Total Annihilation, Star Control, Master of Orion IPs sold off at Atari auction
by John Keefer, shacknews.com, Jul 22, 2013 8:30AM PDT
Atari has auctioned off several of its prominent video game assets, and if everything is approved by a New York bankruptcy court on Wednesday, popular franchises such as Total Annihilation, Master of Orion, Star Control and Battlezone will have new homes.
Wargaming, creator of World of Tanks, was the winning bidder for the Total Annihilation and Master of Orion series, while developer Rebellion placed the high bid for Battlezone and Moonbase Commander, according to a bankruptcy court document (via Game Informer). Stardock was the high bidder for the Star Control IP. The winning bids were not disclosed in the documents, although the base price for TA was previously listed at $250,000.
Uber Entertainment, which is making a "spriritual successor" of sorts to Total Annihilation in Planetary Annihilation, also bid on the series. It didn't offer enough to secure it, but still has a hope as the backup bidder. Stardock was also listed as a back-up bidder for the Master of Orion IP.
While Atari had several other IPs up for auction as part of its filing for bankruptcy, such as RollerCoaster Tycoon and Test Drive, the only other franchise showing up as having bidders at the auction were Backyard Sports, won by Epic Gear, and the Humongous franchise, won by Tommo. It is possible that deals for the other franchises could be dealt separately, as happened when Nordic Games picked up the Desperados and Silver IPs from Atari last month.
The acquisition of the Total Annihilation franchise for Wargaming would be a reunion of sorts with its creator Chris Taylor, who developed the game for now-defunct Cavedog in 1997. Wargaming purchased Taylor's floundering development studio Gas Powered Games in February, and he is reportedly working on a new project for his new bosses. Before the Wargaming deal, Taylor told Shacknews that he had wanted to get TA from Atari for Gas Powered Games on a few occasions, but talks rarely went anywhere.
The bid by Stardock on Star Control is not surprising, given the company's preference for space strategy games, such as the Galactic Civilization and Sins of a Solar Empire franchises. Company CEO Brad Wardell has previously made clear his love for the series, as well as Master of Orion.