Atari has apparently had enough of Cryptic - the makers of Champions Online and Star Trek Online. The publishing giant has decided to "discontinue" the studio. So your first thought might be the same as mine was: "what the hell does that mean?". "Discontinue" is such a stupid word to use for this but what Atari is planning on doing is selling the studio - or maybe selling the 3 major IP's/titles they hold separately - but either way, Cryptic is for sale.
Lets break this down for a second, because frankly I don't get it. Cryptic (believe it or not - this is my opinion I suppose) runs TWO of the top 15 MMO's out right now: Champions Online and Star Trek Online. The later is in the pantheon of intellectual properties with Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and a few others I am not thinking of. Let's not forget Neverwinter - the MMO in development based on the famed game series of the same namesake.
Neverwinter is the wild card in this issue. This game is highly anticipated and assuming it is treated properly - and I would contend Cryptic is capable of the job - it is likely to do very, very well. So Atari is being Atari here and frankly I am not surprised. They get lucky, make some money to recover from whatever stupid business decision they made - there are at least a few - then they proceed to make another stupid decision like auctioning off one of the most successful MMO studios ever even though they are potentially on the verge of a blockbuster.
I hope Atari gets what they deserve, and that whoever picks up Cryptic wins big (EA Bioware Cryptic anyone?)Cryptic "Discontinued",