SOE picks up Steam, Tucson studio

MMOG maker adds bulk of its MMOG games to Valve's digital delivery storefront, acquires Pox Nora online CCG creator Octopi.

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Sony Online Entertainment may be synonymous with massively multiplayer online gaming, but the publisher has in recent years made a significant push into the collectible-card game space. Most notably, in 2007 the publisher rolled out Legends of Norrath: Oathbound, an in-game CCG that integrates into both EverQuest and EverQuest II.

The quest continues.
The quest continues.

This week, SOE took one step further into the CCG development business, announcing the acquisition of Tucson, Arizona-based Octopi. As part of the deal, SOE now owns the rights to Octopi's Pox Nora, an online strategy game that melds collectible cards and turn-based strategy, as well as in-development projects at the studio.

SOE plans to integrate the current Octopi team into SOE's new studio, based in Tucson. The new studio will continue support for Pox Nora as well as develop new CCG and strategy games in collaboration with SOE's Denver studio, which it acquired in 2006.

Along with news of its new CCG-focused studio, Sony Online Entertainment has also announced a collaboration with Valve. As part of the arrangement, SOE will distribute the bulk of its MMOG roster through the Half-Life creator's digital delivery storefront, Steam. Games covered under the deal include EverQuest, its latest expansion Seeds of Destruction, EverQuest II, its latest expansion The Shadow Odyssey, Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, and Pirates of the Burning Sea.

To promote the arrangement, SOE said that all new accounts created after the purchase of its games through Steam will receive 30 days of free gameplay.

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