Daybreak Games, publisher of Z1 Battle Royale and Planetside 2, announced the acquisition of Cold Iron Studios, a San Jose-based studio that is currently working on a yet-unnamed massively multiplayer title set in the Aliens universe.
This marks the second major studio news from Daybreak Games in 2020, following a "Franchise First" initiative in January. At that time, Daybreak Games established three new franchise studios: Dimensional Ink Games, Darkpaw Games and Rogue Planet Games. These three teams each were established to work on key franchises for Daybreak Games including DC Universe Online, EverQuest, and Planetside 2. Around the same time as the Daybreak Games studio initiative, Cold Iron Studios was rumored to be sold off by their parent company Scopely.
Cold Iron Studios was previously under the banner of FoxNext after Disney's acquisition of Fox back in 2019. Shortly thereafter, FoxNext (and Cold Iron) were sold to mobile developer Scopely, most recently known for Marvel Strike Force. Terms of the Daybreak Games and Cold Iron Studios deal were not disclosed.
The development of the untitled Aliens game will continue at Cold Iron Studios with co-founder Craig Zinkievich continuing to lead the studio following the merger with Daybreak Games. Among the development staff working on the Aliens title include Rob Howard, designer for Human Head Studios as well as Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon.
Cold Iron Studios was established in 2015 by the creators of City of Heroes, Star Trek Online and Neverwinter. Since then, the studio has expanded to 40+ awesome developers, a diverse group of passionate gamers with decades of experience developing and launching award-winning MMO and action titles. Under the new ownership, Cold Iron Studios will operate independently with Daybreak acting as publisher providing marketing, tech and operational support.
The yet-unnamed Aliens project aims to be a AAA/MMO shooter targeting both consoles and PC. While details of the project remain scarce, recent job postings for a Console Gameplay Engineer reference developing "new features and mechanics within Unreal Engine 4," hinting at a current gen console release rather than exclusively next gen.