A new GamesBeat event is around the corner! Learn more about what comes next. 

Earlier today, investment company Columbus Nova closed a deal to acquire massively multiplayer online developer Sony Online Entertainment. This is the firm’s first move into gaming — although it has a history of working with technology companies.

Columbus Nova’s website notes that it manages over $15 billion of assets. The company says it takes a “long-term view” on investing, and the company plans to apply that philosophy to its new game developer as well. Daybreak, which is the new name for Sony Online Entertainment, has several active MMOs including EverQuest, PlanetSide 2, and DC Universe Online, and it plans to keep it that way.

Daybreak and Columbus Nova have no plans to end any active games at this time, a spokesperson for the new company told GamesBeat.

Additionally, Daybreak’s popular H1Z1 zombie-survival game is still in development as part of its Early Access release. EverQuest Next and Landmark are also still under development. If you were a fan of SOE games, that’s what Daybreak plans on continuing to deliver.


Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

“I imagine Columbus Nova will look to expand revenues on consoles, PC, mobile, and tablet and then decide what to do with Daybreak,” Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter told GamesBeat. “They typically buy these businesses for cash flow, and it’s likely that they paid five-times current cash flow and will try to double that cash flow.”

One thing will change. Daybreak is already thinking about making games for Microsoft platforms, which was not possible before as Sony kept the games off the PlayStation competitor’s hardware. And that could tie into Pachter’s point about cashflow.

While Columbus Nova doesn’t have a history with games, its leadership does. Senior partner Jason Epstein oversaw the deal that helped Rock Band developer Harmonix purchase itself back from multimedia conglomerate Viacom. Epstein was a part of the Daybreak deal as well.

Other Columbus Nova investments include music-streaming service Rhapsody, medicine-technology company Bina, and data-analytics platform Zoomdata. Last year, Columbus Nova exited one of its investments when it sold its stake in business-app maker Tomfoolery as part of a $16 million Yahoo acquisition.

It’s likely that Daybreak’s split from Sony will end up as the best thing that could happen for the publisher. Sony lost more than $1.25 billion during its last fiscal year, and it is cutting away anything that it doesn’t see as a long-term profit-making venture. The conglomerate has also sold off its Vaio computer business and limited its Sony Ericsson division.

And acting as the first game investment of Columbus Nova may give Daybreak the freedom it needs to expand without having to worry about a struggling parent company.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member