Daybreak Game Company
|Daybreak Game Company|
|legal form||Limited Liability Company|
|founding||1995 (as Sony Interactive Studios America)|
|Seat||San Diego , United States|
Daybreak Game Company is a computer game developer that belongs to the investment firm Columbus Nova . On February 2, 2015, Sony announced that its developer studio Sony Online Entertainment ( SOE ) had been sold and that it had been renamed Daybreak Game Company. The Daybreak company focuses on the development of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG). The best-known products include the games EverQuest and its successor EverQuest II , as well as PlanetSide and its successor PlanetSide 2 . However, other SOE games such as Vanguard: Saga of Heroes , and Star Wars Galaxies have been discontinued or not revived.
Verant Interactives, a development team within Sony's Sony Interactive Studios America (SISA for short), was founded in 1995. In April 1998, Sony Interactive Studios America was renamed Sony Online Entertainment (SOE).
Due to the great success of Ultima Online , one was sure to have great success with an MMORPG. For this reason, John Smedley was commissioned to develop a competing product that would later become the popular EverQuest , the first online role-playing game with 3D graphics. It was published in March 1999 and absorbed Verant by SOE in 2000. EverQuest became a huge success and was also able to keep itself alive through numerous add-ons.
In April 2000, Ultima Online co-founders Raph Koster and Rich Vogel were hired to begin developing an MMORPG in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars Galaxies was released in 2003 and reached a subscriber base of 300,000 players. However, the game never increased that number. Over time, the pressure on SOE from numerous competing products and criticism of poor support increased. Also Lucasfilm criticized SOE, because they were not satisfied with the way the game developed. This was followed by expansions from Star Wars Galaxies such as Jump to Lightspeed and Rage of the Wookies , and SOE tried numerous patches to improve the game.
Despite little market success, SOE announced in May 2007 the purchase of the recently released Vanguard: Saga of Heroes .
Development from 2008 to 2016
In August 2008, Sony Online Entertainment presented three new MMORPG projects at the company's annual Fan Faire : The Agency , DC Universe Online and Free Realms, which is tailored to a younger target group . While Free Realms was released on April 29, 2009 and DC Universe Online on January 11, 2011, The Agency should follow at the end of 2011. SOE also announced that these titles will also be released for PlayStation 3 in Europe . This is made possible by an agreement made between SOE and SCEE .
At the end of March 2011 it was announced that SOE would be closing its three locations in Denver, Seattle and Tucson, thereby laying off around 200 employees. Furthermore, the development at The Agency was discontinued and in the course of restructuring measures the focus on the already established brands EverQuest and Planetside was announced. Online games that are already running should not be affected by the company's own statements. As announced on May 3, 2011, Sony Online Entertainment was also affected by the hack and data theft on the PlayStation Network . The data was stolen from up to 24.6 million customers of the game service. Sony then also temporarily took this service offline. In June 2011, SOE announced the closure of Star Wars Galaxies, which took place in December 2011. The reasons given were the expiry of the license with Lukas Art in 2012 and the upcoming release of the Bioware competing product Star Wars: The Old Republic .
In June 2012 it was announced that SOE would relocate Wizardry Online outside of Japan. It came on the market in January 2013, but was unable to attract any significant players and was closed in 2014.
In 2012, after a long period of very low update frequency, the monthly fee for Vanguard was canceled and the game was free-to-play. However, this could not increase the number of players in the long term. In January 2014, the closure of Vanguard for July 2014 was announced and implemented accordingly. The closure of two other games, Free Realms and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures was also part of this press release.
In October 2012 a complete redesign of the so far only rumored " Everquest Next " project was admitted and in August 2013 details about Everquest Next were disclosed for the first time. As a by-product, Everquest Next Landmark was announced, which has the same voxel engine as Everquest Next and will be used both as a standalone game and Minecraft competitor and as a development studio for Everquest Next. Landmark owns free-to-play and will be financed through fees from the online shop for items developed by players and SOE. In March 2014 the title was changed from “Everquest Next Landmark” to “Landmark” and all Everquest Next references were deleted. The reason given was that Landmark was a theme-free game and also enabled SciFi or other locations and you didn't want to confuse players.
