What a freaking day! First the Pats win and become the greatest ever, and now every single defender of SOE and Smed look like complete and utter fools for arguing with me about the company, now dumped by Sony. Love it. Absolutely love it. FREE TO PLAY, ALL THE WAY!!! Wheee!

I’d say I can’t wait until the investment firm breaks them apart to sell off the valuable IPs, but hahaha SOE’s single valuable IP was a game released in 99, and even that is so tainted right now I wouldn’t pay five bucks to take it off their hands.

Great work Smed. You are handed a gold mine that is printing money, and in short order turn it into not only the laughing stock of gaming, but an awesome collection of trash-heap titles basically no one cares a lick about. That is next-level incompetence. What a day man, what a day. Not even getting another foot of snow is taking the smile off my face today.

PS: The only negative with this story is I will need to retire “SOE being SOE”, although I’m sure “Daybreak breaking Daybreak” will go into rotation shortly (assuming the whole thing isn’t shuttered in a few months). Luckily “Smed being Smed” will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving so long as people are dumb enough to employ him, so +1 for that.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Mass Media, SOE being SOE. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. You just wait. SOE can learn a lot from their new stablemates like… um… Fiverr?

    Not a lot of gaming companies on the Columbus list.

    Cuppy mentioned Harmonix, but digging into that, they actually were bought and made independent… and went off to have their own problems.

    • cuppy says:

      Is that not the arrangement here? SOE are being bought and made independent as well.

      From everything I’ve heard, it’s the same arrangement as Harmonix. Harmonix had problems 4 years later, but let’s be real here – that’s par for the course for game studios regardless who you’re owned by.

      • SynCaine says:

        Harmonix never made sense to me; why buy the rockstar (or whatever that music game was) developer a day after everyone declared that genre dead?

      • Harmonix was a fire sale, so cheap that it couldn’t help but pay back some cash to the buyer. Viacom benefited through tax credits on the loss, then had to turn around and pay Harmonix a royalties settlement. Double win. But it hasn’t been much on the new products “being an actual game developer” since that time.

        Where Daybreak will fit with Columbus is unclear. They could be spun off as an “independent,” but the phrasing in the press release sounds like they will be a directly owned venture, part of the direct portfolio, and expected to pay off through sales (or by being re-worked and re-sold) sooner rather than later.

        We’ll see. We’re in the happy press release phase, reality is a couple months off.

  2. Pingback: The End of Sony Online Entertainment, the Coming of Daybreak | The Ancient Gaming Noob

  3. Teer says:

    Those numbskulls at Columbus Nova bought a worthless company from Sony with an eye toward resale and it has no value…what idiots! Is that the point, fellas? Sony tricked them, thar dummies!

  4. carson63000 says:

    Split the difference and go with “Daybreak being SOE”, imho.

  5. zaphod6502 says:

    Planetside 2 wasn’t a bad game even with SOE’s best efforts to destroy it.

    • SynCaine says:

      Oh god do I disagree. I thought PS2 was absolute trash. Horrible looking FPS, generic and bleh character models, basic “seen it a thousand times before” vehicle stuff, that awkward tile system and (when I played it around release) ultimately pointless ‘end-game’. I’m actually amazing PS2 hasn’t been shut down a long time ago, or that there are still people playing it over any number of significantly better FPS offerings.

      • zaphod6502 says:

        @SynCaine – for me it was one of the few multiplayer FPS games that could host massive battles for my clan of 50 or so members.

        I don’t disagree about the trashy graphics which could be a worry for Everquest Next-Whatever as that sues the same graphics engine.

  6. Pingback: Massively. SOE. What A Week! | Stropp's World

  7. saucelah says:

    I don’t really think this is a sign of problems at SOE so much as problems at Sony. The parent company lost so much last year that SOE’s losses seem meaningless. Sony is selling off assets they can get money for while they still can.

    • SynCaine says:

      If SOE was profitable they wouldn’t be sold off. Even if SOE had a somewhat bright future they wouldn’t be sold off. But lets face it, SOE has been producing nothing but junk for how many years? (answer; since putting graphics on a MUD in 1999)

      It’s be shocked if they were sold for more than a few peanuts, with the only item of any worth being the EQ IP, and again even that today isn’t all that valuable. This was a quick way for Sony to shed some dead weight, and for some venture firm to do an easy hatchet job and maybe make a quick buck or two.

  8. saucelah says:

    SOE showed a loss last year, but someone whose knowledge in economics outmatches mine and who has my trust explained to me that the losses also reflected closing games, that individual games in the report still show a profit.

    It’s very difficult to sell an asset that is only posting losses and has no potential, even for peanuts.

    I’d wonder if it wasn’t for the fact that Sony has been bleeding money, and SOE represents less than 5% of their losses.

    That’s the key here, Sony is dying. Sony has been posting losses and trying to reinvent itself for awhile now.

    Does this mean SOE’s potential won’t be reached? Possibly. But from a purely economic standpoint, it says nothing about SOE and a lot about Sony. Anything else is just conjecture.

    • Jidhari says:

      I am sure this had a lot to do with Sony’s issues. However, the fact that SOE got sold to an investment company and not another gaming company says volumes. Can you imagine no takers in the gaming world if Blizzard decided to sell the World of Warcraft IP or Square the Final Fantasy series? Not even mentioning other IPs like Tomb Raider, Assassins Creed etc.
      Whether or not SOE is making money, the simple fact is that their IP stable is weak. Even the EQ franchise has withered on the vine. Selling this to an investment company is not a sign of a healthy and economically attractive studio. It is a sign of a studio that is in desperate need of salvaging and restructuring to become something viable and relevant again.

      Also, SOE losing that much money from those four MMOs is huge regardless of what proportion of their owner’s losses they compose. Studios have gone under for less so clearly being attached to Sony provided them with some much needed cushioning.

      In short, the sale says just as much about SOE as it does about Sony.

    • Sofie Hansen says:

      It’s actually not that hard to understand. Active assets such as video games have a worth, with big titles we’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars. This is all company value and if you decide to shut it down the entire worth is going to count as a loss.

      This leads to a lot of silly situations, sometimes a company will hang on to a bad asset for far too long because the company simply cant afford to write it off as a loss. It also means companies which can afford to close down assets have other assets which are doing well financially.

      I realize SynCaine is dead set on SOE failing, but this sale is most likely a sign of the opposite.

      Sony is bleeding money on their main focus areas, in part because they were hacked. This has left the company to rekindle it’s focus on it’s key areas. As a rule companies following this strategy will sell off assets which aren’t within the prime focus but are also valuable enough to be worth a lot of money. (You can’t reinvest into your prime functionality with money you earned selling shit).

      SOE has never been a primary function at Sony, and it’s doing well financially – which means it’s the perfect department to sell.

      You saw something similar when Vivendi were struggling to make money on their main areas and sold Blizzard despite Blizzard being one of the most lucrative video gaming companies out there.

  9. JJ Robinson says:

    @Syn Tobold is a joke. Anyone blaming players for not liking pay-to-win F2P models is an idiot. Like you pointed out, there are plenty of quality F2P games not pay-to-win doing gang buster.

    It’s about quality games, and not implementing game breaking monetization.

    • SynCaine says:

      I just want someone to show me one as-successful F2P MMO as the most successful sub MMOs so we can have a somewhat serious conversation. Until that day, this whole “F2P ALL THE WAY” thing is just like SOE, a joke we all know is set to die at any moment now.

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