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Posted: May 26th 2011 3:10PM Space Cobra said

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I ain't too worried about Cryptic. Another rumor you did not mention is that Atari is just looking for some fast cash and selling Cryptic is a way to do it.

Posted: May 26th 2011 3:36PM DrRumpy said

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@Space Cobra

What's the logic of that rumor. Atari fudged their financial documents to have an excuse to sell Cryptic to make money? Think about this stuff before posting it or repeating it. Those documents CLEARLY show Cryptic as a significant money losing asset.

It is close to impossible to recover from horrific launches in this industry. There is too much competition and actually a few really good games run by competent companies. Cryptic hasn't had a hope since releasing Champs in a festering state. Yes, both Champs and STO are better, but the damage Cryptic did to their image with gamers was fatal. It just a slow an painful death now. Perhaps they can reach some subsistence level with a new owner that isn't looking to recover the millions in debt that Atari will never squeeze out of Cryptic.

So in that regard selling Cryptic is the best thing possible for the games, customers, and staff of Cryptic. But from a business standpoint, as meaningful players in the MMO space, Champs and STO irrelevant.

If Cryptic sells and their management has learned anything from mismanaging Champs/STO, and they can tread water with the latter two games, Neverwinter could rescue them simply with the brand recognition.

Sadly, I still see failure on the horizon because Cryptic's creativity at gouging players for money vastly exceeds the "fun" of their games.
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Posted: May 26th 2011 5:47PM Mikx said

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@DrRumpy That makes it sound like Atari hasnt been floundering from one failed business strategy to the next for a decade.

Atari sold off most of their games and discontinued operations at other studios 4-5 years ago, including driver, stuntman, and earthworm jim's Shiny studio, and thats not the only major clunker Atari's suffered in the recent past.
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Posted: May 26th 2011 6:02PM Space Cobra said

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@DrRumpy

No, Atari wants fast/easy money. The only thing is that Cryptic's first 2 years operating expenses were higher than the profit they were making. They made money, but they spent more.

From a business/profit standpoint, Atari wants easy money without the overhead. You sell such assets away, even if they will eventually make you money; you don't think long-term. Granted, Atari gave them about 2 years and in a cold-business with shareholders, that is more than enough.

In fact, the rumor goes further onto state that Cryptic may very well be one of Atari's money-makers (if you don't look at the money being poured down the drain). Again, in BUSINESS you hype up this fact to the one you are selling to (even if they have the facts before them). Even if you have a pile of coal, you take your best piece of coal and sell it to keep you afloat, if for a little while.

THAT'S how cut-throat BUSINESS operates.

I am not saying it is a great solution, but it does sometimes work in these situations; no one wants to buy your lesser or unappealing assets. Again, that's the way of cut-throat business. I have not seen the new Atari be anything but cuthroat and I can't think of (or name) any other memorable/high-profile properties they have that they could sell that anyone would want.

As you say, I am not talking about STO or CO or daily business operations; it is merely an entity to move. Other businesses have done this with success while re-making themselves. Of course, if you don't have a good business sense, you WILL shoot yourself.

The fact that we have not heard of a new studio making the NWN MMO besides Cryptic, says that this is truly "just business" (unless a new studio is named sometime soon).

You yourself state it is difficult to recover from such horrific losses, what better way than to sell the studio causing such losses, further stopping any future losses AND make a profit in the sale? And heck, it looks like Atari will still keep the services of Cryptic for NWN but only as a separate studio, so now operating costs and just money.

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Posted: May 26th 2011 6:03PM Space Cobra said

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@Space Cobra
"From a business/profit standpoint, Atari wants easy money without the overhead. You sell such assets away, even if they will eventually make you money; you don't think long-term. Granted, Atari gave them about 2 years and in a cold-business with shareholders, that is more than enough. "

Replace "You" with "A company as cut-throat as Atari would...".
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Posted: May 26th 2011 6:43PM Stormwaltz said

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@Space Cobra

"Again, that's the way of cut-throat business. I have not seen the new Atari be anything but cuthroat..."

I think they should stop cutting their own throat.

For the others.

You can say what you want about Cryptic. I won't disagree with all of it.

I will say that the STO Live Team are heroes. They've added more to the game in the last year - for free - than any other Live Team I've seen. They've ripped out and redesigned entire systems (crafting and ground combat). How many other games do that without making you pay for a boxed expansion? And you know they're doing it with about a dozen people and a budget of $2.89.

