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Atari 2010-2011 (Full Year) Financial Report

DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

Here is the latest financial report from Atari, covering April 1, 2010 - March 31, 2011: Link

As before, this is for those interested in such matters.

"Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

Comments

  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    "For Fiscal Year 2010/2011 Atari published pre-IFSR 5 Consolidated Revenues of €72.6 million, versus €115.7 million in the previous fiscal year. This significant reduction in revenues (-37.0%), principally incurred in the first half, was in line with expectations as Atari’s focus continues to be on fewer but more profitable releases and has exited from the majority of its lower margin third party distribution business."

    Here's the thing I find amusing: They keep talking like this is the first fiscal year they have been doing this business model, and that things will continue to get much better. The problem is the previous fiscal year (2009-2010) they were on the same "fewer, but more profitable games" business model as well (and the fiscal year before that as well, if I remember correctly). At the rate they are going, they'll need to stop selling games altogether before they can make a profit.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    "Actual Net Income for the second half of Fiscal Year 2010/2011 was €3.0 million, a slight decrease of €0.7 million over the Net Income of €3.7 million in the second half of the prior year. Despite improving Operating Income, this slight decrease was primarily due to:

    ? A loss at Cryptic Studios in the current semester of approximately -€.3 million as compared to a break-even position in the prior period. These results are included in profit and loss of discontinued operations; and

    ? Higher cost of debt as the amount drawn on the Credit facility amounted to approximately €2.3 million as of March 31, 2011. "

     

    One of the things that some of us were watching in these reports were the numbers, to try and deduce exactly how well Cryptic (and especially STO) were doing. It is interesting to finally get some firmer numbers from Atari on Cryptic's performance. Some of the people posting in the past have tried to convince us that Cryptic was doing great and/or that there were tons of STO players giving Cryptic a very large, steady stream of revenue. That is primarily the reason that I started posting these financial reports, so that we could get a basic idea of how Cryptic's games were doing; that proved probelematic (until now), as Atari lumped Cryptic in with all of its other online revenue (digital copies of single player games, etc.).

    MMOdata.net is currently working on updating their charts (which were last updated Dec. 25, 2010); this should give us a general idea of how much of that money was generated by CO, and how much STO made. In the last charts STO had went from a peak at launch of approximately 105,000 subscribers, and then took a nose-dive to approximately 58,000 subscribers at the time the chart was published. Jack Emmert stated, before STO launched, that 50,000 subscribers was what Cryptic considered viable (i.e. they can keep the game running with that many). I'll be interested in seeing if the game has fallen below that number.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • darlok6666darlok6666 Member Posts: 211

    Hmmm somehow not all that suprised, wonder if Atari will ever pull the plug on em and cut their losses.  Just don't want them to half ass Neverwinter which between their total lack of providing info on the game, "Rouge" written on their whiteboards, tackling multiple projects at once (they are also on a hush hush project along with Neverwinter), and their losses in revenue has me greatly concerned.  Then again maybe this loss of revenue might be a good thing as it'll get their heads out of their asses and start developing games right.

  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    Originally posted by darlok6666

    Hmmm somehow not all that suprised, wonder if Atari will ever pull the plug on em and cut their losses.  Just don't want them to half ass Neverwinter which between their total lack of providing info on the game, "Rouge" written on their whiteboards, tackling multiple projects at once (they are also on a hush hush project along with Neverwinter), and their losses in revenue has me greatly concerned.  Then again maybe this loss of revenue might be a good thing as it'll get their heads out of their asses and start developing games right.

     I am guessing that both MMOs would be sold with Cryptic, as they would of course be selling points. After all, any company looking at purchasing Cryptic would also be looking at having two launched MMOs as well. Given that it is Cryptic we're talking about, and Jack Emmert is now the top guy in Atari's Cryptic branch, I am guessing NWN will be up to Cryptic's usual quality standards. On the plus side, since the game is supposed to be an OMG and not a MMO, it might turn out better. As for the secret project, it is rumored to be a dinosaur MMO; a while back, PC Gamer's The Spy section had that listed as potentially being Cryptic's secret game.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • darlok6666darlok6666 Member Posts: 211

    Originally posted by Dinendae

    Originally posted by darlok6666

    Hmmm somehow not all that suprised, wonder if Atari will ever pull the plug on em and cut their losses.  Just don't want them to half ass Neverwinter which between their total lack of providing info on the game, "Rouge" written on their whiteboards, tackling multiple projects at once (they are also on a hush hush project along with Neverwinter), and their losses in revenue has me greatly concerned.  Then again maybe this loss of revenue might be a good thing as it'll get their heads out of their asses and start developing games right.

