Article published on Monday, August 22nd, 2011
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In May, Atari entered into agreement with Perfect World to sell off Cryptic Studios, the company behind Champions Online and Star Trek Online for €35.0 million in cash which amounts to a little over $50 million US dollars plus other perks.

"We are very pleased to sign the agreement to acquire Cryptic Studios," commented Mr. Michael Chi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Perfect World. "This strategic acquisition will add attractive game titles to our portfolio, which will help us further penetrate into the U.S. and global online game markets. More importantly, Cryptic Studios’ highly reputable development team and its technology platform will further strengthen our well-established R&D capabilities. We deem this as another noteworthy achievement of our global expansion efforts."

"With the acquisition by Perfect World, Cryptic has found a strong platform for continued expansion into free to play business model and growth in the global marketplace," said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari. "The divestiture of Cryptic is in line with Atari’s continued focus on key owned and third-party strategic franchises and expansion into emerging game platforms."

Players of Cryptic Studios’ games are wondering whether Star Trek Online will become free-to-play and how the game would be transitioned. With the purchase of Cryptic Studios, Perfect World has recently released a FAQ that answers questions regarding the transition of PWE and Cryptic Studios.

Q: If I play Star Trek Online or Champions Online and I have Atari Tokens, will I be able to still use them in Cryptic’s MMOs after the transition?
Yes. They’ll just be called Cryptic Points.

Q: Will Cryptic remain its own entity or will it be absorbed into PWE?
Cryptic Studios is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Perfect World Entertainment.

Q: Will my Cryptic game account(s) become PWE account(s) or will they remain separate?
Not in the near-term, no. Your accounts will remain Cryptic accounts. There is a possibility that, in the future, we will merge account services with Perfect World. Should that happen, we will keep you apprised.

Q: Who will gain access to my personal data?
Your privacy and security are extremely important to us. During this transition our Privacy Policy will remain largely unchanged and access to your personal data will remain as restricted as ever, which we detail within the policy.

Q: What will happen to my Atari Tokens?
We’ve detailed exactly what happens to Atari Tokens for a user depending on what games the user plays and where they have purchased the tokens. Please see our Atari Tokens/Cryptic Points FAQ below.

Q: Will my Lifetime Subscription(s) still be honored?
Your Lifetime Subscription to Champions Online: Free for All and/or Star Trek Online will remain the same and will not be altered in any form. Your Lifetime Subscription is valid for the life of the game.

Q: Will the C-Store remain the same or will it change into PWE’s virtual goods store?
Users of Cryptic Studios products should see no major signs of this change. The C-Store will continue to operate as normal.

Q: Will I be able to use Perfect World cards to purchase Cryptic Points?
Not immediately, no. But that is something that could happen pretty soon. It’s probable.

Q: Will your dev teams be changing?
There are no plans to change the development team on any of our titles. If anything, we plan on increasing the number of team members to serve you better.

Q: Will your support teams change?
All of the GMs and Community Representatives you already know will be remaining. Our support team will grow as Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment combine resources.

Q: How will customer support work?
We have transitioned our Atari customer support related to Cryptic games to product-specific customer support for Cryptic titles. There should be no interruption in service.

Q: Will there be adjustments made to the CO/STO/NW Forum Guidelines?
Yes. As part of our integration, a great many things will change and be improved upon. Our Codes of Conduct and forum guidelines are no exception. But we do not have a firm timeline for when changes will be implemented.

Q: Does Cryptic still make Cryptic games?
Yes! Cryptic Studios will continue to operate Champions Online and Star Trek Online. Development will also continue as planned for Neverwinter and other unannounced titles.


Q: When will this virtual currency transition take place?
The Atari Tokens / Cryptic Points portion of the transition will begin on 8/18/2011 and it may take several days for all changes to take effect.

Q: What does this part of the transition entail exactly?
Cosmetically, all icons and associated Atari Token language convert into Cryptic Points. All associated terminology across Cryptic games and product websites also converts.

On a structural level, if you play Cryptic games and have purchased Atari Tokens, you will have Cryptic Points that you can continue using on Cryptic products. Your Atari Token balance will become a Cryptic Points balance. If you haven’t played any Cryptic games, your Atari Tokens will remain Atari Tokens and can only be redeemed for Atari game purchases.

Q: What about Cryptic virtual goods purchases going forward?
If you’d like to make purchases in the Champions Online: Free For All or Star Trek Online C-Stores, Cryptic Points will be accepted after the 8/18/2011 transition date. As stated above, if you are a player of Star Trek Online or Champions Online: Free For All and you retain a balance of Atari Tokens, those tokens will become Cryptic Points that can be used within Cryptic games. If you do not have a balance of Atari Tokens that convert into Cryptic Points, you may purchase Cryptic Points via our Cryptic websites for use in our C-Stores (essentially, little changes aside from the virtual currency designation).

Q: Will my Cryptic Points eventually become a PWE currency?
It is possible that as we continue to combine the Cryptic Studios and Perfect World systems, your Cryptic Points may eventually be converted into another virtual currency. We do not have a specific timeline for this, however. It’s something that’s being considered.