Bag on Cryptic's if you want, but I wish other games' Live Teams had half the commitment, passion, and productivity level of STO's.
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Posted: May 26th 2011 10:02PM DrRumpy said

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@Space Cobra

http://tinyurl.com/5srkmfh

"The studio, which recently took Champions Online free-to-play, showed a €5.3 million ($7.5 million) loss for the 2010/11 fiscal year, up from a loss of €12.6 million ($17.9 million) the previous year."

I'm sorry but with financial results like this Atari wasn't cutthroat enough, soon enough. If this was my hard earned money I'd have sent in a team of assassins, followed it up with demolitions, cleared out the rubble, and salted the earth.

Atari may be mismanaging mostly hairless monkeys but that only made them a good fit for Cryptic.
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Posted: May 27th 2011 4:52AM pcgneurotic said

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@DrRumpy

"... the damage Cryptic did to their image with gamers was fatal."

To be frank, with the damage gamers have done to themselves with the epic amounts of knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing Cryptic hate, I'm shocked that anyone still alive wants to even continue making games. Really, sometimes we disgust me.
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Posted: May 27th 2011 12:36PM Space Cobra said

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@DrRumpy

"Atari may be mismanaging mostly hairless monkeys but that only made them a good fit for Cryptic. "

Read the comments section and look at Atari's/Infograme's past.

And really, until we hear Atari finding another developer for NWN, this sell-off is "just business", since they seem to still be using Cryptic (and even supporting daily operations, but that is probably only because of contractual obligations).
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Posted: May 26th 2011 3:22PM OmegaDestroyer said

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The more distance Cryptic puts between itself and Atari the better.

Posted: May 26th 2011 3:52PM Liltawen said

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I don't know what's with you: grief, denial, bargaining (very Atari-that one) etc.
The first and continuing thing I felt was 'glee' that those money grubbing French are finally gone over to cheap Facebook games where they belong.

Atari's 'creativity at gouging players for money vastly exceeds the "fun" of their games'.

Posted: May 26th 2011 4:05PM Kark said

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Sry but as a player who bought a lifetime during beta and have played STO ALOT ! i can say i wish i never got me that lifetime, what a waist of money.
This STAR TREK MMO have very little ST feeling to it. Still lots of beta bugs with laggy server with a game engine that is no good for a ST MMO. Ingame support, what is that ? The all mighty C store with insane high prices.
And now even veteren rewards, parts of them will end up in the C store, shameful. Since launch littlo to no endgame content. They say now they will make more end game content but this as in the past with everything is just a lie to keep people around becuse of Atari selling Cryptic and games like TOR and GW2 on the horizen. I see now future for STO what so ever. Cryptic cant keep the game running on those 3000-10000 what ever lifetimes subs they have playing. As i said the game has very little STAR TREK feeling. Now with the UGC out that is just another thing made so Cryptic dont have to creat real dev made content. Less then 1% VO in the game, not even the vendors etc on Qo'nos and Sol starbase have VO. The enemy in the game like the"Borg" is not canon in anyway. KDF almost ingnored from launch, but Cryptic was nice enough to make skill boost items you can buy for real money to "help" the KDF lvl up. The KDF only have 8 missions btw. As i said most items is for the C store only, of course some of those items you can get for 500 emblems(yeah right many players grind that many) And btw the forum is ruled by mods who dont even follow their own rules and ban anyone who is not a trekkie braindead fanboy. Future episodes is good but they are no end game content and will not keep players around long.Same with the STF missions, parts of them is fun but i'm sure the cure have actually made more gamers leave STO then the actual lack of end game content .And there is sooo much more i havent talked about, am i hard on them ? yeah, but guess what they deserve it buy doing the ST IP no justice with this game.

Posted: May 27th 2011 1:14AM (Unverified) said

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@Kark

Always been a trek fan. Tried the orginal STO and didn't like it and nothing since has convinced me otherwise. I can only hope the Star Trek licence goes to a company with an intention of making a real ST MMO.

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Posted: May 26th 2011 4:16PM ScottishViking said

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Sorry Cryptic fanboys, this sort of thing just doesn't happen to studios who are performing well.

I was originally very worried about the Neverwinter MMO, but now hopefully it will pass to a more solid studio.

Posted: May 26th 2011 4:25PM blix2006 said

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agreed...its usually sad to see a company having this happen but cryptic has earned the flak its getting...there has never been a mmo company that has churned out more trash and stayed afloat then these guys...and i was devastated when i found out they had the never winter nights license...this is a ray of hope that they cannot finish the project and someone else picks it up.

