popular MMO shooter Planetside 2 just recently began closed beta testing for the PlayStation 4, and the new ownership opens up the possibility of the game coming to the Xbox One, assuming the developer is not still bound by any contracts with Sony.

“Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization,” Smedley wrote in his announcement. “And we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together.”

Image credit: @j_smedley/Twitter

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