Republic Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 508
# 41
01-22-2013, 04:46 AM
I read a story about this. It seems Atari has been bought and sold many times over. It feels like the name has lost its luster over the years and I agree, it seems like this company never evolved which is why it's in bankruptcy. I think the best thing that can happen with them is to clear out all the old upper management people and bring in some fresh blood. Put the company back in the hands of the developers and out of the money men reach. If you let a money man run your business, you will eventually lose touch with your audience and by the time you realize it, you're in bankruptcy court. Sure, a money man can make you profitable short term, but in time people will become hip to their games and start to walk away.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 18
# 42
01-22-2013, 04:55 AM
When Perfect World announced it was going to buy Cryptic their stock was just over $23.00. Now it's just over $12.00 if STO was such a great success wouldn't the stock price have gone the other way?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 227
# 43
01-22-2013, 05:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fulleatherjacket View Post
I'm glad this happened. Atari was stuck in the 1990s business model of selling videogames. They treated Cryptic like garbage. Since STO is obviously a money-maker (it's still here, still getting bigger and better, isn't it?), Atari could have had the vision to do what PWE does with MMOs, yet they didn't.
That, and usurping the long-dead Atari name and riding it into the 21st century is pretty ostentatious for a publisher formerly known as Infogrames, revered the world over for, uh... not much in particular. That alone always kind of bugged me despite never being an Atari fan in the old days. You may as well revive the Broderbund label and use it to churn out Facebook games.

All my best to the good folks over there who are now out of work - I hope they all land on their feet. However, one of Cryptic's biggest problems under Atari was that their supposed benefactors just "didn't get" the concept of post-release support, which is crucial in this day and age, especially with MMOs. So as far as the suits are concerned, this couldn't have happened to a nicer group of dinosaurs.

This isn't a 38 Studios situation where no one really deserved what happened to them aside from maybe the top man Curt Schilling himself who kind of went charging into the games business without much of a plan. The upper management at Atari who were still operating as if it's 1995 should've adapted to a changing industry or exited it altogether long ago. Go play golf with the Broderbund guys, I don't know.

So that's THQ and Atari gone in the space of a couple months. It's gonna get hard to keep track of which IPs and licenses get auctioned-off to which other publishers. Folks like Square-Enix could stand to really clean up here. Well, that's assuming that Atari had any worthwhile licenses or studios left and that Cryptic and Runic wasn't it for them. THQ had a few contracts that I'm sure will end up elsewhere, like WWE and Saint's Row under Volition. I have no idea what Atari has been up to since the sale to PWE.

tl;dr: games be crazy, yo. Don't get into this business if you don't know what you're doing.
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Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 808
# 44
01-22-2013, 05:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xorvian View Post
When Perfect World announced it was going to buy Cryptic their stock was just over $23.00. Now it's just over $12.00 if STO was such a great success wouldn't the stock price have gone the other way?
You do realize Perfect World extends far beyond Star Trek Online right?

You have clicked the other links above, looked at their other offerings?

That said, stock price alone does not indicate how "well" a company is doing. A company can be selling stock around $2 a share and still be a profitable company with a solid product.

Linking the stock-price of a company to said company's success or product quality is a short-term money-man tactic... and the reason the American economy is down for the count. Every day is a bad day when you peg yourself to one metric and follow it over the short term.
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Lieutenant
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 59
# 45
01-22-2013, 05:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by fulleatherjacket View Post
Actually, good chances it won't. It's a D&D mmo in the Forgotten Realms setting. It's a famous enough IP that it will likely succeed. I've played D&D Online in the Eberron setting and that game while fun and F2P, requires you to pay real cash just to gain access to the bulk of its quest content. Even with such a contemptible way of monetizing that game, it's still popular enough to stay afloat.
You compare DDO to that?
DDO was a P2P game with a MASSIVE amount of investment and triple-A standards and experienced, capable devs. It retailed with high quality production values and strong customer support. Not to mention, at the time, its powerful graphic fidelity.
Now look at STO. Now look at Cryptic. Back to this "neverwinter".
Yeah...no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fulleatherjacket View Post
See, for what exactly are Cryptic to blame? Keeping this game going and expanding, with no sign of failure in the short or long term? STO is a mmo success story. What great evil has Cryptic done in your eyes? Offering you things to buy with real cash without forcing you to pay?
What to blame?
Lets start with repeatedly lying to customers. Taking this project from the get-go with an attitude of not investing much effort into it, but milking all the IP brand fans for maximum profit.
That in itself is pretty terrible.

