Rumor: Cryptic Prepping Neverwinter Nights MMO

Champions Online and Star Trek Online developer Cryptic is said to be working on an Neverwinter Nights MMO, according to the sources of Variety's Chris Morris.

The rumblings fit with owner Atari's past comments, including a vow that it would revive classic franchises, such as those under the Dungeons and Dragons banner, and word that Cryptic is prepping "a series of new games" based off Atari properties.

The as-yet-unconfirmed title is said to be targeting a 2011 release--the same timeframe provided for the unannounced project that was revealed when Atari bought Cryptic. As for the studio's two announced efforts, Champions Online is due on PC and Xbox 360 later this year, with Star Trek Online arriving on PC no later than March 31, 2010.

Taking place within the Forgotten Realms setting of the Dungeons and Dragons franchise, the Neverwinter Nights series arrived on PC in 2002 via developer BioWare, bearing both a single-player campaign and support for up to 75 online players per server. The fantasy RPG's 2006 sequel was handled by Obsidian, with both versions embracing community-made content through the inclusion of a mod toolset.