H1Z1 Sr. Game Designer Clarifies Airdrops, SOE Allows Refunds

This morning, Daybreak Game Company issued a statement regarding its ownership — a matter of some debate over the past several days — which was posted to its various games’ forums, like this one. We’ve reproduced it in full below:

This comes as news to former SOE/Columbus Nova President John Smedley, who’s keeping mostly quiet regarding the controversy but said via Facebook that “we were told we were bought by Columbus Nova. Simple as that.” And senior management doesn’t depart a company over “miscommunication.” Naviaux isn’t the only one leaving, either, as various outlets are reporting that a round of layoffs is underway.

It’s also news to whomever wrote the EULAs for Daybreak’s games. Those have been altered recently, but archived versions very clearly indicate that “Columbus Nova Private Equity Group” is a “parent company” of Daybreak.

Possibly relevant: here’s a story about a company buying back some of its shares from Columbus Nova’s parent company, Renova, earlier this month in the wake of sanctions being announced against it and its chairman, Viktor Vekselberg. Here’s another such story. And another. So companies are trying to distance themselves from Renova, which is understandable, but at least they’re not saying Renova was never part of their ownership, as Daybreak has done.

I’m not a lawyer, so I’m not going to speculate on what the legal ramifications of all this might be. Even without taking those into account, it’s going to be hard for Daybreak to win players over regarding this kind of obfuscation and misinformation. This is a bigger deal than canceling EverQuest Next, which was already the final nail in Daybreak’s coffin for a lot of people. Daybreak Game Company lied to its players for three years, or is lying now, and that’s a trust issue that might never be overcome.


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