Perfect World buys Cryptic Studios
Back in May, Atari and Cryptic Studios filed for divorce. There was no particular reason given, but Cryptic hadn't brought Atari the profits they expected - in fact, they lost money on the deal, costing Atari more than 24 million dollars.
Star Trek Online (STO) was also a bust. That didn't help. STO opened big, but saw its subscribers disappear faster than a box of donuts at fat camp. STO was a typical Cryptic game - great character creation, good PvE, and not much of an endgame - but what probably damned the game was that it clearly wasn't finished.
Was STO rushed out the door to satisfying the quarterly earning needs of Cryptic's corporate overlords, Atari? Mmmmm, you betcha. (Corporate greed: Destroying worlds, both real and virtual.)
Anyway, STO failed, and Atari and Cryptic split. Cryptic wasn't lonely for long, though. It's getting married, again. "Cryptic Studios, previously a wholly owned subsidiary of Atari, has recently been acquired by Perfect World Entertainment, a company dedicated to delivering quality MMO experiences to gamers."
Whether Perfect World Entertainment is "dedicated to delivering quality MMO experiences to gamers..." is open to debate. They do deliver decent, not necessarily great, free-to-play (F2P) MMOs. Perfect World's stable of MMOs includes Perfect World, Jade Dynasty, and Forsaken World. They've built their company around solid, playable F2P games.
So is this a good match or was Cryptic Studios desperately seeking any old suitor with a little cash? After all, Cryptic probably needed some financing to finish its latest project, the highly-anticipated D&D property, Neverwinter.
You might be tempted to say it's a bad match, one born of desperation, and you'd have some cause for thinking that if you look down your nose at F2P MMOs.Continued on the next page