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Vicarious Existence

To blog about what is going on in the MMO genre from a casual MMO player's viewpoint.

Author: UnSub

Breaking News: Atari Buys Cryptic Studios

Posted by UnSub Tuesday December 9 2008 at 8:07AM
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In some pretty surprising news, Atari has announced it has bought Cryptic Studios for a shade under US $27 million, with additional bonuses adding a potential extra US $20 million to the deal.

At the time of writing, both the Champions Online site and Star Trek Online site (Cryptic's known under-development titles) are offline. The official Cryptic Studios site doesn't yet feature this news.

I'm extremely surprised that Atari has bought Cryptic. For a while there Cryptic looked like being one of the independent studios who stood apart from major publishers and did things their own way... but at the same time, there were questions about how Cryptic was going to self-publish both ChampO and STO without having a major revenue stream available to them. Perhaps the numbers weren't adding up and Cryptic didn't want to sign onto the usual suspects (i.e. SOE, Vivendi, NCsoft) and took a different kind of deal.

I'm sure the next thing out will be a PR statement about how nothing will change at Cryptic as a result of this; expect the release date of Champions Online to drop back a bit (it was going to be Q2 2009; it will probably shift to Q4 2009) as well as some other changes to how Cryptic had planned to operate when they were going it alone.

Also: City of Heroes / Villains has brought into NCsoft over US $100 million dollars? Even at US $25 million a year, that isn't bad.

UPDATE: To avoid confusion, all Cryptic websites are currently up and running at this point in time and carry information about the takeover.