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Businesses Entertainment Games

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) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @10:59PM (#26054943) Homepage
    ooooh... do I see a duke nukem forever mmo in the works?
    • by brygl (1414957) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:03PM (#26054981)
      Pong Forever?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:04PM (#26054985)

      When I was 17, my parents had an 15 year old female exchange student from Spain. My parents wanted a girl that could hang out with my little sister. My sister and Veronica (the exchange student) didn't get along very well, but they still did a few things together. I was in heaven to have such a hot girl always hanging around our house. And, the best part was that she always wore such skimpy clothes and even occasionally changed clothes without shutting the bedroom door. I caught a few glimpses of her in just her panties and bra. She had such a perfect body and dark smooth skin.

      One day, my mom informed me that I would be taking my sister and Veronica to the mall. I hate the mall, but I agreed--mostly just to get the chance to walk around behind Veronica and stare at her perfect ass as she walked around the mall in the tight mini skirt she was wearing that day. When we got to the mall, my sister ran into a group of friends that she knew from school, and she took off leaving Veronica alone with me. I felt a bit uncomfortable, but Veronica said in her broken English that she needed to buy clothes. So, we went into JC Penney. I tagged along with her as she picked out some clothes and a swimsuit. Then she headed over to the dressing rooms. I sat down outside to wait for her. After a few seconds she came out in one of the outfits and asked how I liked it. I said she looked very beautiful, and she kinda blushed at that. Then she told me to come into the dressing room for a second. I asked her why, and she said she wanted to know if I liked the swimsuit, but she didn't want to have to walk out into the main part of the store to show me. So I stepped into the dressing room and she shut the door behind us. I thought she would ask me to turn around, but she didn't! She just started undressing right in front of me! I was getting so horny. I stared at her dumbfounded as she slipped off her blouse, skirt, then her bra and panties. She asked me if I liked her body and I think I managed to mutter yes. She bent over to pick up the swimsuit and I had a perfect view of her soft pussy mound. I noticed that it was glistening a bit with drops of fluid. I wondered if she was horny for me. I brushed my hand against her ass as she was standing up and she turned and smiled at me. Then I knew it was my opportunity. I grabbed her arm gently and turned her around and pulled her body towards me. We started kissing passionately and I touched every part of her naked body I could reach. She slipped my shirt off over my head and I felt her wonderful breasts press against my chest. I turned her around so that I could massage her breasts and finger her pussy while I kissed her neck from behind. She seemed to really enjoy that. Before long my pants were off and I let my hard cock slide between her butt cheeks. She bent over slightly and directed my cock towards the wet mound between her legs. I felt the head of my dick penetrate about an inch into her and I almost came right away. But I held back and slowly thrusted until my whole cock was buried in her damn tight pussy.

      She kept saying, "Yes...mas...yes...mas!" And I knew I was about to climax. So I reached around and grabbed the front of her thighs and humped her as hard as I could. I nearly lifted her off the ground as I thrusted into her. The feeling of her ass ramming against my inner thighs was the best! And, I came deep into her pussy.

      We kissed a lot more and finally cleaned up to leave the dressing room. I found out that she was a virgin too before that day. But, she had fucked herself with cucumbers back in Spain so she would experience no pain on her first time. That summer turned out to be the best summer ever. We taught each other everything about oral sex, anal sex, toys, and mutual masturbation. WOW!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:34PM (#26055203)
      shut the fuck up, tampon. fag nukem sucked the first time around and this will be no different.

      half life ftw! you dumb faggot bitch hoe.
  • by nsingapu (658028) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:08PM (#26055021) Homepage

    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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:16PM (#26055071)

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

      Word!

      • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:26PM (#26061577) Journal

        It did more or less go bankrupt after the 2600 had fully closed up shop. It petered along as little more than a name and a P.O. box, then started getting into publishing and distributing other people's work, and that's where there big money nowadays comes from. Hence buying the guys who built City of Heroes (yes, NCSoft did do a successful MMO) and a few other successful things ahead of their next superhero game, Trek Online, and whatever the secret project is.

