If you not only play Neverwinter but also monitor the MMO genre as a whole, you probably stumbled upon the crazy story of Daybreak and Columbus Nova last week. We won’t go into detail here, because MassivelyOP, who pretty much accidentally broke and investigated the story, has covered the development extensively.
Columbus Nova Who?
We do however want to give a short tl;dr in case you don’t feel like listening to the full MOP emergency podcast. As part of the ongoing investigation into suspected interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the U.S. Department of Treasury froze assets worth $2 billion from oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, who owns the company that allegedly bought Daybreak in 2015. Obviously players (and MOP) immediately started asking Daybreak whether this would affect their day-to-day operations. And this is where stuff got weird, because their PR argued that Columbus Nova ever owned the company. At the same time they went out deleting any reference of the 2015 sale, including their own press releases.
That raised some eyebrows to say the least. What felt like a cover-up by Daybreak was followed by massive layoffs, which just added more fuel to the fire. Now in the end, it indeed looks like Columbus Nova technically did never actually own Daybreak, and that the timing of the layoffs were just coincidental. Players however are still rightfully concerned.
Neverwinter and D&D Online
Now what does this all have to do with Neverwinter? Well, Daybreak also publishes another popular MMORPG in the D&D universe, Dungeons & Dragons Online. Although developer Standing Stone Games said they don’t think it’ll have an effect on them at all, much is uncertain at this point. Columbus Nova might have never been real, but the 70-100 layoffs are. Daybreak is in a severe streamlining and restructuring process, and could possible even get sold. So who knows what is going to happen with the MMORPGs of Standing Stone Games.
To be clear: Nobody likes layoffs or games getting shut down. But if it indeed gets worse for Dungeons & Dragons Online (which is purely speculative at this point), then a bunch of fans of the franchise will be looking for another game. And the most logical switch is obviously Neverwinter. Although the games can’t be directly compared, DDO is a natural competitor to Neverwinter. It for example just got a Ravenloft updated, which we assume will be the setting of NWO’s Mod 14 as well.
So yeah, there’s your connection between the whole Daybreak fiasco and our game. We’re not even sure what to make out of this mess, but thought it might be worth sharing anyway.
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