Atari to sell Star Trek Online dev Cryptic

Publisher Atari is looking to sell Cryptic Studios, the developer of Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and the upcoming Neverwinter.


Atari is divesting its interest in Cryptic Studios, developer of Champions Online and Star Trek Online, looking to sell it, Gamasutra reports. The publisher only acquired Cryptic in December 2008.

"In line with the previously stated strategy of fewer but more profitable releases and further expansion into casual online and mobile games, the Company has determined that external development creates more flexibility in the changing marketplace," Atari explained in an earnings report.

Atari will continue to run and support Cryptic's MMORPGs Star Trek Online and Champions Online while it looks to sell the studio, Gamasutra says. Development on Neverwinter, Cryptic's co-op-oriented take on the D&D RPG series, will continue at least for now. Neverwinter was announced in August 2010, then slated to launch on PC in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Cryptic lost $7.5 million in the past fiscal year, though this was down from a $17.9 million loss the year before. The studio boasted that Champions Online's revenues increased by over 1000% after it went free-to-play in January 2011 but evidently this wasn't quite enough.

Cryptic community representative 'WishStone' took to the forums, explaining, "Right now I have no further details other than what has been mentioned elsewhere. Support for Champions Online and Star Trek Online will be continuing as normal, our staff is working hard on their projects... and there are no planned changes to the way any of our games and projects will operate.

When Atari picked up Cryptic only 29 months ago, Atari CEO David Gardener commented that "This is exactly the type of company we wanted to acquire in order to build Atari for the 21st century." Short century.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 18, 2011 7:15 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Atari to sell Star Trek Online dev Cryptic.

    Publisher Atari is looking to sell Cryptic Studios, the developer of Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and the upcoming Neverwinter.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 7:52 AM

      Not too surprised here, champs and trek left an awful taste in my mouth. I know many folks say/do this, but this is one dev studio that when I see now, it's like, "I think I might pass on this one" Love me some Forgotten Realms, but that foul taste remains

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 8:37 AM

      cryptic really dropped the ball on Trek. too little content, and level progression was WAY too fast.

      it looked great, but I'd only play it again if it went free to play.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 9:03 AM

        Another 12-15 months or so and I bet you'll get your wish.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 11:30 AM

        It's sad. They made a game with good game mechanics, good setting, plenty of promise, and then managed to fuck it up. Getting rid of instanced PVP and switching to open pvp would have made the game so much better.

        • reply
          May 18, 2011 4:07 PM


          the game stood up well in beta becos of its good game mechanics and setings

          Too bad they never did pack much content (plot/progression/etc) into it and the Klingon factions is just a failure

          • reply
            May 18, 2011 4:08 PM

            They limited the levels in the beta. The lack of content was a major concern during that time :/

        • reply
          May 23, 2011 9:58 PM

          I don't know what your talking about with the "good game mechanics". The ship based combat was decent, but everything done on foot was atrocious.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 8:42 AM

      Both of those games have been terrible, especially Champions Online. That game lags like fuck when using a character with Super Jump travel powers. Both games are shallow and no where near as awesome as DAoC was. Either Atari messed them up with release schedule and bad management or Cryptic has lost their touch.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 10:46 AM

        Except DAoC was done by Mythic who dropped the ball with Warhammer Online. Cryptic's previous works was City of Heroes/Villians.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 9:02 AM

      Can't say I'm surprised. Cryptic's likes to make mediocre games, support them poorly post launch, and move on to the next crappy game.

      I honestly hope they stop making games.

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 9:03 AM

        same with Obsidian

        • reply
          May 18, 2011 9:28 AM

          I am more inclined to think their problems are related to the brutality, project to project, paycheck to paycheck nature that these studios work under. Neither seems to have deep pockets or a revenue stream that comes directly to them. Cryptic seems to be just throwing stuff out there, hoping that something sticks. Obsidian is probably just beholden to publisbers for funding, funding that is probably hard to win after results like alpha protocol. I wonder if bethesda is angry with them over new vegas' stability problems.

          • reply
            May 18, 2011 9:37 AM

            Obsidian keeps getting games no matter how shitty they are. I don't get it. I never understood how Obsidian is still in business and why they keep getting contracts.

            • reply
              May 18, 2011 9:45 AM

              They're still in business because quite a few of us loved NWN2, Alpha Protocol and New Vegas. Stop being a dumb troll.

              • reply
                May 18, 2011 9:52 AM

                I'm not trolling. Their games always tend to be broken incomplete messes, if you don't beleive that, you are the one trolling.

                • reply
                  May 18, 2011 9:56 AM

                  You're exaggerating. They lack some polish, that does not make them broken or incomplete.