        A bit of a stretch, but if they can learn from Eve: Online and Star Wars: Galaxies about what to do and not to do with a SF-based MMORPG, they should be ok.

        I don't even know if Eve did anything wrong, now that I think about it, aside from mechanical stuff like stability and, of course, lag issues (does the screen still, 4 years later, have to freeze for 2 seconds every time I open a new window?)

        SW:G, though, don't get me started. That was a SW wrapper aound a standard MMORPG with very little Star-Warsy about the gameplay whatsoever. Because, if you'll remember from the movies, nothing says Star Wars like running around grasslands killing thousands and thousands of giraffe-thingies, which, for some reason, can give 5 guys with blasters and 1 guy with a flame thrower a good, serious 60-second tussel.

        • I don't even know if Eve did anything wrong, now that I think about it, aside from mechanical stuff like stability and, of course, lag issues (does the screen still, 4 years later, have to freeze for 2 seconds every time I open a new window?),

          now that you mention it:

          * Boring missions
          * Grind (yes, GRIND! for Rep & ISK)
          * Confusing UI
          * Ugly-ass ships
          * meaningless character portrait
          * the meat of the game being unfun on its own.
          * too clear and too short a line between "safe" and "dead"

          So, yes, aside from all of those things, CCP didn't do anything wrong with Eve. (They did a fair bit RIGHT, but they did a hell of a lot wrong.)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:20PM (#26055107)
      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.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:10PM (#26061311)

        Indeed. It looked pretty solid.

        I was very surprised to find myself preferring the Xbox 360 controller to the mouse for play.

        I mean, I still wanted that keyboard for menus (and got yelled at becase they "weren't showing that today"...multiple times) but the gamepad just felt right for what they were doing.

    • by LingNoi (1066278) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:27PM (#26055157)

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

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:29PM (#26055169)

      Last I checked, Atari was owned by Infogrames. So Atari is just the long established, well recognized brand these studios will publish under. Infogrames has the money. ;-)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @07:28PM (#26067603)

      Atari is Infograms American division, after S11 to avoid anti French sentiment it renamed itself in the west.

      Infograms technically is seperate though and is the parent company based out of France.

  • 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:Champions Online (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Metapsyborg (754855) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:52AM (#26055733)
        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.

        Of course Jack stayed with Cryptic, he basically founded the company. City of Heroes was his project for years and the other developers (who are now working for CoH with NCSoft) were brought into his project. There were many years where Jack was the lead developer of City of Heroes. I'm not too sure of his level of involvement with Champions, but the fact that he created the only other MMO in this genre means something in his favor.
        • by FnordX (115944) <fnord @ c y b erspace.org> on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @09:42AM (#26059107)

          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.

          • by Psychochild (64124) <psychochild@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Saturday December 13, 2008 @09:59PM (#26107695) Homepage

            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 find fun. This also explains why we see so many clones and sequels instead of original games: because it's easier to copy an existing game that has been proven popular than to try to create something new that nobody is sure about. One of the hardest lessons a professional game designer has to learn is that your tastes in fun aren't universal; if you're fortunate, enough people will share your tastes in fun, though.

            I believe the parent post's point is not that "the masses" need to STFU and enjoy what someone says is good, rather that "the masses" don't speak for everyone and thus the opinion of the masses shouldn't be taken as gospel. Further, the grandparent post's point works with this as well: people don't always know what's good or not, they tend to use mental shortcuts like looking at a particular individual on the team or going along with the groupthink on a topic.

            Games, and especially online games, are a team effort. One person's contribution is only part of the whole, even in a leadership position. So attributing a game's success (or sometimes failure) to a single person misses the mark.

            Some thoughts from an online game developer.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @02:09AM (#26056207)

        For me, City of Heroes improved once Emmert and his 'design vision' started working on other projects. Emmert is a great idea man and manager, but really he should leave the actual 'developing' part to someone else.

