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Atari Purchases Cryptic Studios For $26.7 Million 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the rare-positive-mmo-news dept.
Trevor DeRiza writes "Early this morning, Atari announced that they had purchased US MMO developer Cryptic Studios for an initial 26.7 million USD, along with a possible 20 million USD bonus for future performance. Cryptic has three games coming out in the next three years: Champions Online (2009), Star Trek Online (2010), and a secret project (2011). All three will now be released under the Atari logo." This is welcome news in light of all the recent troubles in the MMO market.
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Atari Purchases Cryptic Studios For $26.7 Million

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  • by u4ya (1248548)
    ooooh... do I see a duke nukem forever mmo in the works?
  • Seriously how many asteroids cartridges does it take to amass a fortune that rides you through 20 years of being relegated to the sidelines.

    I am surprised Atari still exists, even more so that it has tens of millions to invest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually, this is Atari in name only. The brand has been handed around for some years, and now Infogrames owns it. They've been slapping it on stuff to try to cash in on the nostalgia factor. Atari of today has absolutely nothing in common with the console maker of yesteryear.
    • by grahamd0 (1129971) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:23PM (#26055129)

      I am surprised Atari still exists, even more so that it has tens of millions to invest.

      Atari, the company that made those cartridges you remember, doesn't exist [wikipedia.org]. The name is still around, and they've published some good titles.

      I played Champions online at Gen Con, it looks pretty cool. I wouldn't be surprised if it prints money for them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LingNoi (1066278)

      They went bankrupt, that only thing that is still the same about Atari is the name.

  • Champions Online (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Metapsyborg (754855) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:17PM (#26055087)
    Hopefully Champions Online gets some additional funding due to this buy out. It could be a really awesome game if it gets enough funds. Cryptic and Jack Emmert designed City of Heroes and they learned from the mistakes made in that game. If Atari can just keep from meddling in the development cycle of CO (ie pushing it out too soon or trying to WoW-ify it), they might have a great game.
    • by Bieeanda (961632) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:43PM (#26055255)
      Emmert was basically a developer only in name, and he was the only one of the main City of Heroes developers to remain with Cryptic after CoX was sold to NCSoft. Not to mention that they've brought Bill Roper on, one of the idea men who leapt from Blizzard and sank to the bottom with Flagship.

      Assuming that Champions will be worth the plastic it's pressed on, just because the Cryptic name is involved, is like assuming that Tabula Rasa would be good because Richard Garriott was involved. Or, more accurately, assuming that the Tekwar novels would be good because William Shatner acted in science fiction parts.

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Metapsyborg (754855)
        Tabula Rasa received a poor reception largely because it was released prematurely. A classic management error that is seen in every sector. "Talent" is usually just given the bare minimum of time to create a product before it is pushed out the door. I enjoyed the game, the same as I enjoyed Auto Assault and Saga of Ryzom. Just because a company has declared them not profitable enough to continue supporting, doesn't mean they were bad games. The "masses" are not known for their good taste in art or media.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by FnordX (115944)

          Funny, I thought it didn't do well because it wasn't fun.

          Guess us "masses" should just sit down, shut up and buy what people tell us, even if we don't like it.

          • Did you actually play Tabula Rasa, or are you just basing this on what other people (that is, "the masses") have said? There isn't one universal definition of "fun" because it's a very personal and subjective thing. I actually find TR to be quite fun, personally, but I know that there are people who disagree. Does that mean they're right and I'm wrong, or vice-versa? No, it's just that we have different tastes.

            This is why game design is very hard, because you have to anticipate what a lot of people will

      • by vjmurphy (190266)

        Or, more accurately, assuming that the Tekwar novels would be good because William Shatner acted in science fiction parts.

        This sentence makes no sense. Are you implying that something Shatner did was not good? Emmy-award-winning William Shatner, the man who defeated God in Star Trek V?

        I was with you until that point...

      • by illumin8 (148082)

        Not to mention that they've brought Bill Roper on, one of the idea men who leapt from Blizzard and sank to the bottom with Flagship.

        Oh god, if Bill Roper is there it is most likely doomed to failure. Can you say "flagshipped"? I used to really admire the guy, but after the clusterfuck that was Hellgate London and his refusal to take any responsibility for it's failure and demise, I will never again buy a product made by him.

        And CoH and CoV were really good games. I do have a lot of hope for the DC Univer

      • by etogre88 (1429075)
        That's too bad it had to happen like that though, that's all that anyone is saying.
    • Looks interesting. I remember playing the Champions paper-and-pencil RPG back in the 80's (in fact I still have the rule books). I have no idea if this game is related to that in any way.

      Apparently I'm most similar to Doctor Destroyer. He reminds me of Magneto which I have to admit has always been my favorite Marvel character.

      • by urulokion (597607)

        Crypitc bought out the Champions IP from Hero Games. Champions Online is not a MMORPG set to Hero Systems rules. It's has it's own set game fules. The only things that will be partially recognizable will be the NPCs and organizations. And I say partially because they are mangling the Champions source material. The more I found out about it, the more I'm turned off. AT the moment, I'm not going to to touch it until free trials become available.

  • Sorry if I sound especially critical, but almost all MMOs just aren't worth playing. Not only are they expensive ($50 + $15 a month), but they also require huge time demands, so typically people have especially high standards.

    If the company is producing three in tandem, I can't see how they could possibly finish all the content and polish an MMO needs.

    • by grahamd0 (1129971) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:25PM (#26055137)

      If the company is producing three in tandem, I can't see how they could possibly finish all the content and polish an MMO needs.

      Three distinct teams?

    • [MMOs] also require huge time demands...

      That isn't really true anymore. City of Heroes, for example, is a very easy game to play in short bursts. MMO's have been trending towards casual-friendliness for a good few years now.

      Well, American ones have, anyway. I think the Asian games are still in the "you will spend ten hours questing with a carefully chosen selection of classes and LIKE IT!" mentality.

  • The MMO market is fine and is growing.

    It's relatively easy to build a player base even in a bad game. For an MMO to truly fail requires a staggering chain of bad decisions and mismanagement. Tabula Rasa is an ideal example of it.

    One of biggest mistakes made is to try and compete with World of Warcraft.

  • 2009, not 2010 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Swordopolis (1159065)
    STO is projected for a late 2009 release, and nothing I've seen related to this merger has changed that.

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