Why did Atari decide it was time to drop Cryptic? Atari explains that the move is "in line with the previously stated strategy of fewer but more profitable releases and further expansion into casual online and mobile games" and that "the Company has determined that external development creates more flexibility in the changing marketplace." Gamasutra reports that Cryptic recorded a $7.5 million loss for the last fiscal year. If you think that sounds steep, keep in mind that this is an improvement from the previous year's posting of a $17.9 million loss. We'll have more on the situation -- and how it will affect STO and CO -- as more news arises.
[Update: Cryptic employee WishStone has posted on the official STO forums, adding: "Right now I have no further details other than what has been mentioned elsewhere. Support for Champions Online and Star Trek Online will be continuing as normal, our staff is working hard on their projects... and there are no planned changes to the way any of our games and projects will operate."
Also, since we've got so many people asking in the comments, Gamasutra reports that "development on the Bay Area studio's Neverwinter project will continue as normal for the time being."]