Just a few days after the announcement of the latest Neverwinter Nights premium module, Infinite Dungeons, Neverwinter Nights Vault is reporting that Atari has ceased support of the popular Dungeons & Dragons RPG. This means no more patches or premium modules for the original game, leaving the planned sequel to Witches Wake in limbo.
According to NWN module producer DLA, Atari contacted developer BioWare right before E3 with news that patches and premium content would no longer be authorized. A DLA blogger also has some details on Atari's related financial woes:
"Atari is in a financial crisis and appears to be unable to meet all of its liabilities as they become due. Their principal line of credit has been cancelled and their secured lenders are turning hostile (When the secured creditors are girding for battle - you know it's bad). At the same time, many of their unsecured creditors are going unpaid. This means they have not paid most of their developers the royalties owing to them on published SKUs Atari has sold in previous quarters."
This doesn't sound good for the publisher formerly known as Infogrames, and while they may deserve credit for supporting NWN for nearly four years, that's not nearly as long as the decade of support Blizzard has given Diablo. A previous Atari D&D title, Temple of Elemental Evil, was also plagued with poor support, which ruined an otherwise solid RPG experience. Atari no doubt wishes to focus its efforts on Obsidian's upcoming NWN2, which DLA hints might be rushed out the door this September in an attempt to hasten cash flow. As a fan of the series, I hope this isn't the case, and Atari at least allows BioWare to continue releasing patches for the original NWN as needed.