It was a just about five months ago that 2K games' publishing deal with Cryptic Studios was announced. The publishing label in the Take-Two collective had scored the rights to publish Champions Online in the midst of a steamy summer season, and the independent developer behind the game seemed thrilled. It's cold now, and the recent purchase of Cryptic by Atari seems to have changed and reshaped that original business relationship. Gamespot is reporting that Take-Two is now officially on the outs when it comes to publishing Champions Online.

A post-earnings conference call with analysts saw Take-Two president Ben Feder specifically stating "We no longer intend to publish the MMOG Champions Online due to Atari's acquisition of Cryptic." Gamespot further wonders whether the game will attempt to launch in early 2009. The loose "Spring 2009" timeframe was suggested when the game was first announced, and it remains to be seen whether the developer can stick to that timeframe post-acquisition. Massively will continue to follow this story as it develops.

This article was originally published on Massively.