The Daybreak Game Company/Columbus Nova saga just keeps getting messier.

Multiple news sites are reporting that a shell company owned by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, received half a million dollars from Columbus Nova, which is linked to Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg and his investment firm, Renova Corporation. The allegations were made by Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for porn star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford) via Twitter, and the New York Times is saying that it has “confirmed much of what was in Mr. Avenatti’s report.”

You can find the lengthy details all over the web, but we’ll focus here on what this could mean for Daybreak Game Company — which, despite denials, was reported to have been purchased by Columbus Nova in 2015. At the very least, seeing such a direct tie between Vekselberg, Trump, Cohen, Renova, and Columbus Nova (whose lawyer is quoted by the Times as saying “is a management company solely owned and controlled by Americans”) re-iterates the notion I had that things are such a mess that vague denials by the higher-ups at DBG, and the PR damage they’re causing, are seen as preferable to other consequences.

As for what’s going to happen to Daybreak and its games in the future, my personal opinion is that another sale is imminent. Now that so much has been laid bare (and there’s probably more to come), it’s likely that whoever de facto controls Daybreak — which may or may not be who owns it on paper — sees no need for it any more. Will it be sold as a whole entity or have its games shipped off to various developers/publishers? Will underperforming games be shut down? Or and I wrong about there being another sale and will the whole company and all its products cease to exist? I don’t think so, but I wouldn’t say any one option is totally off the table.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. Well Everquest and Planetside I can see being bought as recognizable IPs that could be used to spin off new content. H1Z1 probably is most likely to be purchased cause it can still generate revenue. Would it make more to be sold as a whole or as pieces?


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