Rant: Daybreak Quietly Sold Off Cold Iron

And is now scrubbing any mention of it from their website.

If there’s one thing you can anticipate from Daybreak Game Company, and even now under their new leadership by EG7 which is really just the old guard selling the company to themselves, it’s revisionist history. Yes the same company who expect us to believe that they’ve casually been wrong about being owned by a Russian oligarch for three years. We can chatter on all day about how Jason Epstein very likely took the company in his own name in order to avoid Daybreak being seized by government authorities when Columbus Nova eventually got in legal trouble, but that’s not the topic of this article.

Daybreak Game Company appears to have quietly divested itself of Cold Iron Studios earlier this year. I found out about this because Bree over at MassivelyOP reported this morning that Daybreak had silently deleted a press release announcing their acquisition of Cold Iron Studios. In addition the EG7 financial report makes no mention of Aliens: Fireteam Elite, and the game’s Steam page has no mention of EG7 or Daybreak as publisher. In addition, Cold Iron’s website has no mention of Daybreak.

So I went to my rolodex and came to the conclusion one of the easiest ways to get an answer is to check the trademarks. As an obsessive person who monitors details sane people don’t care about, I have essentially a photographic memory of what trademarks Daybreak owns. So I knew from seeing it a dozen times that Daybreak owned the trademarks not just for Cold Iron Studios but to their logo. So I look up Daybreak’s company profile in the trademark database and what do you think is missing? Cold Iron Studios.

For reference, here is a notice of address change from January 27, 2021 signed by Daybreak’s normal representative Monica B. Richman, for the photo logo.

On February 16, 2021, Daybreak receives a notice of allowance that the trademark has been published without opposition. Owner is once again listed as Daybreak Game Company.

No documents are filed until August 4 when an application for a six month extension is submitted. At this point the owner is now listed as Cold Iron Studios LLC. Now Cold Iron Studios is located in San Jose, California, so naturally for tax purposes they’re declared as a Delaware citizen and registered under The Corporation Trust Company. That has nothing to do with this article, I just wanted to point it out.

Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Daybreak and Cold Iron Studios split ways at some point earlier this year. Why? Who knows. At this juncture, who cares? Aliens: Fireteam Elite is being published by Focus Home Interactive, a company I trust more to tell the truth. If it weren’t for the trademark filings literally showing that at one point Daybreak was taking over Cold Iron’s IPs, I honestly wouldn’t put it past a Daybreak rep to claim they never owned Cold Iron and actually the press release was announcing that Jason Epstein bought a cold iron from Wayfair to iron his clothes. Because they’d lie about something like that and their excuse would be that stupid.

With the ouster of Robin Flodin and the return of Ji Ham failing his way upwards into the role of “acting CEO,” similar to his “acting” role in Daybreak that he spent way too long at, all EG7 is telling us is that they’re essentially diet Daybreak Game Company again. All of the failure with none of the calories. All of the bullcrap and misdirection and lies and incompetence, but now in full public view as they are a traded company again. Except we’re in sequel territory, where now Ji Ham can burn other developers as well.

Ji Ham’s LinkedIn shows him as CEO of Daybreak from July 2015 onward, meaning his leadership brought us the spectacular failures that were Planetside Arena, Everquest Next, Everquest Landmark, Landmark’s refund scheme, the launch and subsequent self-immolations of H1Z1 and Z1: Battle Royale, the failed partnership with NantG Mobile, the failed H1Z1 pro league, the many many high profile departures of much-beloved staff, and the unsuccessful development of several mobile titles, all culminating in Daybreak selling itself in a fire-sale to a company its owners also owned. Because everything Daybreak does is shady.

So it doesn’t shock me that where any other company would put up a press release saying “yo fam we bought this dev beat but now we splittin, dawg” (I may not be using proper business phrases here), that Daybreak would say nothing, quietly delete historical evidence, and act like nothing ever happened. Because Daybreak executives can’t turn on the coffee machine in the morning without doing so in a way that looks suspicious and for no reason start shredding company receipts for the coffee. Once again I’m forced to go back to my analogy of the compulsively lying child and exposit my frustration that Daybreak makes everything it does look like they’re hiding something.

Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.

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