Atari recently acquired Cryptic Studios, the company that developed the popular Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game City of Heroes/Villains for NCsoft.
Cryptic Studios is currently developing two new MMORPGs, Champions Online which will be released this year, and another popular franchise Star Trek Online to be released next year.
But a rumor is circulating now that the company is developing another popular franchise…
…this time from Atari (now its parent company), Neverwinter Nights Online. A game revived by Bioware in 2002, then a sequel NWN2 released in 2006 by Obsidian Entertainment.
If you are of the 90s generation of gamers, Neverwinter Nights is a game based on the world of Forgotten Realms, one of the many in the Dungeons & Dragons (or D&D) brandname. This is only one of the games developed around FR some were: Hillsfar, Curse of the Azure Bonds, and Eye of the Beholder to mention a few, and NWN is an old franchise
But will this work considering that WotC (Wizards of the Coast), the owner of D&D is very strict when it comes to protecting their IPs? A known practice of WotC is that all games must use the latest D&D edition and game world, and that is the 4th Edition today. In the 4th Edition Forgotten Realms, if I remember, Neverwinter was destroyed.
Creating a game around a town that was completely destroyed will be a tough one, and it will be subjected to the approval of WotC and the FR writers. If they can pull this one out, then it better be good and if possible, retain the positive aspects of the NWN and NWN2 games - customizations - from custom items and designs, to addons, to player-created content.
It is also possible that WotC gave a go signal for NWNO, because this will allow them to test and prove how much of an improvement D&D 4th Ed. is - dubbed as the “MMO edition". Remember Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) where players complained that the game was slow? Well, for D&D players it is accurate to D&D, but for the MMO generation of gamers it isn’t.
Well, let’s see if this rumor is true. As far as everybody knows, Cryptic is developing a new MMORPG slated for a 2011 release. If this will be NWN then I’ll ditch World of Warcraft and Guild Wars.
I’ll miss negative AC and THAC0 though.