A short time ago it was revealed on VentureBeat that long time Daybreak/SOE CEO John Smedley has stepped down.
“I can confirm that John Smedley will be taking some time off from the company for the near-term and transitioning to a different role to be determined,” a spokesperson for Daybreak told GamesBeat. “Upon finalization of his plans, further communication will be provided.”
COO Russell Shanks will step in as president of the company. We have John to thank for really pushing PlanetSide in the early days, and PlanetSide 2 most recently, he was always an FPS fan at heart and was a huge part of bringing these games to market. He will be transitioning to a different role presumably at Daybreak and we wish him luck on his future endeavours.
John Smedley took to Reddit yesterday to post an update on the current and future state of PlanetSide 2. In the post he touches on PC vs PS4, the Resource System, Staffing and more.
In the near term, we're adding more people to the Planetside 2 team (hopefully bringing some people back that were former team members) to help us get our development bandwidth to where we want it to be. However, we have plenty of horsepower to deliver on some amazing things this summer already.
The plan is simple - We are going to be taking Planetside 2 to where it needs to be and finally address the stuff should have already. The metagame. We will once and for all be getting the Meta to where it just has to be. That means a comprehensive change that will involve completely revamping resources, changing what territory control means and spending a lot of time giving you reasons to fight. All of this will be done in a fully transparent manner in which we actually put our internal design docs out there for your comment and feedback.
Matt Higby has announced that he has decided to part ways with PlanetSide 2 and Daybreak Games. Matt as well as Ryan Elam, Software Engineer on the PlanetSide 2 team have left the company to pursue other opportunities.
Hey guys - Working on Planetside 2 has been the absolute highlight of my career, but after 4 years working on the game, it's time for a change. Today was my last day on the Planetside 2 team and at Daybreak games. This is a move I've been considering for a while now, and the reorganization provided the right opportunity for me to exit.
Planetside 2 is in great hands, with terrific people who honestly care about the game and the players. I can't stress this enough, the folks working on every aspect of the game, developers, marketing, community are talented, hard working people who care more than you can imagine - I'm fully confident they're going to do an amazing job on the next leg of the journey.
Finally, I wanted to thank all of you in the Planetside 2 community with whom I've shared the last few years, whether in stream chat, tweets, pms or comments you guys have motivated and inspired me all along. You are an amazing community that I'm looking forward to remaining a member of for a long time.
See you on Auraxis!
Today it was announced that SOE, who just last week changed to Daybreak Game Company was hit with layoffs. Unlike previous layoffs this one has hit high level employees and designers alike.
Last week we announced that we were acquired and are now operating independently as Daybreak Game Company. To better position our newly independent studio for future growth opportunities and to deliver on our legacy of making top online games, we have had to make some tough choices including realignment of resources.
Unfortunately, this realignment means adjusting staffing as well. We announced today that we will eliminate positions in our San Diego and Austin studios. We deeply value our employees and never take these decisions lightly so we’ve done our best to do what’s right for the people affected.
Read more here. As mentioned above several well known members of Daybreak were affected including Linda "Brasse" Carlson and Dave "SmokeJumper" Georgeson who many here remember from PlanetSide 1 but more recently director of the EQ Franchise. Also hit from the PlantSide 2 team were Producer David Carey, Designer Xander Clauss, Designer Taylor Dowell, Designer and Vehicle Extraordinaire Kevin "Kevmo0" Moyer and Programmer Katharine Anderson. We will post more as we become aware of them. On behalf of the community we wish them all good luck on their future endeavors and we will miss them all greatly.
Update: David Carey made a post on Reddit asking for calm and posting some of his thoughts.
I came on to say goodbye to you guys (at least in my current role, prepare for lurking), but after scanning the front page I wanted to change the flavor of the post a bit.
Columbus Nova deserves no hate in all this. They are more like white knights than negative forces here. SOE needed a shake up/new direction, and CN provided that. They have done nothing but been gracious in their new ownership, and they went out of their way to make sure that Devs and support teams that got laid off were taken care of. Right now things seem shitty, and of course for the folks that were let go, today was rough, but CN and DB were both very open about the need for restructuring. This wasn't a surprise to folks in the company.
