We’ve updated the end of this post with the confirmation and press release; we’ve left the original reporting intact.
For the last year, it seems that Daybreak has registered more trademarks and domain names and social media accounts than it has produced actual content for its MMO.
MMO readers will recall that in earlier this year, Daybreak finally confirmed the registrations made back in 2019: Rogue Planet Games was created to run the PlanetSide franchise, Dimensional Ink for DC Universe Online and a secret in-dev title, and Darkpaw Games for the EverQuest franchise, all still owned and operated by Daybreak. H1Z1 had been left in limbo, but then in May, Daybreak registered Wandering Monster Games, which might have something to do with the zombie apocalypse battle royale franchise, though there’s no confirmation on that yet.
Let’s do more! Theory Forge’s Scott Anderson noticed that Daybreak has in the last few weeks filed trademarks for something called Cold Iron too. His take – and he’s often right – is that it’s for a new IP or new game content; it could be the secret game being worked on by Dimensional Ink.
It’s also worth noting that a team using the Cold Iron Studios name already exists: It’s the group run by former Cryptic devs that was working on an Alien-franchise MMOFPS, but the studio’s parent company was sold off to a mobile games company, Scopely, earlier this year. So far as we can tell, it’s still a going concern, so we doubt they’re related, but if the name “Cold Iron” tickled a memory, that’s probably why. [Edit: MOP reader fatherteachergamer points out that the logos are the same too, so maybe it’s more than a coincidence. We’ll wait and see.]
Two new trademarks have been filed by @DaybreakGames on 7/31 and 8/3. Cold Iron and a logo. Note it does not say games on the end making me believe this is an expansion of some sort or new IP. pic.twitter.com/j9HVNMyd35
— Scott (@MSandersonD) August 10, 2020
August 11, 2020 – Daybreak Games, global publisher and developer of large-scale multiplayer online games, today announced it acquired Cold Iron Studios, the San Jose based studio of veteran MMO, action and shooter developers currently working on a PC and console game set in the iconic Alien universe.
Cold Iron Studios co-founder Craig Zinkievich will continue to lead the studio and the development of the Alien game, reporting to Ji Ham, CEO of Daybreak Games. The game promises to deliver an action-packed, sci-fi shooter experience unlike any other game on the market.
“We’re incredibly proud and excited to be part of the Daybreak family,” said Zinkievich. “Daybreak and Cold Iron share the same passion and long history for delivering action-packed multiplayer games for audiences worldwide. In combining our decades of experience developing and launching globally successful multiplayer titles, we’re destined to make great games together.”
“We are delighted to have Cold Iron Studios join the Daybreak Games family and accelerate our next generation of growth,” said Ham. “Strategic investments in highly talented and proven teams that have outstanding leaders and a track record of developing awesome online games is an important part of our growth and strategy for Daybreak.”
Cold Iron Studios was established in 2015 by the creators of City of Heroes, Star Trek Online and Neverwinter. Under the new ownership, Cold Iron Studios will operate independently with Daybreak acting as publisher providing marketing, tech and operational support.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
As we previously noted, Cold Iron was originally founded a few years ago by ex-Cryptic developers Craig Zinkievich, Shannon Posniewski, and Matt Highison and was working on an Alien MMOFPS. It was owned by FoxNext Games, which was the same company that owned FogBank, the studio run by former SWTOR heads, but FoxNext was sold by Disney to a mobile games company called Scopely earlier this year. Apparently, Scopely’s now sold it to Daybreak Games, with the same leadership and in-dev Alien game intact. According to the presser, Cold Iron has over 40 developers in its employ now.