Daybreak Has Always Been Owned by Eastasia

In a bit of a futile effort somebody at Daybreak Game Company is attempting to either edit history or cover up a serious mistake.

That eye is, and always has been, Jason Epstein’s

As we know, back in 2015 Sony Online Entertainment was purchased by an investment group called Columbus Nova.  We know this because that is exactly what SOE told us, both in press releases as well in messages to the community.  Both John Smedley and Jason Epstein specifically mention Columbus Nova and having SOE join their portfolio.

People dug into just who the hell Columbus Nova was, finding out that it was owned by Renova, which in turn was owned by Russian Viktor Vekselberg.

This comes into play, as reported over at Massively OP, because of sanctions being imposed on certain key Russians, Viktor included.

So the question came up as to what happens to Daybreak.  Since Daybreak is setup as an LLC, probably nothing in the short term, no matter who owns it.  If the government seizes it they will likely resell it.

Daybreak seems to have gone paranoid on the question though.  When asked for a statement by Massively, Daybreak said:

Daybreak Game Company has no affiliation with Columbus Nova. Jason Epstein, former member of Columbus Nova, is and has always been the primary owner and executive chairman of Daybreak Game Company (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) which he acquired from Sony in February 2015.

When prodded about the fact that this flew in the face of everything we knew up until now, Daybreak followed up again stating that everything that they said about Columbus Nova in the past was wrong and that Jason Epstein himself bought SOE and has owned it himself ever since.

Meanwhile, somebody at Daybreak has been trying to clean up, fixing their Wikipedia article to correct an error with a very specific notation, “Removing inaccuracies. The company has no affiliation to Columbus Nova. Jason Epstein is and has always been the primary owner and executive of Daybreak Game Company.”  This started on April 6, 2018, more than three years after the acquisition.

So, somehow for the last three years nobody at Daybreak bothered to correct this mistaken belief that they had been acquired by Columbus Nova, even when opportunities arose, like when Russel Shanks left and Ji Ham of Columbus Nova took over the reigns as president of the company.  Then, suddenly, when sanctions might be an issue the company suddenly remembers that Columbus Nova was never even part of the deal, as though a company and the person they claimed purchased it would make such an error of material fact and neither notice nor correct it for more than three years?

Sounds like horse shit to me,

Anyway, I thought I ought to put a pin on the date that Daybreak inadvertently started drawing attention to itself by coming up with an odd retroactive tale about its acquisition.

Meanwhile Massively OP continues to update the story as new facts hove into view.

Others now talking about this:

7 thoughts on “Daybreak Has Always Been Owned by Eastasia

  1. Bhagpuss

    Heh! I just posted about this, as I’m sure will come as no surprise to you. Your title is much better than mine though.

    I was quite pleased with myself for doing the spadework before I read the updates on MOP. Also I had checked and read all the sources I link to before those updates appeared on MOP, so most likely all the ownership details were in plain sight before the original piece. I would have thought someone at MOP might have noticed.

    It beggars belief that CN never bought SOE in the first place and it was all a simple reporting error. It could, however, be that Jason Epstein, while nominally representing CN, was always the interested party and that for whatever reason he and CN chose to present the transaction as something other than a personal project. Who paid the bill though?

    Anyway, as I said in my post, it does actually make a lot more sense of the last three years if it does turn out to be one rich guy’s vanity project. If he happens to be interested in gaming then DBG is a pretty cool toy. I’d feel happier about that then seeing it as one of the very small dust bunnies at the bottom of a giant conglomerates’s sock drawer.

    Interesting to see where we go from here.


  2. Keen

    Do you think I should put my character on Coirnav progression server on hold? Would hate to devote a lot of time into something that might suddenly go POOF.


  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – The timing is just so coincidental… State Dept. names their Russian owner and the same day they are on Wikipedia trying to change who owns them.

    @Keen – Nah, I wouldn’t read too much into this in the short term. If anything, this is somebody trying to protect their asset by assigning it to somebody else. Even if the government seizes DBC, they won’t shut it down. They’ll appoint and administrator to watch over it and try to sell it. Somebody will buy it because the government will be willing to part with it under market value just to be done with it.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Noizy – Ah yes, in the original I think this line is key:

    “Daybreak Games may share your Personal Information for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy (except for direct marketing) with its parent companies, which consist of Columbus Nova Private Equity Group (“CN”) and any company controlled by CN that directly or indirectly owns fifty percent (50%) or more of the outstanding equity in Daybreak.”


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