Merely a couple weeks ago, I wrote a post about what I thought of Atari’s decision to sell Cryptic, and held out hope that the developer would eventually find a good place to call home. Turns out we didn’t have to wait for long; today the news came out that Perfect World has acquired Cryptic.
Thought I’d throw in my two cents again, seeing as how a great many responses have already surfaced, ranging from those who are sure this deal will spell nothing but doom, to those who are positively ecstatic — one more opinion couldn’t possibly hurt. First of all, I’ll admit that I’m only mildly familiar with Perfect World as a company. I’ve never played any of their games, and much of what I’ve heard about their business practices comes from second hand knowledge — such as their “Asian grinder” stereotype and inclination towards free-to-play and cash shops…but to be fair, also the fact they purchased Runic Games last year and for the most part have left it alone.
To be honest, none of that really means squat to me, because my gut already says Perfect World will likely take a similar “hands-off” approach when it comes to Cryptic. That is, if this purchase was indeed a “strategic acquisition” and their opportunity to “further penetrate into the U.S. and global online game markets”…well, if that’s true, then it just wouldn’t make much sense for them to turn right around and screw with Cryptic’s games. I think to do so would be highly illogical, to quote our favorite pointy-eared friend.
Speaking of which, my interest in all this is, of course, because of Star Trek Online. Ever since Champions Online went free-to-play, there has been speculation on whether or not it’s Cryptic’s “F2P experiment”, and that maybe STO will soon follow. Given how long it’s been on players’ radar screens, if the game does go down that route, I can’t say it’ll be a shocker. My guess, however, is that the decision will come more from within Cryptic, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it ultimately gets attributed to the new ownership. How that situation might be handled, though, is also up for speculation. Regardless, it’s way too early to say whether or not this will affect my sub. Way, way too early to say this acquisition is “definitely good” or “definitely bad”, really.
At least now Cryptic has a home and a more stable source of funds and resources at their disposal to continue work on their games. I predict things should be business-as-usual for the foreseeable future. Sure, I could be wrong, but like Blue Kae I’m willing to sit back to wait and see before I tear out my hair and run screaming down the street panicking.
Yep, cautiously optimistic. That’s me, too.