Atari to sell off MMO studio Cryptic

Atari to sell off MMO studio Cryptic

By Rob Crossley

May 18th 2011 at 9:46AM

Champions Online developer open to the highest bidder

Atari will sell off its loss-making Star Trek Online studio Cryptic, the firm has told investors.

Californian outfit Cryptic was bought by Atari in 2008 for a total of $26.7 million. In the last 24 months the studio has made annual losses, though if trends continue it could turn a profit in the next year.

Atari said it was dropping the firm in-line with its strategy of “fewer but more profitable releases and further expansion into casual online and mobile games”.

The publisher, which has undergone frequent management shuffles, now claims that “external development creates more flexibility in the changing marketplace".

A new buyer for Cryptic will not impact on the studio’s online games services, Atari said.

Support for Star Trek Online and Champions Online will proceed as normal. Cryptic's Dungeons & Dragons Neverwinter project will not be cancelled.

Cryptic Studios made $23 million in the last financial year, though after expenditure that marked a loss of $7.5 million.

That remains an improvement on the $18 million loss the financial year prior.