Gaming is a tough industry, and not for everyone. I've seen lots of people come and go, both good and otherwise. The fact is, there are no (or at least, extremely few) permanent gaming jobs. If you want to have just one job in your career, don't pick gaming, or even computer software. It's just the nature of the beast in such a pioneering industry. But the flip side is that there is always a new opportunity awaiting, it just may require a move to a new location or some other sacrifice.
Also for a full list of known layoffs hit up this page.
Sony Online Entertainment announced today that they have been acquired by Investment Firm Columbus Nova. This move means that they are no longer affiliated with Sony.
Today, we are pleased to announce that we have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment focused companies. This means that effective immediately SOE will operate as an independent game development studio where we will continue to focus on creating exceptional online games for players around the world, and now as a multi-platform gaming company. Yes, that means PlayStation and Xbox, mobile and more!
As part of this transition, SOE will now become Daybreak Game Company. This name embodies who we are as an organization, and is a nod to the passion and dedication of our employees and players. It is also representative of our vision to approach each new day as an opportunity to move gaming forward.
So what exactly does this mean for you? It will be business as usual and all SOE games will continue on their current path of development and operation. In fact, we expect to have even more resources available to us as a result of this acquisition. It also means new exciting developments for our existing IP and games as we can now fully embrace the multi-platform world we are living in.
Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organization, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together.
Thank you for your continued support. See you in game!
The Team at Daybreak
John Smedley said that all game development will continue and there's even potential for Xbox verions of games like H1Z1. Check out the official announcement and head on over to the forums to discuss.
Early this morning Tramell Isaac better known to everyone as T-Ray announced that he will be leaving SOE to pursue a new opportunity. T-Ray is one of the most iconic members of the PlanetSide 1 and PlanetSide 2 teams. He announced that Bill Yeatts would be taking over his Art Director spot.
Introducing... Bill Yeatts as the new Art Director of Planetside2.
I've had a blast working with you guys all these many months. I will certainly miss you all. The good news is, you are in good hands. Bill was on the Ps2 team from start to ship so he is very well versed in what is and is not PlanetSide 2. He is running the show now and he may contradict so of the 'rules' I set in the past, but that is now his prerogative. Please, give my friend a warm welcome to the Player Studio community.
As for me, I will be moving on to another company. Thank you for all of your hard work. It's been a blast.
SOE has announced they will be live streaming on twitch.tv/soe directly from SOE Live this year with over 20 hours of programming. You can find the full schedule on their Twitch page or in the comments thread.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Welcome Reception
9:00 PM - 12:00 AM: H1Z1 Overnight Gaming
8:30 AM - 8:55 AM: Welcome to the SOE Day #2
9:00 AM - 9:55 AM: Landmark Keynote
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM: EQ Next Keynote
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: PlanetSide2 Featuring Matt Higby & Your Favorite Twitch Streamers
Be sure to tune in on Friday at 4PM Pacific time for the PlanetSide 2 Keynote. There will also be a special $20 SOE Stream pass that grants in game rewards and Twitch emotes. More info is available on the SOE Twitch page.
Today marks the long awaited release of Hossin in PlanetSide 2! Additionally Continent Locking, Outfit Base Capture, Outfit Decals and more are coming.
New Continent! Hossin:
“------//// Deputy Director’s Journal, June 26th, 2859 ////--------
With some unfortunate losses, our mission to Hossin was a success. As expected, the swamp was totally devoid of any humans; NC or otherwise. We experienced some unforeseen setbacks after helplessly watching our pilot transferred into a Galaxy that spawned- and instantly exploded- into the unkempt overgrowth of the swamp. Without the resources to recalibrate the spawn matrix for the terminals, I made the decision to proceed to our given location on foot. Unfortunately, the Vanu apparently left their entire stock of proximity mines at every chokepoint leading up to the manual override for the Rebirth network. With two of us down from stomping on proxy mines, EOD Hud was mandatory in loadouts until we got out of the place.
Early this morning it was announced that soon all ProSieben accounts will be able to migrate over to SOE Services.
As of today’s date (June 18, 2014), region locks have been lifted. New EU players wishing to register should do so via SOE hosted sites.
On or about July 1, 2014, we will offer PSG players the opportunity to migrate their existing accounts to SOE account management, in order to continue playing SOE games. All earned status, characters and in-game coin will transfer with the account.