No sign of failure?
The fact that they were scrambling left and right several times to find someone to dump this upon and barely avoided the hatchet several times should give you enough klaxons to light up the entire observation deck with screeching red.
If they were doing such a great job, if this game was doing so swell, you'd have publishers lining up for it. After all, this is the Star Trek IP.

A MMO success story?
No, STO is not a MMO success story. DDO is a MMO success story (and the reason why so many western P2Ps changed to F2Ps in the first place).
The cancelling of featured episodes alone should give you enough of a clue onto that.
"Seasons" being rolled out at a hysteric rate with anemic-anorectic sparse content/changes should be the next big warning sign.

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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 18
# 46
01-22-2013, 05:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by themarie View Post
You do realize Perfect World extends far beyond Star Trek Online right?

You have clicked the other links above, looked at their other offerings?

That said, stock price alone does not indicate how "well" a company is doing. A company can be selling stock around $2 a share and still be a profitable company with a solid product.

Linking the stock-price of a company to said company's success or product quality is a short-term money-man tactic... and the reason the American economy is down for the count. Every day is a bad day when you peg yourself to one metric and follow it over the short term.
Losing almost 50% of your stock value in two years isn't what any business wants. If STO was doing so well wouldn't it have helped them do better?
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,124
# 47
01-22-2013, 05:07 AM
Atari got what they deserved. They have consistently, over the years, pushed games out to release long before they were in a release state, killing game sales and hurting their own bottom line. How they have gotten so many amazing games to publish is really beyond me though.

They also have a terrible habit of forcing poorly designed features, entirely for game marketing catch lines, onto developers. It wouldn't surprise me in the least that the way exploration is done in STO was to allow Atari to throw a line on the retail box about all the infinite combinations or 1000s of missions.

It was badly run, with a terrible image that somehow managed to get secured to some amazing games which kept them alive.
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 154
# 48
01-22-2013, 05:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by avarseir View Post
PWE Haters: Be glad that PWE stepped in and bought STO or you all will have no game to play!
*shrugs* Still don't like the way PWE runs things. Atari's misfortunes don't change that.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 731
# 49
01-22-2013, 06:39 AM
Well, Atari sold off Cryptic, which was one of their main moneymakers (have to look at the original numbers that included C-Store), and then less than 2 years later go bankrupt (I'd speculate that the $50 million cash influx from PWE kept them above water for a good bit of that)? I think many people saw that coming.

Essentially they were a company without a vision (lets do games of type X, no Y, no Z) that failed to support their products (give more money to Star Trek Online? why, you already shipped?). They definitely had a poor understanding of MMOs.

Edit: People have been criticizing Neverwinter yet the game hasn't even started closed beta. Too soon to cast judgment. Secondly, Cryptic as a whole is but a small piece (something on the order of 2-5%) of Perfect World's portfolio, much less STO. If you were curious how it's done relative to other PWE games, Dan Stahl will tell you Star Trek Online is the top performing game for Perfect World in North America.
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Last edited by phyrexianhero; 01-22-2013 at 06:48 AM.
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# 50
01-22-2013, 07:14 AM
Merge inbound. Expect more. We don't need multiple threads for this, and we certainly don't need some of them in forum areas where they're off-topic.
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