I’ve not been paying a huge amount of attention to the MMO world recently, as there have been a number of decent games out there that needed playing (Dragon Age 2, Portal 2, and a number of other stuff i’m playing on my new rig that my old one couldn’t cope with at the time). However, I’ve just started to take a ‘one year (and a bit) on’ look at Star Trek Online, and the news hits that Cryptic Studios has been sold by Atari to Chinese game company Perfect World for a cool $50+ million.
Perfect World has mainly been operating it’s own titles in primarily Chinese markets, so this is an attempt to push into western markets. Perfect World’s founder & chairman Michael Chi commented “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.”
That does sound like they are happy to let Cryptic keep doing what they’re doing, which is good news for fans of Champions Online and Star Trek Online. Cryptic were also developing Neverwinter, their first non-MMO game (it’s a ‘story-based, co-op multiplayer experience’ apparently… so a bit MMO still…), based in D&D’s popular Forgotten Realms. I guess what happens to Neverwinter will depend on the deal, and who owns the license.