Monday, 2 February 2015

You Won't Have SOE To Kick Around Anymore

This is a public service announcement in case anyone's not predisposed to follow John Smedley on Reddit or Twitter. I know I don't.

In news I don't believe anyone was expecting Sony Online Entertainment has been sold to investment management company Columbus Nova. No, me neither. We are assured this is a good thing and all the games are going to continue.

 Massively has the main story although whether this link will work tomorrow remains to be seen. EQ2Wire has background and, no doubt, ongoing coverage in detail.

I am not getting happy feelings about this.

14 comments:

  1. The thing about this deal, as opposed to all those past dubious SOE schemes... roll ProSiebenSat.1 footage... is that I am not so sure that SOE had any say in the matter. Oh well. Mark the date for the history books. Looking forward to reflection on this by you and others.

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    1. I'd be surprised if anyone at SOE had any involvement beyond providing whatever assistance was required to complete the fait accompli. Mulling it over I am not sure it's necessarily a bad thing. Worst-case scenario would be the company is gutted and sold off piecemeal but what would that actually mean? The assets are the IPs, the running games and, presumably, the sunsetted games too.

      I wouldn't see it as a negative move if PWE or NCSoft or someone like that picked up one or more of the games and/or IPs in a fire sale. Frankly almost no MMO company I can think of would be likely to make a worse job of running them than big Sony did.

      Assuming Columbus Nova bought SOE with the intention of making some money at the very least we ought to see them try and realize a price for the assets, which would have been a boon for Vanguard - Brad might have been able to raise some money on that ticket.

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  2. I want you and Mrs. Bhag on Twitter in a regular capacity so bad, Bhags! These posts aren't enough: I need you 140 characters at a time, multiple times a day too.

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    1. You keep trying that Murf - because many have failed ;)

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    2. Lol! I have no brief against Twitter - I've had an account for years. It's just another thing that would eat up time though and there's only so much time in a day.

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    3. Speaking of - totally offtopic: are you still playing FFXIV on Cactuar sometime? If so let me know your name, we have a blogosphere linkshell now :)

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  3. The world is full of crazy news this month - first Massively and WI shut down and now SOE gets sold, wuttt...?

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    1. And people said 2015 was going to be a dull year for MMOs...

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  4. Yeah, this was pretty unexpected. I had to read the official announcement twice for it to sink in.

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    1. Me too. And even then it took an hour or two for it to feel real.

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  5. Oof. I want to be positive, but I just can't shake the feeling that this is bad for SO-- er, Daybreak Studios.

    I always found SOE a little charming because they were weird in a kindly old uncle way. SOEmote? Weird. John Smedley's personal video (that you couldn't skip!) introducing the Landmark alpha? Weird. Opening SOE Live with a 15 minute livestreamed piece of sand art? Super weird!

    I sort of expected that the only reason they've been able to make these offbeat calls was because they were sitting on Sony money. Some investment firm, I am guessing, is going to look at their actual numbers on Everquest classic and have a cow, much less weird intro videos. According to Twitter they've already cancelled SOE Live this year, so as much as everyone right now is all "this is good for business"... yeeeeah. :(

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  6. This could be a good thing. Maybe. Looking at their new owner's web page (http://www.cntp.com/) and scrolling way down the page there's a list of interesting companies that they already own. Like Mainframe2 and some others that are dark horses for a rewrite of how we define computing.

    This could be a good thing.

    But then I'm getting really good at hoping in the face of reality

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  7. Investment companies aren't known for buying companies and letting it be business as usual (no matter what Smed says). The fact that Sony got rid of them does not say good things about the value being generated by SOE. As is the case with investment companies: first order of business is streamline. Expect some closures but probably things like Planetside and whatever random Asian MMO SOE has nowadays. For the people working there, I hope there are no layoffs. They had enough to contend with in that regard last year.

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  8. I'm worried. I mean.. I remain quietly optimistic because I'm SO looking forward to EQN and I WANT this to be good news for SOE games but... I'm worried. I was saying to my other half, I don't know if you've heard of a motorbike sport called speedway? A lot haven't, it's pretty niche, but still. I used to be an avid follower of it and our local team's stadium was owned by an investor. Well, as you might expect from a niche sport, they do occasionally struggle and as such, rumours of closure have increased over the years. But they carried on until finally the guy suddenly up and sold the land to a housing development company. Decades worth of passion and memories will be gone, just like that. I don't hold a lot of faith for "investors"... :(

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