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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,785
# 15
01-21-2013, 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by hevach View Post
D&D Online isn't owned by Atari, Turbine has it licensed through Atari. Neverwinter is in the same basic position, Atari still holds the license even though they sold off the game and its developer

As Atari sells its assets, it won't completely disappear, at the very least what's left will probably end up being like Interplay is now - a holding company that still owns most of its remaining licenses, but exists only to collect license fees for its owner (The US branch of Atari plans to continue producing mobile games, which Interplay tried to for a while, but they've been going bad places with that so it's just delaying the final undeath). Turbine and Cryptic will continue business as usual with the games, just a change in who pockets Atari's share of the money.

Neverwinter Nights and NWN2 are a more interesting question. They weren't just licensed by Atari, but published and distributed. It's not uncommon for older games like that to disappear in situations like this, but more recently the holding companies that are left have been saving them through cheap digitial distribution on Steam or GOG.
I suspect PWE is on the phone with Hasbro now.

Remember how the STO license was bought up in a bankruptcy sale?

This is Cryptic/PWE's chance to cut Atari out.

It may also be a chance to get a deal on other IPs.

For example...

Gauntlet. The bulk of the rights are, I believe, with Midway. Who is basically split between Warner Bros. (who owns Mortal Kombat and would likely partner with Sony) and David Redstone. Who owns CBS Consumer Products and a good chunk of Viacom, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, CBS, and Paramount.

What I'm saying is... Part of the Gauntlet rights are probably being auctioned off. The other half are probably available through Cryptic's business contacts at CBS. Cryptic is interested in producing non-MMO co-op games and just had a developer summit with their sister company Runic, who makes Torchlight.

I can see where now would be the time to strike for a Cryptic/Runic co-produced Gauntlet co-op game, full possession of the Neverwinter license... and maybe getting in touch with CBS while they're at it to see if TMNT's license is available, since kid-targeted MMOs are a developing field and TMNT are getting "hot" again.

And maybe tipping my hat just a bit, I think it would be smart for Cryptic to enhance and fortify its relationships with Hasbro and CBS/Redstone because those might be good buyers if PWE ever shifts strategies and wants to unload them.