Atari sells Cryptic for $50m

Loss-making studio acquired by Chinese MMO specialist
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Atari’s has sold its Californian studio Cryptic for $50 million to China’s online gaming giant Perfect World, the company has said.

Cryptic was acquired by Atari 2008 for $27 million, and went on to build MMO titles such as Star Trek Online and Champions Online.

However, the studio has been losing Atari money for over two years, though trends suggested it may have pulled into profit by the end of the year.

Atari said it was dropping the firm in-line with its strategy of “fewer but more profitable releases and further expansion into casual online and mobile games”.

The deal is yet to be properly finalised.

Perfect World CEO Michael Chi said the buyout would help his company emerge in the US.

“This strategic acquisition will add attractive game titles to our portfolio, which will help us further penetrate into the US and global online game markets,” he said.

“More importantly, Cryptic Studios highly reputable development team and its technology platform will further strengthen our well-established R&D capabilities.

Cryptic Studios made $23 million in the last financial year, though after expenditure that marked a loss of $7.5 million.

That remains an improvement on the $18 million loss the financial year prior.

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