I wasn’t expecting this when I started my morning browsing of Twitter and Reddit.
— John Smedley (@j_smedley) February 2, 2015
My immediate reaction: Spine-chilling fear for the future of the EverQuest franchise.
My second reaction: WTF?
My next reaction: Wait, is this for real? Why? huh?
Being acquired by “Columbus Nova, an investment management firm” means you are a line item on a balance sheet of a company run by people in suits with big offices who want to see their lines on the balance sheet with big black numbers next to them. The care for good games goes away and the care for becoming cash-grabby takes over.
The more I think about it, this is starting to make some sense. SOE was behaving a little odd lately with the F2P model conversion, and the whole early access hype building… yep. This wasn’t a weekend deal. This was coming for a long time.
SOE made and continues to make some of my favorite games. I do not want to see EverQuest turned into a cash grab. I do not want to see SOE, a company with dozens of talented people I really respect, turn into a gPotato or Zynga style studio. I want SOE to make AAA games like they have in the past. I don’t see that as an option now unless this random investment firm is owned by gamers who want SOE to make amazing games.
For now, we’ll watch this acquisition as we have watched them all in the past. Everyone builds excitement, talks about the future, etc. Slowly but surely the implications are revealed, and eventually there’s a thread on Reddit where some anonymous senior level employee tells all. Hopefully that’s not SOE’s (I mean Daybreak Games?) future.
For now, I’m just going to sit here scratching my head. That’s all I can do.