Atari Bails on Cryptic; Perfect World Entertainment Happily Obliges

Battle of the Forsaken Star Champions Online

Fans of Cryptic Studios’ stable of games can rest easy. After being in the hotseat for two weeks thanks to Atari labeling the studio as “discontinued”, the developer of Star Trek Online, newly free-to-play Champions Online and the upcoming Neverwinter RPG has found a new financial home in the hands of Perfect World Company, a rising star in the industry and parent to US subsidiary Perfect World Entertainment.

Let the flurry of Internet rumors retreat to wherever it is they go to die.

The reported $50+ million purchase will see Perfect World take over all of Cryptic’s properties from Atari. The acquisition delivers PWE two Western MMOGs, one being the company’s first subscription-based title (at least, for the time being), in addition to its first non-MMOG title Neverwinter, which remains in development. Global expansion, genre diversification, platform diversification and all on a budget.

Perfect World’s CEO Michael Chi has the full on business jargon:

“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. More importantly, Cryptic Studios’ highly reputable development team and its technology platform will further strengthen our well-established R&D capabilities. We deem this as another noteworthy achievement of our global expansion efforts.”

Oddly enough, Perfect World Company’s stock has lost 2.7%, down to $23.67 a share, since the news broke today.

Perfect World has been in the F2P business since June 2008 and has been quite successful at it. This gamer expects the purchase to strengthen Cryptic’s portfolio as much as PWE’s.


  1. Their stock may have dipped precisely because Cryptic is considered a less than successful company that created a product that failed to deliver commercially at the level that was expected of it. Therefore… no guarantee that the acquisition will translate into a benefit for PWI’s profit and investors.

  2. @Pai
    Indeed, Cryptic doesn’t have a healthy track record, at least not recently. However, if Champions Online has done well in its transition, then one would be lead to believe that the purchase would have a positive impact.

    PWE has far more experience in the sector than Atari, so at least Cryptic is in the hands of the correct overlord now.

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