On March 11, 2016, Daybreak President Russell Shanks announced that the development of Everquest Next had been discontinued. The reason was that the developers were no longer satisfied with the game and thus could not meet the high expectations of the players.
In 2019, the Planetside Arena game was released as Early Access. Due to the meanwhile bad reputation that Daybreak has, the desired number of players did not materialize. In December 2019, Daybreak announced that it would shut down the Planetside Arena servers on January 10, 2020.
In August 2020, Daybreak acquired Cold Iron Studios (developer of City of Heroes, Star Trek Online and Neverwinter).
In February 2015, Sony sold its subsidiary together with the MMO licenses ( Planetside 2 , Everquest Next , H1Z1 ) to the investment company Columbus Nova (including Rhapsody ). The company was renamed Daybreak Game Company in the course of this. 140 employees were laid off in the course of the subsequent restructuring. Daybreak announced that it would now take over development work on Everquest Next for the AI / story system "Storybricks" that had previously been carried out externally. In March 2016, the discontinuation of development work on Everquest Next was announced on the grounds that Daybreak did not have enough funds to develop the necessary technologies for Everquest Next to be fun.
In July 2015, John Smedley, who had been with the company since the development of Everquest, stepped down as managing director - to announce the establishment of a new company in August.
The game H1Z1 has been split into H1Z1: King of the Kill, which will further develop the everyone-versus-everyone module of H1Z1, and H1Z1: Just Survive, which focuses on the survival module of H1Z1. Previous plans to make H1Z1 available for free have been revised and both made available for a one-time fee.
- playmassive.de: Sony Online Entertainment is now called Daybreak Game Company
- SOE acquires Vanguard team. In: Eurogamer.net. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- Gamona: The SOE surprise bag for everyone
- Announcement of the launch of Free Realms
- CALLING ALL HEROES AND VILLAINS - DC UNIVERSETM ONLINE NOW AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE FOR THE PC AND PLAYSTATION 3 ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English)
- Agreement between SOE and SCEE
- SOE Hit With Layoffs 205, Three studio closures, Canceled Agency (English)
- heise.de: Sony Online Entertainment was also affected by the hacker attack
- Frank Cifaldi: Sony Online To Shut Down Star Wars Galaxies. In: www.gamasutra.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- SOE Bids Fund Farewell to Star Wars Galaxies. In: The Escapist. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- SOE takes Wizardry Online under its wing. In: Engadget. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- Mike Fahey: Sony Online Entertainment Shuts Down Four MMOs. In: Kotaku. Retrieved April 4, 2016 (American English).
- EQNWire "SOE Live 2012 Welcome Reception Notes. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on April 4, 2016 ; Retrieved April 4, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Sony Online Details How Everquest Next Landmark Will Make Money. In: USgamer.net. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- Aimless and Nameless: Did SOE Pull a Fast One on Landmark Founders? In: - MMOBomb.com. Retrieved April 4, 2016 (American English).
- https://www.planetsidearena.com/news/psa-sunset-letter A Message From the Development Team
- San Diego's Daybreak Games acquires Cold Iron Studios to expand video game pipeline. August 14, 2020, accessed on August 14, 2020 .
- Sony sells Sony Online Entertainment
- Game developer Daybreak trims 140 workers. In: The San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- Everquest Next: Golden Age canceled; DGC ends collaboration with AI team Storybricks. In: Mein-MMO.de. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- Daybreak Games Cancels EverQuest Next - Update. In: The Escapist. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- EverQuest Next Is Canceled; Project Is Too Ambitious for Current Technology. (No longer available online.) In: 2P.com. Archived from the original on April 4, 2016 ; Retrieved April 4, 2016 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.
- Daybreak Game Company: John Smedley leaves Daybreak and starts a new company. In: gamona.de. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .
- H1Z1 is being split into two games, neither will be free-to-play. In: PC Gamer. Retrieved April 4, 2016 .