'Neverwinter' Coming to PC in 2011 from Cryptic Studios and Atari [Updated]

BOOM widget 138368 [Update: 10:30am] According to a GameSpot interview (as spotted by Shack user valcan_s), Neverwinter will "focus on cooperative play, requiring players to log into a server to start a session" encouraging play with others. Players will be able to play the game solo if they prefer but it will be "a much harder way to play."

[Original: 9:25am] It looks like Dungeon & Dragons fans will be returning to the city of Neverwinter very soon.

Atari has confirmed Cryptic Studios is currently developing Neverwinter, an "online role-playing" adventure based on the Wizard's of the Coast property and inspired by the upcoming book trilogy from author R.A. Salvatore.

Previously, rumors had been circulating that Crypic had been working on a Neverwinter Nights-based MMO. Although today's announcement mentions online features, the game is not described as an online-only role-playing title. Shacknews has contacted Atari for clarification. [See update above.]

The upcoming adventure allows players to select from one of five "classic D&D classes and team up with friends or computer-controlled allies to form five-person co-op groups." According to the announcement press release, players will also be able to create their own storyline and quests "utilizing an extremely user-friendly content generation system, tentatively codenamed Forge."

Neverwinter is set to launch in Q4 2011 on the PC, alongside the aforementioned completed R.A. Salvatore book trilogy and a new tabletop role-playing game from Wizard's of the Coast.

The first book in Salvatore's series, titled Gauntlgrym, is set to release on October 5 and will preview "the settings, characters and monsters from the PC game and details the events" that lead to the PC title's story.

Atari and Cryptic Studios Announce Neverwinter Coming in 2011 for PC
Storyline for new Co-Op Roleplaying Game Inspired by R.A. Salvatore's Upcoming Book Trilogy

Los Angeles, CA (August 23, 2010) -- Atari, one of the world's most recognized videogame publishers and Cryptic Studios, the acclaimed developers behind City of heroes, City of Villains, Champions Online and Star Trek Online, announced today the development of Neverwinter for PC. Neverwinter is a new online roleplaying game based on Wizards of the Coast's global property Dungeons & Dragons and the beloved city of Neverwinter.

Once a bustling location, Neverwinter has faced a great many disasters in the past hundred years. Rule of the city remains unclear following the unfortunate demise of the last Lord of Neverwinter and factions still battle for dominance after the all-consuming Spellplague took a high toll on the population. Even Neverwinter's dead are beginning to rise from their graves and march upon the city they once called home.

"We're beyond thrilled to develop a brand new version of Neverwinter. It's been years since the original became a gaming icon and we're honored to work with such a great franchise," said Jack Emmert, COO of Cryptic Studios. "We've been working closely with Wizards of the Coast and R.A. Salvatore to create an authentic D&D adventure filled with compelling fiction and exciting gameplay."

In Neverwinter, players choose to become one of five classic D&D classes and team up with friends or computer-controlled allies to form five-person co-op groups. Players also create their own storylines and quests utilizing an extremely user-friendly content generation system, tentatively codenamed Forge.

"Wizards of the Coast is excited to invite millions of fans back to Neverwinter with the launch of R.A. Salvatore's Gauntlgrym," said Liz Schuh, Brand Director for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast. "And we're excited about the prospects for great digital gaming experiences based on this epic world."

Neverwinter for PC is scheduled to release in Q4 2011 and is part of a multi-platform event, including a book trilogy from New York Times best-selling author R. A. Salvatore and a tabletop roleplaying game from Wizards of the Coast. Book one in Salvatore's Neverwinter trilogy, titled Gauntlgrym, releases on October 5 of this year and lays the groundwork for the Neverwinter storyline. The novel previews the settings, characters and monsters from the PC game and details the events that lead up to this highly anticipated PC gaming experience.

To learn more about the game, please visit: www.PlayNeverwinter.com