Posted: May 26th 2011 4:54PM Dunraven said

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Predictions
Neverwinter will still be developed by cryptic because right now Atari justs wants to be a a Royalty Daddy.

Cryptic is already in much better shape because of the Breakup (if anyone follows IRC they know the Cryptic guys aren't behaving like peopel who are about to lose their shirts)

Haters will continue to hate and Cryptic will continue to make games for them to cry about.

Posted: May 26th 2011 5:01PM Popplewell said

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Kinda draws into sharp focus what can happen to that toon you've invested so much time and money into for any MMO player.

It's only ever a rental.

Posted: May 26th 2011 5:57PM Controlled Chaos said

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It'll be interesting to see who, if anyone, will really want to buy the company or if they'll just do like a lot of others have in the last while: dump the company, take the brand names and run from there. It's a worst case scenario, sure, but whether you're a fan boy or eager for the sounds of Cryptic crashing and burning, one can't ignore the numbers.

The group is a money pit right now. Scoff, argue, whatever you like, but it's simple fact. That is the long and short of it.

However, this might finally light a fire under Cryptic's ass and get them to actually make their games a little bit more in-depth, functional and pleasing to the new gamer's eye. Simply put, the games don't have much end game, the grind is a excessive and the gouging from the C-Store is constantly mentioned. How long did it take to fix ground combat, which has been a steady complaint since the game came out? Even veterans have to admit that bit of truth. Right now? They just don't have the goods to get an influx of people taking the plunge into their work. Maybe this will be enough to give them that, "Oh crap," moment to get them really fired up and looking to get the masses in.

If they don't? Well...one can see, as of late, how many game companies have been shuttering their doors. Lose enough money and it won't matter what the franchise is or how popular it was, the parent company will pull their support and the game will flounder and die.

Posted: May 26th 2011 6:17PM Space Cobra said

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@Controlled Chaos @Everyone else not a Cryptic fan

I like Cryptic well enough. I come in and out of their games; nothing too long termm for me. They are good for short burst. STO is making strides, IMO.

However! You are right in that I feel their game implementation strategy. IMO, they came at this all wrong: Cryptic wanted to be the "Henry Ford of MMO makers". Meaning they wanted to do fast, easy-to-make MMO based off their game engine with a quick turn-around-development time. Basically, this is what cut-throat companies want to hear, "You can get this game up and running under a two years? Great! Do it!" (This applies to EA, too, although I *think* Bioware was working on SWToR before EA bought them?).

They want you to meet your deadline and woe-be-tide you if you slip a bit over.

This Henry Ford approach isn't bad, but I can see too many similarities in certain graphics and systems between not only STO and CO, but CoH, too. (The people models). Really, you got to put in a bit more effort and uniqueness and a different direction not only in stats and combat, but look/graphics, too. Otherwise, people start noticing a commanality, even if they only notice it subconciously.

For an assembly line, they really need more Devs but it's best to focus on one game at a time, for quality and consistency.

But I am sure another company may want an MMO assembly line, even though, IMO, there should not be one. Art is Art and that applies to MMOs for me.
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Posted: May 26th 2011 6:50PM Controlled Chaos said

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@Space Cobra

EA bought Bioware in late 2007. It is likely that they were working on it before the company bought them.

Anyways, I'm glad to see that you're taking a somewhat more neutral approach. Obviously, Cryptic isn't exactly innocent in the problems they are having. However, to call groups like Atari 'cut throat' companies is a bit of a misnomer. I would say they are simply more like machines, looking for efficiency. But let's use a real world example that would illustrate the point better.

Say you play the stocks. You invested in this one company and they did well, the numbers went up, you made some good coin off of them...but then they start to lose some money...then some more money. Are you going to hold onto that stock when there isn't a short or medium term shift that would tell you it's going back up anytime soon or get out before it goes even lower?

Basically, it was cutting what they considered was a loose end. The fans are pissed about it, sure, but these companies aren't in it to make people happy. Monetary returns come first, fan satisfaction second. If Cryptic was being hassled by Atari to get things out fast? I could see them taking more blame, but there hasn't been any signs that that was the case, because that always comes out if so. There's always someone ready to point fingers.

Either way, Atari just didn't like how much money Cryptic was losing. Whether they stay solvent is up to whoever chooses to buy them or Cryptic themselves if they go indie.
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