In the event you've been living under a rock for the first quarter of this year, Sony Online Entertainment was sold off by Sony to an New York City based investment firm called Columbus Nova. A little more than a week after the purchase, the company got to take hit hard as a large staff-reduction was required to maintain operation. Unlike the corporate buy-outs that are so commonly feared, Columbus Nova doesn't really have any strong background in the gaming industry, meaning that they are largly trying to keep the studio as intact as possible.
Because SOE would no longer remain a component of Sony - their long-held name had to go, and the studio and various teams ultimately decided upond Daybreak Games. Their new logo is featured as the banner for this news article.
While the company was not totally gutted, there were plenty of very-public faces that saw a departure from the studio, including several high-profile EverQuest Next team members like Dave Georgeson, Steve Danuser, Jeff Butler, and Linda Carlson. It was a very sad day for fans of the Studio and various franchises, as these beloved team members were lost (among many other valuable employees I cannot possibly find and mention all by name).
So far, the studio plans to continue on its path of providing top-quality MMOs to the PC gaming (and now console gaming) market. Games like Landmark, EverQuest Next, and H1Z1 remain in development as the future face of the company. While the timeframes for the release of these games is bound to be affected, the spirits appear to remain high as the remaining team members continue forward in the absence of many friends - and for this company: family.
Plenty of younger, lesser-known individuals are having the opportunity to step up and take on bigger roles and bigger responsibilities, which can be a good thing. Despite all the darkness, there is a glimmer of hope.
In commemoration of the occasion, the company will be hosting a special event of which president John Smedly had this to say about it:
"To kick off this momentous occasion and help celebrate internally at Daybreak, we are hosting a Celebration Week this week which will include a variety of virtual and IRL activities, daily livestreams, giveaways and more! We encourage everyone to get involved and participate so visit here for more details."
Mine, personally, is that the various teams remain as aggressive in production of their upcoming titles as their new logo seems to illustrate.
For more information, you can go check out the studio's updated official website. Also, they have cake!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our EverQuest Next Game Page.