NantWorks didn’t disclose the size of its investment but said it obtained a controlling interest in the new venture with Daybreak, dubbed NantG Mobile LLC. That new venture will develop and publish mobile versions of current Daybreak games and build and publish video games across all platforms.
In addition, the venture will assume control and management of the current PC H1Z1: Battle Royale game.
NantWorks Chairman and Chief Executive Patrick Soon-Shiong, who also owns the Los Angeles Times, will join Daybreak’s board.
NantWorks is planning to build LA Times Center adjacent to the new Los Angeles Times headquarters in El Segundo. LA Times Center will include an event space, LA Times production studio and e-sports arenas, and will serve as a venue for NantG Mobile to establish e-sports leagues for multiple game titles, starting with Z1 Battle Royale, a revitalized, PC-based version of H1Z1: Battle Royale.
Separately, the Los Angeles Times is expected soon to be adding coverage of e-sports competitions in its sports section.
San Diego-based Daybreak is the developer and publisher of H1Z1: Battle Royale, which is available on PC and has more than 12 million players on PlayStation 4 to date. Its games portfolio also includes the EverQuest MMO franchise, PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online, The Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online.
The gaming studio is owned by Jason Epstein, who is its chairman.
“Daybreak Games is pleased to have NantWorks as our investment partner to support and accelerate the growth of our company,” Epstein said in a statement. “Working with NantWorks, NantStudio and Dr. Soon-Shiong will allow us to maintain our cutting-edge development in the video game industry and to benefit from Nant’s technological expertise and reach as a resource.”
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“I am delighted that our software capabilities at NantWorks, together with the creative expertise and infrastructure at NantStudio – which includes our low latency fiber network, will help accelerate the development of the platform at Daybreak, a company with history dating back to its origins as Sony Online Entertainment,” said Soon-Shiong. “Their achievements in the development of gaming technology have contributed greatly to this emerging field of virtual sports and we view this medium as an important media engagement engine.”