Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Atari to offload Champions Online studio

Cryptic Studios a "discontinued operation".

Atari is to shed Champions Online and Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios.

According to the publisher's latest earnings report, the California-based studio was classed as a "discontinued operation" as of 31st March this year.

"In line with the previously stated strategy of fewer but more profitable releases and further expansion into casual online and mobile games, the Company has determined that external development creates more flexibility in the three changing marketplace," explained the report.

"Therefore, the Company has made the decision to divest itself from Cryptic Studios. The divestiture process is underway and more details will be provided as appropriate."

Cryptic had initially struggled following its purchase by Atari back in 2008, but had recently shown signs of an upswing. Losses were €5.3 million for the 2010/11 fiscal year, up from €12.6 million in 2009/2010.

Gamasutra reports that Atari will continue to support all active Cryptic titles while a buyer is sought, and development on its Neverwinter project will continue as normal.

A post from a Cryptic employee on the Star Trek Online forums suggested it wasn't all doom and gloom on the studio floor.

"The headline is chosen a little unfortunate by the colleagues at Gamasutra and makes it sound like we're a kicked puppy standing in the rain. That's not the case," stated a community representative.

"Support for Champions Online and Star Trek Online will be continuing as normal, our staff is working hard on their projects (and the folks from the Champions team deserve an extra cheer for their new stuff by the way) and there are no planned changes to the way any of our games and projects will operate."

Star Trek Online was Cryptic's most recent launch back in February 2010, scoring 6/10 from Eurogamer's Oli Welsh.