Atari has sold Cryptic Studios - makers of Champions Online and Star Trek Online - to Perfect World Entertainment for a sum of almost $50 million.
The press releases say that things will remain business as usual for Cryptic, but being the jaded gamer that I am, I have my doubts. We've been told numerous fairy tales in the past only to have the rug pulled out from under us and I wonder how this is all going to play out.
Champions Online went free to play earlier this year, which was likely a great feature for PW as they already have a track record in the F2P realm. What worries me is the possibility of Champions Online possibly going entirely F2P with no Gold or Lifetime options. Worse still is the scenario where the game goes into pay2win mode, or you are forced to pay for things that you used to get normally.
It all depends on how much Perfect World is wanting to change how Cryptic handles their games. If they leave well enough alone, things will be fine. The F2P version of CO is pretty much fine as is, and for those that truly enjoy the game it's worth paying for Gold status. If however, PW decides they want to get greedy, the games may suffer.
Here's to hoping that the future is instead bright and sunny.