Sony Online Founds Tucson Studio
Sony Online Entertainment is known for its MMOs, but the company has now expanded its efforts in online strategy and trading card games with a new acquisition.
SOE announced Monday the purchase of Tucson, Ariz.-based Octopi, developers of the online collectible strategy game PoxNora. Members of the Octopi dev team will make up the core of newly-founded SOE Tucson.
The acquisition of Octopi, made official on January 16, follows the 2006 acquisition of online trading card game developer Worlds Apart Productions, now known as SOE Denver. SOE said the two studios will "work closely" with one another on the company’s current and upcoming strategy game offerings.
In a press statement, SOE president John Smedley said, "Our strategy and trading card games have been successful beyond our wildest dreams. Expanding with a great product like PoxNora and the outstanding development team from Octopi gives us a chance to extend our strategy game offerings and enhance the ones we already field."
[UPDATE] Some PoxNora fans on Octopi’s message boards were standoffish about the acquisition, worried about potential changes to the game. But one staffer who goes by "Daggon" commented: "Just wanted to jump in and let everyone know how great the SOE acquisition is for the Octopi team, the PoxNora game and for you, the PoxNora players.
"The entire Octopi team has become SOE Tucson and there will not be any dramatic changes to the game you love. Sony loves what we are doing and wants to give us the support to make it even better. That would include getting a ton more people in here playing the game and giving us the resources to take this game to the next level. Hang tight and enjoy the ride with us."
An SOE rep confirmed to Edge that Octopi has been outright purchased along with PoxNora: "Octopi is now SOE Tucson. All of its 17 employees are now SOE employees. The studio will begin collaborating immediately with SOE Denver on our collectible online strategy games, both existing titles and future titles."