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Sony Online Entertainment, Planetside 2 and H1Z1 dev, declares independence, becomes Daybreak

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Sony Online Entertainment, Planetside 2 and H1Z1 dev, declares independence, becomes Daybreak

After years of making MMOs like Planetside 2 and DC Universe Online as a part of Sony, the “Sony Online Entertainment" studio has broken away from the electronics and entertainment giant to become independent. SOE is no more, and in its place is the Daybreak Game Company.

Don't panic. The company promises that their existing games, including the amazing Planetside 2, will be unaffected by the move.

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SOE think they've figured out how to make paid-for items lootable in H1Z1

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SOE think they've figured out how to make paid-for items lootable in H1Z1

H1Z1 is SOE’s DayZ-inspired zombie survival sim, about killing a man for his sweet goggles. But it’s also a fully-fledged free-to-play MMO - with permanent gear purchasable from its in-game store.

Do you see the problem yet? SOE do - and they reckon they’ve already come up with an acceptable solution. One that’ll uphold the game’s values of inventory murder, without leaving paying players screaming.

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John Smedley on DayZ and H1Z1 similarities: “this is our take on the Zombie Apocalypse”

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John Smedley on DayZ and H1Z1 similarities: “this is our take on the Zombie Apocalypse”

“Not going to give some politically correct dodgy b.s. answer," SOE president John Smedley wrote on Reddit. “[H1Z1] is a survival in a Zombie Apocalypse game. So is Day Z. [Bohemia] have made a brilliant game (first I might add). They have a great vision for it and can count myself and most of the people on our team as fans and contributors."

So, how do they differ? Well, for one, SOE can spawn zombie hordes on servers whenever they’d like.

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SOE closing four MMOs “consolidating” their franchises; working on new game “dedicated” to Star Wars Galaxies fans

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SOE closing four MMOs “consolidating” their franchises; working on new game “dedicated” to Star Wars Galaxies fans

SOE have made a lot of people un/happy in a single Reddit AMAA. On the one hand they announced the closure of four of their MMOs - Vanguard, Wizardry Online, Free Realms, and Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures - and, on the other, they revealed they’re working on a new IP, an MMO “dedicated" to the fans of Star Wars Galaxies.

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SOE plan $14.99 subscription to cover their whole PC catalogue - including EverQuest Next

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SOE plan $14.99 subscription to cover their whole PC catalogue - including EverQuest Next

Sony Entertainment Online are on the verge of adopting a new subscription plan to replace those they’ve had in place individually for each of their games. For a fixed fee of $14.99, PC players would gain access to all of the MMO developers’ games.

“That's a benefit most companies simply can't offer because they don't have our portfolio of games," said CEO John Smedley.

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SOE layoffs hit Planetside 2 developers; "We stand by PS2 despite some people no longer being at the team"

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SOE layoffs hit Planetside 2 developers; "We stand by PS2 despite some people no longer being at the team"

When the cruel winds of Thursday morning brought news of SOE’s recent round of layoffs, it seemed that the Planetside 2 team had escaped unscathed - at the expense of the DC Universe lot, customer service and general QA.

Not quite. A readably saddened John Smedley took to the Planetside forums to tell players that, yes, some of the men and women who pieced together Auraxis no longer work at the studio. But he denied the shake-up would impact development, asserting that SOE “have a large team still working on it".

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Layoffs shrink SOE as company refocuses around EverQuest Next; "These are really, really good people who don't deserve this"

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Layoffs shrink SOE as company refocuses around EverQuest Next; "These are really, really good people who don't deserve this"

To us, SOE are mostly the Planetside 2 and EverQuest people - but in the last three years alone, they’ve also been the Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures people, the Magic: The Gathering Tactics people, the DC Universe Online people, and the Bullet Run people. Not all of those ventures have been the unequivocal successes their flagship universes have, and the company last night announced a major “reduction" of their workforce.

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PlanetSide 2: Smedley calls in lawyers to tackle cheating problems

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PlanetSide 2: Smedley calls in lawyers to tackle cheating problemsSony Online Entertainment prez John Smedley has taken to /r/planetside to give a clear explanation of the current state of PlanetSide 2's policies regarding the banning and suspension of hackers and cheaters and other assorted ne'er-do-wells. No surprise: it's a depressing cat and mouse roundabout, with SOE developing anti-hacking algorithms as quickly as hackers can develop smarter aimbots. Some surprise: SOE are planning on fighting back against the cheat enablers using lawyers and gavels.

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Planetside 2 server merges coming “soon”, but don’t panic

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Planetside 2 server merges coming “soon”, but don’t panicAt some point beyond Monday, Planetside 2 players from parallel existences are going to be picked up by the scruff of their necks and smushed into each other. They’ll probably accidentally kiss, lock eyes, and perhaps fall in love.

Because of this, and because headline-based discussion is much more floaty and fun than its stodgy, fact-infused equivalent, the internet’s going to be alight with commenters clanging the bell that marks Planetside’s demise next week. But server merging doesn’t have to be anywhere near as doomy as that. I’ll let SOE bossman John Smedley explain.

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Planetside 2 eSports event and broadcasting deal inked with MLG

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Planetside 2 eSports event and broadcasting deal inked with MLGSOE have signed up with ginormous eSports organisation MLG for a year of collaborative competitions and events. Over the next few months, MLG will work with Planetside 2’s dev team to create new features and settings designed for competitive play. What’s more, the two companies will produce “original programming" for Planetside 2 to be broadcast on MLG’s site and Twitch.

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SOE head John Smedley doesn’t like Planetside 2 hackers much; “We’ll hunt you down”

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SOE head John Smedley doesn’t like Planetside 2 hackers much; “We’ll hunt you down”

“Haruhi at http://artificialaiming.com  was just banned," announced SOE boss man John Smedley to just about everybody on Twitter last night. “All 3 of his accounts. Goodbye you scumbag. Find a new hobby or get good at the game."

Astute followers picked up on his seething tone, and this is what he had to say.

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Planetside 2’s three-year plan: player-owned bases, seamless continents and NPC armies all under consideration

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Planetside 2’s three-year plan: player-owned bases, seamless continents and NPC armies all under considerationWhen SOE are working on Planetside 2, they tend to stare off into what to you and I looks like the middle-distance, but in actuality is 2025. That’s what SOE president John Smedley says, in any case. By that point Planetside will be 13 and SOE president John Smedley will be nigh on 60, but see if that stops him getting involved in bombing runs.

Even the Planetside of 2015 promises to be unrecognisable, however - a seamless planet of player-owned bases, resource harvesting and NPC invasions, if all goes to plan.

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SOE on try before you buy in Planetside 2’s store: “We are considering letting people try weapons they pick up.”

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SOE on try before you buy in Planetside 2’s store: “We are considering letting people try weapons they pick up.”Planetside 2 will be free-to-play. We’ve known this since forever. But it’s one thing for SOE to say as much, quite another for them to go about phasing money-making components into a game that’s been operating for free under the beta banner for months. One point of contention has emerged around weapons - purchasable for real money in the store but with no means to test them beforehand.

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Planetside 2 Australian servers now live

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Planetside 2 Australian servers now livePlanetside 2 has scarcely been born, but like an ancient leviathan it lives by the Old Laws - an eye for an eye, a landmass for a landmass. In its latest update it consumed and digested an entire continent; when it was finished, verdant Amerish had become part of its bulbous whole. In return, the beast now deigns to wrap its service tendrils around another country: Australia.

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