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Champions Online Testers Poached From Rival

Cryptic Studios has confirmed that it recruited players for the now-underway Champions Online closed beta from super-powered rival City of Heroes and other PC MMOs.

Rumors of such practices emerged via Massively earlier this week, after the official City of Heroes website warned players and forum-goers of solicitations from "another game company trying to lure you to their competing product." nope

While Cryptic Studios was initially involved in the creation and upkeep of City of Heroes, the company later sold its stake in the franchise to publisher NCsoft. Cryptic then revealed Champions Online a few months later, and was later bought by Atari.

"I'm certain this wasn't meant to be a malicious attack on a competing product, nor did anyone intend to steal players, violate user agreements, kill babies, or knife hardworking farmers in the back," reads a statement from Cryptic's Ivan Sulic.

"A few of our employees thought it might be a good idea to contact avid MMO notables and various guild leaders floating about to see if they wanted to test," he added. "The folks who send [invites] figured people who play MMOs most might want them most. If a line was crossed, it was totally inadvertent and no harm was intended."

Sulic stressed that the company's marketing department had been recently restructured, and noted that "we'll make sure to stay straight as an arrow from here on."

He concluded: "Shills, poaching, bullshotting... No chance, man. We make good games and we hope people will play them. Best anyone can do, right?"

The PC version of Champions Online is slated to launch sometime this spring, with an Xbox 360 release following at a later date.