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Atari buys MMO developer Cryptic

Studio has third game in development.

Our sister site GamesIndustry.biz reports that Atari has acquired MMO developer Cryptic Studios.

According to the story, Cryptic has three games in development, due to be released between now and 2011.

We already know about superhero MMO Champions Online, due next year for PC and Xbox 360, and Star Trek Online, which GI reports is scheduled for a 2010 release. But this is the first time a third game has been mentioned.

Cryptic developed the successful City of Heroes for NCsoft, before leaving it behind to work on the ill-fated Marvel Universe Online with Microsoft.

It then acquired the licence to the Champions superhero role-playing game itself, before signing Champions Online to publisher Take-Two for its 2K Games label. It's not known if this deal is affected by Atari's acquisition at the moment, but we're chasing both parties for comment.

Cryptic also announced last year that it was working on a Star Trek MMO, Star Trek Online - a potentially lucrative game, if it manages to attract the devoted Star Trek fanbase.

The company is thought to be bringing its titles to PS3 as well as PC and Xbox 360.

You can read more at the Star Trek Online and Champions Online gamepages.