     I am guessing that both MMOs would be sold with Cryptic, as they would of course be selling points. After all, any company looking at purchasing Cryptic would also be looking at having two launched MMOs as well. Given that it is Cryptic we're talking about, and Jack Emmert is now the top guy in Atari's Cryptic branch, I am guessing NWN will be up to Cryptic's usual quality standards. On the plus side, since the game is supposed to be an OMG and not a MMO, it might turn out better. As for the secret project, it is rumored to be a dinosaur MMO; a while back, PC Gamer's The Spy section had that listed as potentially being Cryptic's secret game.

     lol dinosaur MMO?  Is it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1fUqSQFdAI&feature=related?

    Well definately something new if it is true.

  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    Originally posted by darlok6666

     lol dinosaur MMO?  Is it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1fUqSQFdAI&feature=related?

    Well definately something new if it is true.

     Don't take it as gospel; the columnist who goes writes The Spy articles said the information was shaky at best. I am guessing if it is true, then the game would be along the lines of the Turok comic book (or possibly the video game of the same name) or the old TV show Land of the Lost (and not that god-awful movie 'remake').

     

    *edit* There was a MMO once in the works, sort of pulp fiction (think League of Extrodinary Gentlemen, rather than Travolta's Pulp Fiction), called Lost Continents; as I remember it, it was going to have a lost world (i.e. dinosaurs) region. From what I understand, The Secret World MMO may have a lost world area as well.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • EvileEvile Member Posts: 534

    STO is quite populated. Populated with a very decent community also. One of the most mature base on average I have played with.

    STO is MUCH better then when I tried it in beta. The episodes are well done, and the stories are fun. I have yet to feel a "grind". I am enjoying my time.

    STO is MUCH better now  then this site gives credit for.

    image

  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    "Credit line maturity extended:

    The BlueBay credit line maturity has been extended from December 31, 2010 to June 30, 2011. Other terms and conditions remain unchanged. "

     

    I see Bluebay still hasn't managed to dump its Atari stock (


    Stock Quote

    -1.73 %

    2.84EUR

    ). I am thinking we'll see them try to pass it on to another lender, just as it was passed on to BlueBay a couple years ago. Just like then, the creditor had to keep extending the due date of the creditline until someone else came along and purchased it.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    Originally posted by Evile

    STO is quite populated. Populated with a very decent community also. One of the most mature base on average I have played with.

    STO is MUCH better then when I tried it in beta. The episodes are well done, and the stories are fun. I have yet to feel a "grind". I am enjoying my time.

    STO is MUCH better now  then this site gives credit for.

     Damage control, eh? Of course the game is far better now, since it launched in an abyssal condition; when you start at the bottom, the only way to go is up. As for the "quite populated" (or a STO's dev's comments here in the past that STO had 'lots and lots' of players), I have to ask: Compared to what MMO? Shadowbane, AC2, or AA? Absolutely! Those games are no longer running. Compared to UO, WWIIOnline (now called Battleground:Europe, I think), EQ, or AO? Sure, more than likely. Compared to MMOs a couple years old that also fell on their faces, such as AoC or WAR? Sorry, but no; tracking data has both of those games with far more subscsribers than STO.

    The last data at MMoData.net had STO at approximately 58,000 subscribers back on December 25, 2010. At that same time, WAR had approximately 96,000 subscribers and AoC had approximately 123,000 subscribers. Now MMOData is getting ready to update those charts with the latest numbers, so it is probable that the numbers have changed. Given that, I doubt that STO has seen a sudden surge in subscribers; if they had then Cryptic wouldn't have had a loss in Atari's latest financial report, and Atari wouldn't be trying to dump Cryptic.

    So again I will ask, STO is quite populated compared to what MMO? If you are just basing this off of seeing what you consider lots of players flying around in shared areas, then I have to say: Well, of course you are! The way STO is set up with its 'single server' and the way they do the instancing in that game, you will always see players if they are in the same public region as you (excluding cloaked ships, of course). In fact, a section of space will not instance until it has reached it's player capacity. it's a rather clever setup that some MMO companies use; until the game becomes a total ghost town you should always see players, thus giving the impression of a large population.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • SevenwindSevenwind Member UncommonPosts: 2,185

    I would take the word over someone that actually plays the game rather than someone linking a 3rd party site or has a negative post history of the game (no offense to you). As long as I'm able to find a group for something in the game I'm satisfied, when I want to group. 

    Find a good guild that fits your playstyle and any MMO with small or large populations is an enjoyable experience. 

