Atari Acquires City of Heroes Developer, Cryptic Studios
Aside from layoffs and massive reorganizations, there is one other prevalent trend during an economic crisis: companies buying each other up. Atari has now announced that they have acquired Cryptic Studios, the developers behind the successful MMO, City of Heroes. Cryptic will bring with them three other MMO projects in the works, including Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and an undisclosed title. The deal apparently cost Atari a $26.7 million cash payment up front as well as a future earn-out or around $27.5 million made up of cash and company stock. Cryptic could also stand to earn performance bonuses if their games perform better than their anticipated targets.
Of all the news of publishers buying up developers, this is probably the least unsettling. Cryptic has a pretty good track record when it comes to the MMO market and two hotly anticipated games on the way, so I doubt Atari would do anything major to upset that right now. Of course, I said the same thing about Ghostbusters when Activision snatched up Sierra, so we’ll have to see.