As Sony looks to offload more of its assets as part of an ongoing restructuring, the company has sold “EverQuest” creator Sony Online Entertainment to New York-based investment firm Columbus Nova.
Financial terms were not disclosed. SOE, which had previously been managed by Sony Computer Entertainment, has struggled with a lack of new hits and a market shift as gamers turn to free-to-play titles.
Sony has been looking for ways to sell off some of its assets to make up for a $2 billion loss it’s expected to report when its fiscal year ends in March.
SOE will now be rebranded Daybreak Game Company and will continue to produce massively multiplayer online games and manage its existing titles. Those include the popular “EverQuest” franchise, “Planetside 2,” “Landmark,” “Dragon’s Prophet” and horror game “H1Z1,” which started giving gamers early access on Jan. 15. It’s also behind “DC Universe Online.”
In addition to more resources, the acquisition will enable Daybreak to expand onto other platforms, with company president John Smedley tweeting, “Can’t wait to make Xbox One games!” Given its previous owner, SOE had focused primarily on releasing its titles on PCs and the PlayStation console.
“We see tremendous opportunities for growth with the expansion of the company’s game portfolio through multiplatform offerings as well as an exciting portfolio of new quality games coming up, including the recently launched ‘H1Z1’ and the highly anticipated ‘EverQuest Next’ to be released in the near future,” said Jason Epstein, senior partner at Columbus Nova.
Founded in 2000, Columbus Nova manages $15 billion in assets spread across four groups overseeing corporate credit, private equity, growth equity and real estate.
“We are excited to join Columbus Nova’s impressive roster of companies,” Smedley said. “We will continue to focus on delivering exceptional games to players around the world, as well as bringing our portfolio to new platforms, fully embracing the multiplatform world in which we all live.”
SOE opened its doors in 1998 and scored the next year with “EverQuest,” which went on to sign up half a million subscribers by 2004.