    .. .... .- - . - .-. --- .-.. .-.. ... .-- .... --- .-. . .--. --- .-. - .-.-.-

    --------------------------------------------------------
    Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

  • AG-VukAG-Vuk Member UncommonPosts: 823

    I think the post on the Divestiture of Atari from Cryptic is a huge indicator fo how things are going at STO. I believe Atari has reaped as much as they feel they are going to from Cryptic. I believe Cryptic used Atari for funding and Atari was hoping for a large return on it's investment . The realization that Atari has achieved all it's going to achieve with Cryptic has caused them to sever ties. It's an interesting development , mainly because it shows how much confidence Atari has in Cryptic. I suspect the inability of STO to achieve greater numbers and profitiblity more then likely played a large part in this. Cryptic's sales of LT memberships may be coming home to roost as well. It'll be interesting to see what happens now at Cryptic when they are independent again.

    image
  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    Originally posted by AG-Vuk

    I think the post on the Divestiture of Atari from Cryptic is a huge indicator fo how things are going at STO. I believe Atari has reaped as much as they feel they are going to from Cryptic. I believe Cryptic used Atari for funding and Atari was hoping for a large return on it's investment . The realization that Atari has achieved all it's going to achieve with Cryptic has caused them to sever ties. It's an interesting development , mainly because it shows how much confidence Atari has in Cryptic. I suspect the inability of STO to achieve greater numbers and profitiblity more then likely played a large part in this. Cryptic's sales of LT memberships may be coming home to roost as well. It'll be interesting to see what happens now at Cryptic when they are independent again.

       Unless Jack can come up with the capital, don't expect Cryptic to become an indie studio any time soon; after all, a lot of that BlueBay debt that Atari can't pay off now was used to acquire Cryptic in the first place, and since Cryptic has cost Atari money, Atari is definately going to want to sell it off rather than just letting it go. Atari originally bought Cryptic partly due to Cryptic's promise that they could turn out quality, AAA MMOs in an 18-24 month cycle by reusing their 'robust' engine. Atari held them to that, and Cryptic couldn't deliver on the quality AAA part.

       As to the lifetime memberships, those probably saved Cryptic from this happening earlier; through some tricky wording in the original advertisement for them, it was made to sound like the lifetime subscriptions would be offered for a limited time only. That, coupled with the fact that this is a Star Trek game, meant a lot of people jumped on the offer. While some of those lifetimers who abandoned the game managed to get their money back, many didn't. That gave Cryptic and Atari a fairly good chunk of money from people who abandoned STO, and I think that is why they broke even the first year. Still, I don't believe that lifetime subscriptions are bad in and of themselves; people just need to experience the game for thirty days first, so that the 'new, shiney' feeling wears off. That way they can make a more informed decision.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • AG-VukAG-Vuk Member UncommonPosts: 823

    Originally posted by Dinendae

    Originally posted by AG-Vuk

    I think the post on the Divestiture of Atari from Cryptic is a huge indicator fo how things are going at STO. I believe Atari has reaped as much as they feel they are going to from Cryptic. I believe Cryptic used Atari for funding and Atari was hoping for a large return on it's investment . The realization that Atari has achieved all it's going to achieve with Cryptic has caused them to sever ties. It's an interesting development , mainly because it shows how much confidence Atari has in Cryptic. I suspect the inability of STO to achieve greater numbers and profitiblity more then likely played a large part in this. Cryptic's sales of LT memberships may be coming home to roost as well. It'll be interesting to see what happens now at Cryptic when they are independent again.

       Unless Jack can come up with the capital, don't expect Cryptic to become an indie studio any time soon; after all, a lot of that BlueBay debt that Atari can't pay off now was used to acquire Cryptic in the first place, and since Cryptic has cost Atari money, Atari is definately going to want to sell it off rather than just letting it go. Atari originally bought Cryptic partly due to Cryptic's promise that they could turn out quality, AAA MMOs in an 18-24 month cycle by reusing their 'robust' engine. Atari held them to that, and Cryptic couldn't deliver on the quality AAA part.

       As to the lifetime memberships, those probably saved Cryptic from this happening earlier; through some tricky wording in the original advertisement for them, it was made to sound like the lifetime subscriptions would be offered for a limited time only. That, coupled with the fact that this is a Star Trek game, meant a lot of people jumped on the offer. While some of those lifetimers who abandoned the game managed to get their money back, many didn't. That gave Cryptic and Atari a fairly good chunk of money from people who abandoned STO, and I think that is why they broke even the first year. Still, I don't believe that lifetime subscriptions are bad in and of themselves; people just need to experience the game for thirty days first, so that the 'new, shiney' feeling wears off. That way they can make a more informed decision.