                  • reply
                    May 18, 2011 10:49 AM

                    And here is my dilemma with Dungeon Siege 3. Looks good and wouldn't mind playing through ds1 and 2 again. However, it is being developed by Obsidian which has a history of releasing a buggy mess that gets patched up in 3-4 months time.

                    • reply
                      May 18, 2011 11:37 AM


                    • reply
                      May 18, 2011 11:47 AM

                      Nothing will inspire me to play through DS1 again.

                      The economy was broken. I accumulated 99,999,999 gold throughout the game and at the end, dropped it on the floor whereupon it exceed the capacity of every adjacent floor tile and spread across a large section of the ground like a numbers virus.

                      After winning the game, I went back to the king who was still in his cell and he gave me another Star Key.

                      Pathfinding had critical flaws. Party members would randomly go off in other directions and trigger other nearby enemies, ruining a coordinated attack.

                      The most dangerous common enemy was the Swamp Hag, who even on the hardest difficulty never fully utilized her power to warp in powerful monsters in a coordinated effort with other adjacent Swamp Hags in a way that threatened the progress of the party.

                      On of the most unique level design features of the game was a split level encounter where the ground collapsed in the swamp and the party was split into two groups, only occured once.

                      For me to purchase DS3, I'll need to see some seriously good reviews.

                  • reply
                    May 18, 2011 11:10 AM

                    Obsidian has not released a single stable game

                    Every release they have made has had massive issues with bugs. KOTOR 2 had horrible lockup and CTD bugs on launch Plus large swathes of content that were removed to make the shipping date. I still own a CD copy of this game. F:NV had a similar, plus a large number of broken quests.

                    NWN2 was incredibly slow and had a lot of CTDs. So many that it was a major complaint for most reviews. The forums were full of hundreds of posts about it:
                    And: The most common criticism of the game was its numerous technical glitches.[1][8] Some reviews compared Neverwinter Nights 2 to Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II,[5][10] a previous Obsidian game that had received similar complaints.[80][81] The bugs were described as disruptive to gameplay and "downright infuriating",[5][10] and one reviewer encountered a "showstopper bug" in the initial retail version that prevented him from playing the game past a certain point.[82] The bugs were said to negatively affect NPC AI, camera operation, and pathfinding.[8][18]

                    Alpha Protocol same thing: Some critics have been less forgiving, with VideoGamer giving Alpha Protocol 6/10 and criticising its "huge range of technical issues" and "flawed combat." -- GameSpot's 6/10 review was also mixed, stating that "Alpha Protocol's astounding intricacies are tarnished by bugs, clumsy gameplay mechanics, and rough production values.

                    They've never released a stable game.

                  • reply
                    May 18, 2011 4:09 PM


                    Obsidian are fine. The core of a good game is all inside, its just the lack of a polish.

                • reply
                  May 19, 2011 12:16 AM

                  Obsidian's games tend to have technical problems at launch, yes, but they make some of the most innovative, complete RPGs on the market.

            • reply
              May 18, 2011 4:29 PM

              Same here. Between NWN2 (and expansions) and F:NV I just gave up on them.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 9:30 AM

      I saw this a mile coming after Atari acquired them. They couldn't have picked a more shittier publisher.
      Also, the fact that they spread out their resources and rushed both of their games didn't help either.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 3:45 PM

      who the hell is dumb enough to buy star trek online?

      • reply
        May 18, 2011 4:11 PM

        alot did, the beta did gone really well (the core game mechanic are really well done)

        I was concern with the lack of content in general..... but even so I was tempted to buy a lifetime sub at launch simply because I felt that it has the potential to become a good mmo should it be given enough time to develop further.

        • reply
          May 18, 2011 4:30 PM

          You should never buy an mmo based on it's potential, because developers never live up to it.

    • reply
      May 18, 2011 11:08 PM

      wha wha wha....Obsidian are a good company in my opinion.

      Besides Fallout NV wasnt that bad and the bugs dont get in the way of playing the game. What else offers you as much content that that? LA noir? no thanks..60 bucks and that will over in no time and the graphics werent even that great..just GTA IV redressed.

    • reply
      May 23, 2011 9:55 PM

      I like that boast of over a 1000% increase in revenue after CO when free-to-play, as if that was a feat. A 1000% revenue increase from subscription fees paid by the 12 people still playing still is next to nothing compared to the cost to produce and develop the game. The people that really got screwed are the ones that bought the lifetime subscriptions to either of these games.

      Was pretty sad, Cryptic was like a broken record that keeps repeating the same old thing.

      "Hai guis, I know, let's make a MMORPG based on super heroes where we release the game before it's actually ready, develop almost no content, ignore our customer base when they tell us what's wrong with the game, and ignore balancing completely."

      Sever month's later....

      "Hai guis, I know let's make a MMORPG based on Star Trek where...."

Hello, Meet Lola