Atari posts losses, letting go of Cryptic
Atari hasn’t been financially strong for a couple of years now, and it seems it is taking a toll on its studios as well. In its latest fiscal year earnings report, the company announced that it is looking to sell Cryptic, the studio behind the superhero MMO Champions Online.
As it stands, the company reported a net loss of $8.8 million, which is, quite honestly, an improvement over its $27.5 million loss in the previous fiscal year. Interestingly, Cryptic alone was responsible for $7.5 million in losses this year.
Cryptic is currently working on a Neverwinter MMO and “Season 4” of Star Trek Online. The studio’s future is currently uncertain.
Alyssa Milano is Love Interest in Ghostbusters
Atari today announced that Alyssa Milano will be the new love interest in the forthcoming Ghostbusters: The Video Game. She is best known for her roles in “Melrose Place”, “Charmed” and “My Name is Earl”. Milano joins members of the original cast from the Ghostbusters movies.
Her character will be courted by none other than Bill Murray’s character, Dr. Peter Venkman, who will be going after Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn, who is described as a “smart and sassy archaeologist”.
In the game, Milano’s character, Ilyssa Selwyn, is an expert in Sumerian and pre-Sumerian cultures and is visiting New York City as guest curator for the highly anticipated ‘World of Gozer’ exhibition opening in 1991 at the Natural History Museum. In the story line, Gozerian mythology has attracted a wide popular following since the still-unexplained events and attacks that occurred in the city in 1984. Ilyssa is working late at the museum the night before the opening when a cataclysmic force is unleashed and summons an ancient enemy back to New York City. Strange events continue to erupt around her: what secret does she know? It’s up to the Ghostbusters to help Ilyssa find the key and stop the forces of evil that threaten the balance of the universe. That’s if they can keep Peter Venkman from hitting on her every three minutes.
The game is due out in North America on June 16 and worldwide on June 19 to coincide with the 25th anniversary celebration of the film’s original theatrical release. It will be available on PS3, PS2, Wii, DS and Xbox 360.
Riddick Sets its Sights on April
Atari today announced the release date for The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena: April 7 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The first-person shooter remake/sequel has been developed by Starbreeze Studios.
The sequel aspect of the game comes in the form of an entirely new chapter, which continues the storyline from the original. It features redone graphics and online multiplayer modes, among other things.
N+ Coming to Europe
European’s have long mourned the fact that they were not subject to the awesomeness of N+, but that time has come to an end as Atari will bring the antics of the beloved flash ninja to the region for the PSP and DS in March and April 2009, respectively.
N+ is an equal parts platformer and action game, offering fluid animation, fast action, acrobatics and instant playability. The portable game features pick-up-and-play style that has enamored gamers in the rest of the world.
The PSP and DS versions feature cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes and level sharing. They also have a built-in level editor, letting you and your friends share your weird maps; it also carries support for downloadable content.
Chapter Menus in Alone in the Dark
Following up on their episodic format for Alone in the Dark, Atari has announced that the game will feature a DVD-style chapter menu, which will allow players to rewind or fast-forward through the game. Players can play through any chapter they want, whenever they want. However, the ending will only be unlocked once the full game has been played through.
It will also feature a “previously on…” cinematic before each chapter, showing gameplay and story moments from past sessions.
Alone in the Dark is due out next month for PC, PS2, Xbox 360 and Wii. A PS3 version is in the works for release later this year.
Alone in the Dark OST Announced
Further hyping the upcoming Alone in the Dark game, Atari and Milan Records today announced their collaboration to release the soundtrack for the horror game on May 24. The score was composed by Olivier Deriveire and performed by world famous, Grammy Award-winning choir The Mystery of Bulgarian Voices.
“For its first release of a video game soundtrack, Milan Records is very proud to be associated with such a classic series as Alone in the Dark,” said Nick Bobetsky, VP Sales and Marketing, MILAN RECORDS. “This is an original and powerful soundtrack, which goes beyond what you would normally expect in a video game.”
The game itself will ship to stores on June 20 and June 24 in Europe and North America, respectively, for PS2, Wii, PC and Xbox 360; the PS3 version will be released sometime later this year. Below is the full track listing for the soundtrack:
- Prelude to an End
- Edward Carnby
- The Fissure
- Collapsing Floors
- The Façade
- Reception Hall
- The Humanz
- Who Am I?
- Central Park
- Crying NY
- Bethesda Fight
- Killing The Fissure
- No More Humans
- The Light Carrier Test
- Shto Li (A cappella)
- The Final Gate
- The Choice
- An End for a Prelude
Asterix Heads to X360
Atari today announced that Asterix at the Olympic Games is coming to the Xbox 360 this Summer. Making his jump to the current-gen machines, Asterix will have to go through various physical challenges as well as problem-solving. There will be two modes – the adventure mode tells the story of the characters, while the antique mode will let players compete in over ten disciplines as 12 playable characters.
The game will blend live action elements from the recently released film. It is already available on PS2, PC, Wii and DS.
Free TimeShift Maps Live
Those who still have the time-bending TimeShift game will be glad to know that five brand new maps for the game’s multiplayer mode have been released. The maps support all forms of gameplay modes, including One-on-One, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch as well as Capture the Flag.
Alone in the Dark Delayed
As per a feature in this month’s issue of Games for Windows magazine, Eden Games has delayed Alone in the Dark (PC, PS2, PS3, Wii and Xbox 360). The game, originally expected this March, will now be released in September.
Atari Founder Calls Video Games "Trash"
In a recent interview with Electric Design, Atari co-founder and gaming pioneer Nolan Bushnell commented that games nowadays are “pure, unadulterated trash” and that he is “sad” for the current situation.
“We used to have families sit down and play a game together,” he added. “A lot of video games today are very isolated. You don’t see mom and dad, sister and brother, sitting down like they used to play, say, Monopoly. That represented good mentoring time for families that just isn’t happening now.”
Bushnell has most recently worked on uWink, a series of interactive restaurants that feature touch-screen terminals with which customers can order food and drinks, as well as play games, watch movie trailers, videos and more.