We’ve been wondering about some of Daybreak Game Company’s trademarks for quite a while now — names like Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games — and theorizing that a “studio split,” similar to what Hi-Rez Studios did, might soon be in order. As it turns out, that was pretty much on target.

Daybreak today announced its “Franchise First” initiative, which sets up three new studios — the aforementioned Darkpaw and Rogue Planet Games, along with Dimensional Ink — to handle its three major gaming divisions. Darkpaw Games will be the EverQuest studio, headed up by EQ Executive Producer Holly Longdale. Rogue Planet Games handles all things PlanetSide, including its next “genre-defining experience,” and is led by Executive Producer Andy Sites. And Dimensional Ink will have a CEO in the form of veteran designer Jack Emmert and will be handling DC Universe Online, as well as an upcoming action MMO, which is due to begin development this year.

Change is always scary, but I’m of the opinion that these changes — which are probably more surface-level than anything else — are probably good for Daybreak and its games, or at least not a negative. We’ve seen Hi-Rez’s games thrive under a similar structure, and considering how rough things have been for Daybreak over the past few years, there’s no reason to think that this will make things any worse. They might even be better, if it does free up the individual studios to act with more autonomy.

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