Perfect World acquires Cryptic Studios

Following reports that Atari was looking to sell the studio, Cryptic has been acquired by the Chinese MMO maker Perfect World for just over $50 million.


Cryptic Studios has been acquired by the Chinese MMO maker Perfect World, reports Gamasutra. According to the report, the company paid approximately $50.3 million for the studio, and acquired a 100% equity interest in Cryptic. Atari had been looking to sell Cryptic recently, having only acquired it in 2008.

"This strategic acquisition will add attractive game titles to our portfolio, which will help us further penetrate into the U.S. and global online game markets," said Perfect World CEO and chairman Michael Chi. "More importantly, Cryptic Studios' highly reputable development team and its technology platform will further strength our well-established R&D capabilities. We deem this as another noteworthy achievement of our global expansion efforts."

Cryptic is best-known lately for the MMOs Champions Online and Star Trek Online. The studio is continuing development on its next RPG, a D&D-styled game titled Neverwinter.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 31, 2011 11:45 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Perfect World acquires Cryptic Studios.

    Following reports that Atari was looking to sell the studio, Cryptic has been acquired by the Chinese MMO maker Perfect World for just over $50 million.

    • reply
      May 31, 2011 12:04 PM

      That was about $49 million more than they were worth.

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      May 31, 2011 12:18 PM

      Those guys also pretty much bought the makers of Torchlight. What's going on?

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        May 31, 2011 12:30 PM

        PWE is pretty much rolling in cash right now. These purchases, big as they are, are just a drop in the bucket to 'em.

        I imagine they're interested in expanding their operations in the Western hemisphere. Why they do this when the market in the East has an infinitely larger player base is anybody's guess...

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          May 31, 2011 12:42 PM

          That 'large' player base mostly refuses to purchase games or pay fees. So they're large only in a numerical sense, not a profit sense. Ex: Linage II at its peak only had ~ 1million paying subscribers (according to their profit statement).

          Those players are willing to do micro payments, which is where all the profit comes from for those operators.

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            May 31, 2011 2:34 PM

            Considering Aion, last I heard, has close to 4 million subscribers in the East (which is much, much, much, MUCH, MUCH, MUUUUCH higher than any western MMO short of WoW - by the way, the closest western MMO to WoW is EVE, sitting at 350k subscribers), and considering they have a pay-to-play model where you pay for HOURS instead of MONTHS... I have to question your logic.

            I prefer the alternative theory that the investment is much lower than the return, so they gun for it even when the actual numbers aren't terribly impressive. Still strange, however, considering Cryptic, by all accounts, has been in the red for quite some time...

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              May 31, 2011 3:56 PM

              You need to remember that I'm reporting numbers of paid subscription accounts. AION is counting accounts created, not paid subscribers.

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                May 31, 2011 4:02 PM

                In addition, the 3.5 million number is an unofficial post from their forums, not an actual reported number. So far the only reported number came 4 days after launch in the Asia market and was listed at 1 million sales.

                If someone has an updated, sourced number that would be great.

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                  May 31, 2011 4:39 PM

                  I really don't know where you got the "accounts made" thing. That's certainly something CRYPTIC did, but NCSoft?

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                    May 31, 2011 4:42 PM

                    ARRRGH! I wanted a line break, not to post! Sigh. At any rate, the best data we've got is here:

                    And at any rate, there's no way to track "subscriptions" for free-to-play games. I would venture, however, that F2P games are considerably more profitable in the East than the West...

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      May 31, 2011 2:42 PM


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      May 31, 2011 3:51 PM

      is it me or does the CEO's statement sound vaguely threatening?

      This guy creeps me out.

      • reply
        May 31, 2011 9:43 PM

        how many tinfoil hat you got?

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