— Infogrames-Atari: French video games company Infogrames, majority shareholder of Atari, is buying California-based online multiplayer games developer Cryptic Studios for $27.6 million in cash and shares — with earn-out clauses taking the figure to $55.1 million by 2011 depending on the performance of Cryptic’s games, including the forthcoming Champions Online and Star Trek games. The company has about 150 full-time staff and for the 12 months June 30 it made revenues of $17 million. Release (pdf).
— Sony’s online games traffic: Michael Denny, SVP of Sony’s Worldwide Studio Europe games development division has shed some light on the success of Sony’s online PS3 games brands. He says the SingStar karaoke game has an online community of 300,000 users, while quiz game Buzz has seen 100,000 user-generated quizzes get more than seven million plays. LittleBigPlanet, Sony’s big hope for Christmas PS3 sales, has more than 150,00 UGC levels, which have generated 22.4 million plays so far (via Playstation.com) On the “downside”, Denny says SingStar is responsible for 50,000 sales of Bonnie Tyler’s soft rock classic Total Eclipse of the Heart. From Gamesindustry.biz.
— William Hill mobile: High street bookies William Hill is improving its mobile betting facility this week to allow mobile credit card payments and more complex types of bets as part of a three-year deal with mobile tech company Mfuse. The pair will launch a downloadable, Java-based mobile gambling app next year to allow punters to bet live during races and matches. In September Mfuse also signed a deal to develop mobile betting for BSkyB. From Online-Casinos.com.