Cryptic decoded by Perfect World

Chinese MMORPG developer buys Star Trek Online, Champions developer from Atari for $50 million in cash.

Two weeks after Atari announced it was looking to sell off Cryptic Studios, the French publisher has found a buyer. Chinese online game publisher Perfect World today announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase the Los Gatos, California-based developer for €35 million ($50.38 million) in cash. The deal is expected to close soon.

Cryptic Studios will soon have a new owner.

"This strategic acquisition will add attractive game titles to our portfolio, which will help us further penetrate into the US and global online game markets," said Michael Chi, chairman and chief executive officer of Perfect World. "More importantly, Cryptic Studios' highly reputable development team and its technology platform will further strengthen our well-established R&D capabilities."

Founded in 2000, Cryptic is the developer of such massively multiplayer online role-playing games as City of Heroes (now owned by NCsoft), Star Trek Online, Champions Online, and the canceled Marvel Universe Online. In December 2008, the company was bought by Atari for as much as $75 million as part of the publisher's efforts to shift its focus to online games.

However, the middling commercial reception of Champions--which is now free-to-play--and lackluster reviews of Star Trek Online have caused the financially troubled Atari to lose an estimated $25 million over the past two years. Cryptic had also been working on the Dungeons & Dragons-themed online game Neverwinter for Atari, the fate of which is now unclear.

As for Perfect World, the company is best known for its line of free-to-play online games based on Chinese mythology. These include Perfect World, Legend of Martial Arts, Perfect World II, Battle of the Immortals, and Forsaken World.

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Discussion

27 comments
kanharn
kanharn

Cryptic is the worst gaming company ever created, every year the lose staff and fans for making such terrible games, they even managed to kill the ST franchise they got lol. Give it a couple more years and they will be gone for good. This is a good thing. They dont even own there own games any more, had to sell them on to stop there lol company from closing down.

Majkic666
Majkic666

@TheTenth10 hmm.. why? because USA will lose all their power to them? Live with it, times change you should have learned from History, it does not matter who the leader is, they are all the same and everything will change once in a while

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Sorry but the only thing that will get me to play MMO's is if they're free to play...that's why I'm playing Global Agenda, and why I own Guild Wars.

gix47
gix47

Atari should die, they kill everything they touch

LionBeast
LionBeast

They will also make free 2 play games which is even better. :)

LionBeast
LionBeast

PERFECT 2 of the best MMORPG developers will join hands. I can`t wait to see what masterpeaces they will make together. :)

TheTenth10
TheTenth10

I understand money is good to take, but all should fight against China, them attaining a solid economical level is dangerous for the whole world

AgentRebecca
AgentRebecca

SWEET! I play Perfect World and Forsaken World, i know they will bring more good games with this happening! =)

pszone
pszone

This games own by Asian pp called perfect world from china. Well if they do something better than other company did i guess will be a gd start from perfect world lol

Dematrix
Dematrix

Lol, I don't know how Atari did it but Cryptic just went from one sh*t publisher to another.

method115
method115

I don't get how companies are still willing to spend so much money on MMORPG's doesn't seem like many of them stay around long. Maybe they are more successful then they appear to be.

RossRichard
RossRichard

Perfect World obviously didn't do their homework.

Andy_Berta
Andy_Berta

When you read things like this and discover just how much money these huge companies are losing over major, licensed material, no less, you have to wonder why. Is it greed, lack of inspired ideas and creativity, or as I have found with many other things in the entertainment industry, making an over-expensive product that panders to the widest audience rather than making art that retains integrity.

Cptshwan
Cptshwan

I'm hoping the $50 mil included the rights to CO and STO, if not Atari just made off like bandits for Cryptic will owe Atari royalties until the end of time for their two games.

King-gamer
King-gamer

Looks like China's plans to penetrate the western market may soon come true...

Evenios
Evenios

50 million in cash nice.

Titch-X
Titch-X

Goodbye Cryptic we hardly knew ye

Cerebris
Cerebris

Focusing on making that Neverwinter game good would do well.

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

Who the hell in there right mind would buy cryptic??!!??

Richmaester6907
Richmaester6907

They must be doing something right considering many developers dont find a buyer (bizarre studio's anyone?) I'm glad they found a new owner instead of just disappearing, although being independant would have been just as awesome.

Champion44
Champion44

Maybe Star Trek Online will go free to play soon? :)

deathstream
deathstream

Korean, then French, now Chinese. Cryptic is a globetrotting company. I wonder what Perfect World has in store for them. Using the Cryptic name to sell their products here? Just thought it was a good deal and don't plan any major changes? Can't say that given their recent track record I would have bought them without some master scheme in mind.