     I agree , I just think Cryptic has burned up the value of the LT and now can't seem to generate the enthusism it needs to sustain STO. If they'd left the LT as a limited offer , they would be generating more income. Jack went for the quick buck in an attempt to impress Atari and keep the capital flowing into Cryptic, for the next project . With Cryptic it was always about the next project . STO was not the smashing success Atari had hoped when it bought Cryptic and Jack sold them on an engine and game dev process that would save Atari. It was a reach by Atari , Cryptic used Atari for the capital and failed to produce for Atari . So this is where we stand. Atari will attempt to sell Cryptic either whole or in pieces, whichever is most profitible. Although with Jack back in the drivers seat , it looks like Atari is attempting to give Jack time to come up with a new investor or with the capital. I figure he has a few months.

    image
  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    Originally posted by AG-Vuk

     I agree , I just think Cryptic has burned up the value of the LT and now can't seem to generate the enthusism it needs to sustain STO. If they'd left the LT as a limited offer , they would be generating more income. Jack went for the quick buck in an attempt to impress Atari and keep the capital flowing into Cryptic, for the next project . With Cryptic it was always about the next project . STO was not the smashing success Atari had hoped when it bought Cryptic and Jack sold them on an engine and game dev process that would save Atari. It was a reach by Atari , Cryptic used Atari for the capital and failed to produce for Atari . So this is where we stand. Atari will attempt to sell Cryptic either whole or in pieces, whichever is most profitible. Although with Jack back in the drivers seat , it looks like Atari is attempting to give Jack time to come up with a new investor or with the capital. I figure he has a few months.

     I wouldn't even call it going for the quick buck: Turbine has shown with LotRO that if you release a solid enough game, you can continue to offer lifetime subscriptions with no problem. When asked wgy they were still offering lifetime subscriptions a year after launch, one of the lead guys on LotRO replied that the lifetime subscribers only made up a small fraction of their player base. STO had the opposite problem: After the first couple of months, STO's subscriber population dropped to almost half of what it was. It is a safe bet that the lifetime and multi-month subscribers made up a large percentage of those players.

    As to the time frame, I am guessing we will know more around June 30, 2011; according to the financial report, that is the new, extended deadline for the credit line from BlueBay. This is just a guess, but I am thinking that they received that extension on the grounds that Atari would sell off Cryptic and that by divesting Cryptic, Atari would finally see some profit (as well as having their stock price go up).

    I wonder if Needham saw the writing on the wall, and jumped ship while he could? He left Cryptic shortly before Atari's 2010-2011 4th fiscal quarter ended.

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

  • AG-VukAG-Vuk Member UncommonPosts: 823

    Originally posted by Dinendae

    Originally posted by AG-Vuk

     I agree , I just think Cryptic has burned up the value of the LT and now can't seem to generate the enthusism it needs to sustain STO. If they'd left the LT as a limited offer , they would be generating more income. Jack went for the quick buck in an attempt to impress Atari and keep the capital flowing into Cryptic, for the next project . With Cryptic it was always about the next project . STO was not the smashing success Atari had hoped when it bought Cryptic and Jack sold them on an engine and game dev process that would save Atari. It was a reach by Atari , Cryptic used Atari for the capital and failed to produce for Atari . So this is where we stand. Atari will attempt to sell Cryptic either whole or in pieces, whichever is most profitible. Although with Jack back in the drivers seat , it looks like Atari is attempting to give Jack time to come up with a new investor or with the capital. I figure he has a few months.

     I wonder if Needham saw the writing on the wall, and jumped ship while he could? He left Cryptic shortly before Atari's 2010-2011 4th fiscal quarter ended.

     Oh , absolutely . He's the guy that sees the numbers . Usually you know a company is in trouble when you see the top guys leaving or retiring all at once. The last to know are the ones not in the inter circles at the top.

    image
  • DinendaeDinendae Member Posts: 1,264

    After digging around through Atari's financial documents, I was able to confirm a couple of lawsuit items (which can be found Here ). The first of which is that Turbine and Atari did settle out of court (page 45 of the document):

    "However, on March 30, 2010, the parties executed a Confidential Settlement Agreement and Release which provided in part for (i) a general release by each party of all claims against the other through and including December 31, 2009; and (ii) a discontinuance of the litigation. "

    The other thing I was able to confirm is that Hasbro's lawsuit to revoke Atari's D&D franchise is still ongoing (also page 45, right under the Turbine entry).

    "Oh my, how horrible, someone is criticizing a MMO. Oh yeah, that is what a forum is about, looking at both sides. You rather have to be critical of anything in this genre as of late because the track record of these major studios has just been appalling." -Ozmodan

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