Enad Global 7 (EG7) announced in a press release earlier today that would be purchasing Daybreak Game Company for $300 million in a structured payout deal. ($260 million up front, $100 million in shares and $160 million in cash, plus another $40 million in cash if Daybreak makes its projected 2020 numbers.) A bunch of news items have popped up about this today and I will link to them and other reactions at the end of the post.
That will get them the following games according to the press release:
- EverQuest II
- PlanetSide 2
- DC Universe Online
- Lord of the Rings Online
- Dungeons & Dragons Online
Not mentioned was Cold Iron Studios, which Daybreak was said to have acquired back in August. But maybe that was Jason Epstein or Columbus Nova who actually bought it.
And I am not really kidding with that. The nearly six year history of Daybreak has not been characterized by a close relationship with the truth when it came to the business, so a surprise twist or a revision of history would be right in line with past behavior. Even now we’re just finally getting confirmation that Standing Stone Games was owned by Daybreak… or Jason… or Columbus Nova… after being told that Daybreak was merely going to be SSG’s “publisher.” So I guess EG7 is buying Standing Stone Games as well.
The press release is also interesting as it lists out some of the Daybreak financials that were part of its due diligence. We could barely find numbers about the company when it was part of Sony and never saw a thing since it was Daybreak. For example, Daybreak has 178 million registered users of its games. I’m sure they’re not all active, but that database alone has some value.
Anyway, the first question to leap to mind for me was, “Who the hell is EG7?”
The press release echoes the info on their web site which says:
EG7 is a group of companies within the gaming industry that develops, markets, publishes and distributes PC, console and mobile games to the global gaming market. The company employs 170+ game developers and develops its own original IP:s, as well as act as consultants to other publishers around the world through its game development divisions Toadman Studios, Big Blue Bubble and Antimatter Games. In addition, the group’s marketing department Petrol has contributed to the release of 1,500+ titles, of which many are world famous brands such as Call of Duty, Destiny, Dark Souls and Rage. The group’s publishing and distribution department Sold Out holds expertise in both physical and digital publishing and has previously worked with Team 17, Rebellion and Frontier Developments. The Group is headquartered in Stockholm with approximately 270 employees in 10 offices worldwide.
So, a Swedish company, something confirmed over at Bloomberg, without much more to add, though their summary is much more succinct:
Enad Global 7 AB operates as a game development studio. The Company develops, markets, publishes, and distributes PC, console, and mobile games. Enad Global 7 serves customers worldwide.
The company, founded in 2013, says it is a game developer and has very recently purchased a few small studios, but its biggest claim to fame seems to be that its marketing department has helped out with some famous brands, likely just for the Swedish market if I were to make a guess. (Though their online presence is pretty week. They discovered Twitter just this year.) And now they’ll have a bag of MMORPGs to play with.
As for what it will mean for the games and employees of Daybreak, that remains to be seen. The press release has the usual rosy optimism in its quotes, as all such press releases do.
I am thrilled to be welcoming Daybreak into the EG7 family today. Daybreak is a studio I have the utmost admiration for, not only for their games but the teams behind those games and services. Together we have bold and exciting plans for the future, and I look forward to making those dreams a reality for gamers all over the world.
Robin Flodin, CEO and Co-founder of EG7
This could be a boon for the company, or they could get the Gamigo treatment like Trion did when they were acquired. Or EG7 might just want the data for the 178 million registered Daybreak users for marketing purposes… that actually gets a mention in the press release. (Bad news for them, at least three of those users are just me.)
But that will all come later.
We’re still in the phase where the deal isn’t done yet and both sides of the transaction are invested in keeping to the status quo going. Expansions for EverQuest and EverQuest II will launch this month (Dec. 8th and 15th respectively, the latter being announced today along with the acquisition). Updates will keep coming out. Nobody is going to lose their job just yet.
But the deal is expected to close by December 31, 2020, so the real situation likely won’t become apparent until next year. Some people will no doubt be redundant and get laid off. Plans may change. And maybe the individual studios that Daybreak created earlier this year will end up being used to distinguish the groups. But come the new year Daybreak, announced back in February of 2015, will likely cease to be a thing.
Related posts (Those with info beyond the press release marked*):