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Star Trek Online Finds Perfect World For New Owner

Atari sells Cryptic Studios for $50.4 million

Atari is getting out of the MMORPG business it seems.

The mega-game developer has sold Cryptic Studios -- which carries titles like Star Trek Online, City of Heroes and Champions Online -- to Perfect World for $50.4 million.

Atari had announced last month that it intended to sell Cryptic, which it originally acquired in 2008 for $28 million (but quickly rose to $48 million because of performance-linked bonuses, according to GameSpy).

Perfect World is a Chinese gaming company founded in 2004 and counts Runic Games of Seattle as a subsidiary. The company made its entry into the United States in 2008 with the creation of Perfect World Entertainment. Among its current big titles are the games Perfect World International (a free massively multiplayer online game not available in the United States), Ether Saga Online and Jade Dynasty.

The company also publishes the single-player Torchlight game under its Runic banner.

Perfect World is a publicly traded company on Nasdaq where it enjoys a market capitalization of $1.18 billion as of Thursday morning, based on a trading price of $23.51 a share. The company reported $110.1 million in revenue in the first quarter.

Cryptic launched Star Trek Online in February 2010, and was immediately hit with server issues that created downtime and excessive lag for many players. The game itself had a rocky history, originally being developed by Perpetual Entertainment between 2004 and the company's bankruptcy in 2008. Cryptic acquired the assets of Star Trek Online, but kept the game on Perpetual's game engine.

The game didn't necessarily get good reviews, but it did receive the award for Best New MMO of 2010 by Massive Online Gamer last January based on a reader survey.

Perfect World has not announced any plans for Star Trek Online yet, if it intends to make any changes. However, game play is continuing as normal with all current subscriptions not affected by the acquisition.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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