      • by vjmurphy (190266) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @09:46AM (#26059141) Homepage

        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) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @11:27AM (#26060595) Journal

        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 Universe, but it could end up sucking if Atari ruins it. Also, the trailer for Star Trek looks very nice.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:50PM (#26061949)

        I can't speak for designers, which is what I assume Emmert is, but if by developer, you mean programmer, you are spouting BS.

        I do not work at Cryptic myself, but I know lots of programmers who do and did, and the company hardly cleaned house on programmers with the NC Soft deal.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @05:14PM (#26065985)

        I predict 100% fail from this decision.

        Roper is the captain of the failboat, and he's going to flagship all of these projects into the ground.

        We're never going to see Star Trek Online.

      • by etogre88 (1429075) on Thursday December 11, 2008 @06:09AM (#26072609) Homepage
        That's too bad it had to happen like that though, that's all that anyone is saying.
    • by Cthefuture (665326) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @12:45AM (#26055695)

      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) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @02:27AM (#26056331)

        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.

  • by DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:19PM (#26055105)

    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?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @02:16AM (#26056279)

        Cryptic had been working on Champions for awhile, and really it was the system Emmert wanted to work with all along. They made money off of City of Heroes and even more when they sold it off to NCSoft; and Star Trek at least has outside funding. They can afford three concurrent development teams. They might even benefit from three design teams sharing resources and catching bugs.

        And if nothing else, saying that having three projects in development at once means they will all suck is ridiculous. Blizzard is working on at least that many projects right now.

        • by bdenton42 (1313735) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @01:00PM (#26062125)

          And if nothing else, saying that having three projects in development at once means they will all suck is ridiculous. Blizzard is working on at least that many projects right now.

          Blizzard has $100M to $150M revenue coming in every month, which is a ton more potential development funding than a company that is worth only $26M is capable of.

    • by CrashPoint (564165) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @03:14PM (#26064195)

      [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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @05:29PM (#26066189)

      See I actually think MMOs are quite cheap.
      When I buy a single player RPG, I usually finish it in 2 weeks, 3 tops. Most MMOs I've played, I've enjoyed for at least 2 months. For $65 I get 3-4 times the entertainment of a $50 game.
      They don't want you to play the game for only 2 months, that doesn't mean we have to.

  • by Inominate (412637) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:24PM (#26055133)

    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.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @02:35AM (#26056369)

      I wish Richard Garriot would just return to his roots (although the past is past and one gets tired of it), cut a deal with the devil (er, EA, although the devil might offer better terms) for some old Origin UO, and make Ultima X, which was intended to be UO's successor for a MMO.

      I almost am certain that would be a hit if done correctly and not released until it was done, even if it means 5-7 years from now.

      Most MMOs seem to be released half-baked and almost unplayable due to bugs which never should have left alpha. WoW and WAR are exceptions to this, although WAR ended up jettisoning most of its content, and the new content (such as the Blackguard class) can never be opened by new players. So, if you want to play a class that other players kick your tush in PvP with on your other server, you have to hit ebay and buy an older WAR account, as your new account isn't going to be seeing any of that content.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @01:49PM (#26062857)
        Why can't anyone make a Blackguard? I couldn't for a week or so because I didn't do some event, but that has changed. I made one yesterday. Too bad it is just a different Ironbreaker, at least that is how it appears.
  • 2009, not 2010 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Swordopolis (1159065) on Tuesday December 09, 2008 @11:29PM (#26055177)
    STO is projected for a late 2009 release, and nothing I've seen related to this merger has changed that.
  • wow gold (Score:-1, Troll)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @03:40AM (#26056679)

    Nice job! thanks for your information.

    ----------
    I know some wow gold [vcsale.com] in wow, cheap wow gold [vcsale.com]farmed by man.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 10, 2008 @10:38AM (#26059837)

    welcome our new Galaga overlords!

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