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Sony sells online gaming unit to NY investment fund

MUMBAI: Sony has sold its online video game unit Sony Online Entertainment to New York-based investment firm Columbus Nova for an undisclosed sum.

The unit will now operate as an independent game studio under the Daybreak Game Company.

“We have been acquired by Columbus Nova, an investment management firm well known for its success with its existing portfolio of technology, media and entertainment-focused companies,” the company posted.

The move will allow its engineers to offer titles to customers through various platforms like Microsoft’s  Xbox and smartphones, as well as Sony’s PlayStation.

Columbus Nova already owns the maker of the music video game Rock Band.

Sony’s Online Entertainment unit saw major layoffs in 2013 and the sale is the latest in a string of divestitures and restructuring moves by Sony.

The game studio is known for popular internet-based multiplayer game titles such as ‘3D Fantasy EverQuest’. The studio said that the deal will not affect the development of titles and software currently under way.

“Our games and players are the heart and soul of our organisation, and we are committed to maintaining our portfolio of online games and pushing the limits of where we can take online gaming together,” it said.

Founded in 2000, Columbus Nova manages over $15 billion in assets through its own funds and affiliated portfolio companies, according to the statement from the company. In 2010, it acquired Harmonix Music Systems, the maker of Rock Band and Dance Central, from Viacom.