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Atari, Cryptic and a browser-based MMO?

By on December 15, 2008
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OK, I admit that this is wild speculation.

Last week (sorry for the delay, I’ve been busy), Atari announced that it had acquired Cryptic Studios.

Cryptic have been successful in designing MMOs. They developed City of Heroes/Villains for NCSoft. They are working on Champions Online for Take 2 to be released in 2009 and Star Trek Online due out in 2010.

My first thought was “Great for Atari, but another acquisition that relies on the old boxed game distribution channel (not that that’s hurt Blizzard any.)

My second thought was “Hold on: David Gardner and Phil Harrison are clear about wanting to move their business fully online. They’re very smart guys. Maybe I’m just not thinking hard enough.”

So my wild speculation is this: Once Cryptic has finished its contractual obligations with other publishers, it will work on a new project for Atari.

And I predict that game will be 100% browser-based. No shop distribution, no boxes, just platform-agnostic, incredibly high-quality content available in your browser on all manner of devices (probably using the Unity platform).

So the first game from Cryptic Studios published by Atari will be in a browser. You heard it here first, folks!

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com