Sony Sells Off Studio Behind Everquest, H1Z1

By Jason Schreier on at

Sony has sold Sony Online Entertainment to an investment firm, the company announced this afternoon. Sounds like we'll be seeing games like EverQuest and H1Z1 on multiple platforms in the near future—including the Xbox.

SOE is now called Daybreak Game Company LLC. It'll be an independent developer. The new owner is Columbus Nova, a New York-based management firm.

Says the press release (emphasis mine):

With the completion of the transaction, SOE will now operate as an independent game development studio and will continue to focus on creating quality online games, providing excellent service to its extensive player base, while centering on its untapped potential as a multi-platform online gaming company.

And newly christened Daybreak president John Smedley:

An SOE representative also talked multiplatform releases on the company's official forums:

Today, we are pleased to announce that we have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies. 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!

Originally founded as a Sony internal development studio back in the mid-90s, SOE has long been known for creating EverQuest, one of the most popular and influential MMORPGs. (The game was so addictive, people took to calling it EverCrack.) They also worked on online games like The Matrix Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and the ongoing sci-fi game PlanetSide.

The studio's big current projects are the zombie game H1Z1 and the MMORPG EverQuest Next, both of which will now presumably be developed for Xbox as well as PlayStation.