I started playing STO around Sept or Oct of last year. I'll admit, I'm pretty ignorant of the history of this game. I constantly see references to different companies on the forums, usually when someone is placing blame. I am hoping some STO vets can fill me in on who is who. I'll add the companies below, with what I have been able to piece together, but please correct me if I am wrong, and help me get a clear picture.
Atari - original publisher of STO?
Cryptic - Developer? (they made COH? or was it Champions Online?)
Perfect World Entertainment - current publisher? (never heard of these guys to be honest)
CBS - IP rights holder? (this is just a guess, as I constantly see ppl complaining that CBS won;t allow stuff in game....also, is this CBS, a publisher, developer, or game company? or CBS, the television network? If it is the TV network, I'm confused, as CBS never aired any Star Trek that I can recall, it was always on the old UPN.)
Any help to understand this organizational nightmare would be appreciated. Thanks.
atari used to own cryptic but they were always in debt and eventually sold cryptic to perfect world. PW is an asian based company that also has american branches that own at least one other western game. they are specialist in free to play mmo games.
cryptic themselves did make city of heroes but sold that game to another company. cryptic currently maintain champions online, star trek and they are making neverwinter.
CBS is the network that owns the rights to the TV series of Star Trek. Paramount currently owns the films, which is why they cant just put stuff from the new film into the game, even if its from the 25th century such as the narada or the jellyfish ships without getting permission from paramount.
Just to clarify Cryptic sold their half of City of Heroes to the games publisher, it was around the time Cryptic wanted to produce MUO with Marvel. NcSoft was originally just a publisher for City of Heroes, after obtaining full IP rights they formed Paragon Studios.
Still have to say.. Cryptic outdid themselves on City of Heroes and for those who are wondering why Champions is worse. When the switch over happened and NcSoft severed ties with Cryptic. Almost the entire Dev team from Cryptic jumped ship to continue working on City of Heroes.
Cryptic was the company which produced City of Heroes. During development of CoH Cryptic ran out of funding and ended up selling 50% of CoH to NCSoft. They were partners for a few years - both companies often blaming the other as for why CoH didn't advance farther.
Cryptic got a license to produce the new Marvel Superheroes MMO, but while in development somehow the license was pulled. Cryptic was left with a fairly new game engine and no new superhero game to use it on. Having a new superhero game engine caused some friction with NCSoft and Cryptic agreed to sell its 50% ownership of CoH to NCSoft and went out on its own.
Cryptic purchased the Champions IP from Hero Games with the intent of making their own Superhero MMO to rival CoH. Cryptic also purchased the Star Trek license from Perpetual - Perpetual could not develop STO as they ran out of finances. The STO license had clauses saying a MMO needed to be developed by a certain date or the license was lost.
While trying to develop both Champions Online and Star Trek Online Cryptic, again, ran out of money. They shopped around and tried to find a publishing partner. This led them to Atari. But rather then only selling 50%, like they had with NCSoft, Cryptic sold their entire company to Atari - becoming an Atari subsidiary.
Atari was never a financially strong company - they were dealing with a lot of financial loss from their own games and had several lawsuits against them being dealt with. We don't really know what the issue was between Cryptic and Atari. Maybe Cryptic promised too much, maybe Atari gave too little - probably a bit of both. Whatever the case, Atari forced layoffs at Cryptic and STO went into virtual shutdown for 9 months as it began the conversion to FTP.
Atari eventually sold Cryptic to Perfect World. The FTP conversion was completed and we are where we are right now: 3 weeks into FTP.
CBS owns all the rights to the Star Trek television series. It is their property. Every time Cryptic wants to add something to STO CBS has to Vet it - approve it. CBS gets to say what foes we fight, what missions we do, what ships we fly, what costumes we wear, and what loot we attain. CBS does not want their property image tarnished - at least not more tarnished then they, themselves, do to it.
Paramount owns the rights to the various Star Trek movies. If Cryptic wants to use something from a movie they need CBS to get permission from Paramount to do so. Sometimes it is a simple yes agreement. Other times it requires financial compensation.
The various actors own the rights to their images and voices. For Cryptic to use any character's image in the game, or voice, it requires the actor's approval. And, like with Paramount, this approval can require financial compensation - it is entirely up to the actor.