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Former Sony Online Entertainment head now leads new venture

Former Daybreak CEO and Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley will lead new studio, Pixelmage Games.

Former Daybreak CEO and Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) president John Smedley will lead new studio, Pixelmage Games.

A veteran of the industry, Smedley was the co-founder of Verant Interactive, which was absorbed by Sony Online Entertainment after it was purchased by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2000. He then led SOE for a number of years, overseeing the creation of titles such as DC Universe OnlinePlanetside, and H1Z1, and stayed with the company after it was sold off and rebranded as Daybreak.

Smedley eventually stepped down as CEO and president of Daybreak in July 2015. Although it was initially thought he would take on a new role at the company, it seems he had other ideas, and just three months after he stepped aside it was rumored that Smedley had left Daybreak altogether.

As it turns out, those rumors were true, and joining Smedley at Pixelmage are a team of veteran creatives, including Bill Trost, lead designer and co-creator of the EverQuest franchise, and Patrick Rothfuss, the New York Times best-selling author behind The Name of the Wind. 

Pixelmage Games was founded in October last year and has been developing the core elements and prototype for its debut title, action RPG Hero’s Song, ever since. The studio has already raised $1 million from private investors and will use Kickstarter to raise another $800,000 to finish development. 

If all goes to plan, Pixelmage intends to launch the game in October this year.

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