Daybreak insists it has no connection to parent company

UPDATE: Columbus Nova confirms it "never had any ownership interest" in H1Z1 developer

UPDATE: Columbus Nova has released a statement that also distances itself from Daybreak, stressing that the acquisition was made by Jason Epstein alone.

The statement follows Harmonix disassociating itself with the investment firm, and reads:

“We want to confirm recent media reports that Columbus Nova has never had any ownership interest in Daybreak. Our former partner Jason Epstein told us in 2015 that he was purchasing Daybreak as a personal investment and Columbus Nova declined to participate in that purchase. We are aware of previous errors stating that Columbus Nova at some point had an ownership interest in Daybreak and regret not asking to correct the record sooner. The reality is that until now no one cared or asked so we just didn't think about it."

ORIGINAL STORY (26/04/2018): Three years ago, Sony Online Entertainment announced that it was acquired by investment firm Columbus Nova and changed its name to Daybreak Game Company. Today it's claiming that never happened.

On the company's official website, Daybreak has released the following statement:

There has been some confusion concerning Daybreak's ownership and rumors about the state of the company that have circulated from a few online game websites, and we want to set the record straight. We assure you that these rumors are entirely false and that there's no impact on our business or games in any way whatsoever.

From the get-go, Daybreak has been primarily owned by Jason Epstein, a longtime investor who also has investments in a variety of media properties. Jason acquired Daybreak (formerly SOE) in February 2015 and has been the executive chairman and majority owner of the company since that time.

We're well aware of prior statements from Daybreak indicating our company was acquired by Columbus Nova. We have since clarified that the company was acquired by Jason Epstein when he was a partner at Columbus Nova, which he left in 2017. We've also taken steps to clarify those facts on our website and on third-party internet sites to ensure that all of the information currently made available is consistent and accurate.

We apologize for the previous miscommunication and hope that this clears up any confusion. As always, we greatly appreciate your continued support for our games, and we'll continue to work hard to bring the best experiences to you.

As reported by MMO site MassivelyOverpowered, this bizarre story appears to have its roots in growing tensions between the United States and Russia.

Earlier this month, the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control and the Department of State froze all the assets of a number of Russian oligarchs and their companies under US jurisdiction, and prohibited Americans from dealing with them. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said the move was in response to a number of Russian activities, from occupying Crimea to arming Syria's ruling regime to meddling in Western democracies and "malicious cyber activities." One of the Russian companies named was Renova Group, which counts Columbus Nova among its subsidiaries.

Daybreak's Chief Publishing Officer and former senior vice president Laura Naviaux Sturr today tweeted that she has left the company, and she's apparently not alone. has confirmed with the company that it made a round of layoffs today.

"Daybreak confirms we are realigning our workforce to better position our company for the future," the company said. "Because of this, we have had to make an extremely difficult decision to part ways with some of our employees across various disciplines at the studio. We are doing everything we can to take care of each affected individual by providing them appropriate transition assistance.

"Daybreak remains focused on publishing and developing large-scale online games and will continue to service our existing and long-standing games and franchises."

More stories

Cold Iron Studios gets sold for the fourth time

Daybreak Games has acquired the San Jose studio, which is still working on an Alien game

By Rebekah Valentine

Daybreak Games restructures into three studios

Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games, and Rogue Planet games to work on new and existing Daybreak properties

By Haydn Taylor

Latest comments (2)

Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer 3 years ago
In the US corporate and political world it's usually not the offense that sends you to jail, it's the coverup.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Dariusz G. Jagielski Game Developer 3 years ago
That's now how you save your failing company. Here are just some lessons Daybreak should consider taking from it instead of trying to rewrite the past (past is read-only, at least for now, guys)

Lesson 1: You simply don't shut down a good MMO using innovative tech to allow people build whatever they want and then make money out of their creations with you having a cut out of sales. That's just killing a golden goose or however the saying went.

Lesson 2: You don't just cancel a promising MMO using the same tech that powers the aforementioned building MMO, a MMO that would literally revolutionize the genre if all promises were kept and do to WoW what WoW did to the previous games in that franchise. Killing another golden goose.

Lesson 3: You don't just release a bog-standard Zombie survival MMO at the time people got slowly fed up with zombie survival MMOs. Nor you try to play "follow the leader" and implement poorly-made battle royale mode just because it just happens to be popular at the moment.

Lesson 4 (the most important one): You absolutely DO NOT put someone who doesn't know jack about gamedev or even gaming as a whole. You put an accountant in charge of accounting firm. You put a lawyer in charge of a law firm. Guess whom do you put in charge of a game development firm?
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.