Hasbro and Atari today announced a settlement to a legal dispute launched in December of 2009 over the rights to use the Dungeons & Dragons license for the upcoming multiplayer RPG, Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter. The settlement notes that Hasbro will keep the digital licensing rights to the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, though Atari will also be able to develop and sell a "selection of games" under the license. The Facebook game Heroes of Neverwinter and downloadable Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale are two such examples. Sadly, that resolution hasn't kept Neverwinter from being delayed.
The decision to push the release isn't due to the prior dispute. Rather, it's the delay is described as a side-effect of Atari's recent sale of Cryptic Studios to Perfect World Entertainment, according to a report on GameSpot.
The initial information about the game revealed a co-operative focus, allowing players to select from traditional D&D character classes and team up with up to four other players online for the requisite questing and looting. A single-player component with AI companions is also still planned, as far as we know.
Dungeons and Dragons: Neverwinter is now planned for a "late 2012" release.