It's a new day for the company that developed EverQuest Next and Planetside 2. Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) has been purchased by investment firm Columbus Nova and rebranded Daybreak Game Company.

Columbus Nova's acquisition of SOE leaves the game development company without a publisher, effectively making it an independent studio now.

"As part of this transition, SOE will now become 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," said Daybreak. "It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward."

Plans to acquire SOE were concealed well, as few, if any, outsiders foresaw the purchase or even indicated that Sony might have been looking to sell its computer gaming division.

"We see tremendous opportunities for growth with the expansion of the company's game portfolio through multi-platform 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 of Columbus Nova.

The move was so sudden; it's likely little will change beyond the name at this point. John Smedley, president of SOE, retains his post at the head of Daybreak and his staff members will also hold onto their positions, at least for now.

Daybreak says it will be "business as usual" and that all of the projects started by SOE will continue on their current trajectories. The company will have wider access to resources now, which adds more potential to products already in development, states Daybreak.

There may be shakeups eventually. If anything, it appears Daybreak will need to hire more hands and minds to reach its first set of goals.

No longer bounded by Sony, Daybreak says it will regularly step beyond the PC.

"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 multi-platform world in which we all live," said Smedley.

Sony Online Entertainment was founded in 1995. It began releasing games in 1999, a year before Columbus Nova itself was founded. Some of the studio's successful games include EverQuest, EverQuest II, EverQuest Next, Planetside, Planetside 2, Star Wars Galaxies, Free Realms, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes and DC Universe Online among other titles.

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