That seems to be the conclusion reached by industry analyst Michael Pachter, who’s quoted as saying

“Unfortunately, free-to-play is growing most rapidly on phones and tablets, and SOE wasn’t there because those aren’t really core Sony products. SOE didn’t support any of Sony’s consumer electronics businesses, so it was easy to sell.”

That quote, as well as additional analysis, can be found in an article for Fortune.com by veteran gaming writer John Gaudiosi. In short, it suggests that, while F2P is taking over the gaming industry, SOE/Daybreak’s brand of F2P didn’t jive with Sony’s plans, so the parent company sold it off.

I originally typed “Sony’s long-term plans,” but let’s be honest: Much of the F2P mobile business revolves around short-term gain and minimizing churn, not the kind of long-term commitment that MMO players have come to expect. If this is the case, then the sale of SOE sounds even better, if it’s freeing Smedley and company from a parent that might have been pressuring them to make their games “more like mobile” — i.e., maximizing short-term profits, usually through aggressive cash shop practices.

Now, there’s no guarantee that life with Columbus Nova will be any better, but I’d wager that John Smedley at least did his homework, and had several meetings with CN’s bosses, to determine just what their vision was for his company. And that future likely includes something that doesn’t resemble the mobile gaming market.

the author

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.

10 Readers Commented

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  1. Anon on February 8, 2015

    I’m embarassed for you MMObomb for having a Pachter quote on your site.
    One of the biggest morons. I don’t think hes ever once been right about anything he said unless it was information he got from someone more credible.

    • ZerkReaper on February 8, 2015

      Well that is pretty much a given with guessing. He is a gaming analyst. He takes data, and makes an educated prediction i.e a guess. He can’t see the future dude, and occasionally he gets some stuff right.

  2. Sun on February 6, 2015

    for real, none of the SOE games were good in my oppinion. I know theres people liking them but i can totally understand that they had to sell it.

    • blackone on February 6, 2015

      they HAD good games, before the F2P hype.

      Looking at the old EQ/EQ2 and then SWG before they changed it to a themepark clone, but even after CU and NGE, the game was still nice and worked out.

  3. 70calories on February 5, 2015

    I don’t understand the appeal of mobile games and why they’re suddenly so popular most of them are horrible and nothing but a money sink

    • Razer on February 5, 2015

      Most casual gamers aren’t savvy enough to know any better.

    • Old Timer on February 5, 2015

      Most mobile gamers have jobs and are older than a typical gamer, also the mobile games are all Pay 2 Win, so they don’t know any other model of game payments.

      Most mobile gamers are also very casual players, they play going to work, on a break and sometimes at home for very short time.

      PC gamer some have jobs some don’t but those jobs are most of the time low paying, as they spend a huge amount of time every day playing the game so they can’t keep or have a good job.

      Amount of time and money needed for making a mobile game and promoting it is much less, easier and quicker than a game for any other platform.

      Money runs the world, simply put.

      • anip on February 10, 2015


        sad but true, Mobile games are mainly made for people with a lot of money to dump into.

        I still can’t afford a Smart Phone here, and I do have a Job… but it barely covers the bills I have.

        That’s why I look into PC games.
        Not to mention I like to play games on a large screen and more buttons for combos and such instead of a tiny screen and it’s just a click and hit game…

  4. Goblingraph on February 5, 2015

    It makes total sense. Daybreak is definitely more of long term thinkers. When mobile games have enough money to buy Superbowl ad space, you know it’s a big business.

  5. SneezE on February 5, 2015

    Wow thats just harsh…..