SOE sent out an e-mail this morning (US) to PlanetSide 2 Players. In it Matt Higby revealed a new aircraft called the Valkyrie as well as a few more tidbits about Outfit Bases, Balance Changes coming and more.
Coming out in Late Summer 2014 it holds 4 players and is a fast attack aircraft. Hit up the comments thread to post your thoughts on the new vehicle!
Have you checked out PlanetSide 2 Community Clash yet? If you haven't you are missing out! Tune in tonight as DPSO goes up against DasAnfall! Both teams are veterans of previous Community Clash events so it should be an exciting match. You check out the season schedule over at ps2commclash.com as well as recordings of previous episodes.
Tune in tonight at 8PM CST on Twitch.tv/PlanetSide2!
After the first World Domination Preseason, we took all of your feedback and made some major changes to the rules, scoring and rewards. Today, we're happy to announce the start of PlanetSide 2 World Domination Preseason 2 on Friday, February 7th, 2014 at 12:00 AM PT!! Check out the changes below and prepare for war, Auraxians!
You can also view the current statistics on the preason as well as a countdown till it's over on the official website.
The start of Season One has been delayed to March 5th, the team is also looking for eight Outfits in the US and EU for pre season matchups.
Season 1 official start is now March 5th for both the EU and US. That is now a solid date and we hope to use this month to test the format.— PS2 Community Clash (@ps2commclash) January 28, 2014
That being said both EU and US teams are looking for 8 outfits each for pre seasons matches if anyone out there is interested.— PS2 Community Clash (@ps2commclash) January 28, 2014
After a short hiatus PlanetSide 2 Community Clash will be returning on March 5th 2014 at 8PM Central Time! This time around there will also be an EU bracket. On the 5th you will see Jenk Squad go up against Sturmgrenadier in the US at 8PM Central and the Foundation vs Rebel Rifles in the EU at 7PM GMT. Check out the full brackets below.
For more information and dates hit up the comment thread, and be sure to provide your feedback!
Yesterday Matt Higby posted a status update on Development and frequency of game updates.
Hey all -
As 2014 starts I wanted to give you all a quick note about some changes we're making to the way the game is updated. Over the last few weeks we have been reorganizing our internal build and development processes in order to allow us to expedite builds to live with the goal of updating the live game more often and more regularly. I'm really excited to announce that starting next Wednesday we will begin doing weekly game updates!
What does this mean for you?
Well for starters, it means we'll be more rapidly respond to bugs & balance issues in the game without having to rely on hotfixes as much. We'll also be able to release new content more frequently and consistently. Each individual update will be smaller and more focused, with fewer moving parts that can break, which we hope will greatly decrease the number of bugs being introduced when we update. This doesn't mean that we're not still working on bigger features and larger content pieces, we definitely are and they'll be slotted into the weekly schedule as they're ready to be released. As part of this change we are also going to be updating and playtesting on Test server a lot more often in the future, as always, your playtesting assistance and feedback on the test server will be greatly appreciated.
One final note, the first couple of these weekly updates are going to be a bit smaller than what you can expect to see later on, as we're still shaking off the holiday cobwebs and getting used to the new development processes.
We've got a really terrific slate of new features and content lined up for 2014 that we can't wait to get out to you guys, it's going to be an amazing year for Planetside 2.
Thanks for reading, see you on Auraxis!
Hit up the comment thread to discuss.
Earlier today John Smedley posted some information regarding their recently announced changes to premium membership. Just a short time ago he posted another update revealing possible changes as a result of community feedback.
Thanks for the feedback. We listened. Here are the basics of our revised plan. Please note - we have not had the time to do estimates of the work involved, and also we're continuing to listen. so this isn't baked just yet. Do not expect that this is all going to happen immediately. We plain don't know yet. we're doing that meeting tmw.
1) We're lowering the price of All Access to $14.99
2) We're going to make it so every subscriber to all our PC games an all access member. Basically there will be one SOE membership for our PC games. Please note there are some minor restrictions around our kids titles (simply put - if you're a 12 year old who signed up for FR you won't have access to the adult games so we'll likely leave the lower priced kids offerings as separate subscriptions for under 12 for the same low prices).
4) we are going to be giving our members a 10% discount in our marketplaces.
Check out the full list of tweaks here and be sure to hit up the comment thread as well to post your thoughts on the changes.