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Cryptic Prepping Superhero MMO for PC, Consoles; New Red Faction, Aliens Games Named

With Marvel Universe Online (PC, X360) officially canceled and the studio no longer involved with City of Heroes (PC), the latest effort from superhero MMO developer Cryptic Studios is Champions Online, a super-powered MMO planned for PC and consoles.

Word of the project comes from a writeup detailing gaming publication Game Informer's March issue. No further details are available at this time. Read more »

"I'm a TOTAL FAN of the ALIEN movies (esp. Aliens). And I think AvP and AvP2 did a fine job of ..."
- deadlycookie    See all 15 comments

Confirmed: Marvel Universe Online Canceled

Related Topics – MMO, Cryptic Studios

Ending months of speculation, Microsoft Game Studios VP Shane Kim has confirmed that Marvel Universe Online is no longer in development.

According to Kim, the project's cancellation and was "an amicable decision" reached by both Microsoft and Marvel, and stemmed from the changing MMO landscape.

"Clearly there are emerging models that have come about," he told MTV Multiplayer, pointing to alternative business strategies such as ad-supported play and item-oriented microtransactions. Read more »

"I can't imagine that Microsoft wouldn't allow a subscription based game on the 360."
- cerealSAM2    See all 23 comments

Rumor: Star Trek Online Team Laid Off

Related Topics – Rumor, Cryptic Studios

Following the cancellation of Star Trek Online, reports are coming in that members of the P2 Entertainment development team have today been laid off.

A WarCry article on the matter cites multiple sources at the company, though P2 has issued no comment at this time. Read more »

"I think it has little to do with the quality of the design (which nobody has played) and a lot ..."
- Sturm08    See all 9 comments

Rumor: Cryptic Studios Picking Up Star Trek MMO

Cryptic Studios, developers of the successful MMORPG series City of Heroes (PC), confirmed that the company has been interviewing employees of P2 Entertainment, reports

Though the studio would not confirm if it is currently handling the development of Star Trek Online (PC), Cryptic's tapping of P2 employees seats the studio as the most likely candidate to continue the project. P2 Entertainment was revealed yesterday to have ceased development on the title, transferring the license to an unknown developer. Read more »

"Am I the only one who thinks CCP should be handling a Star Trek MMO? Look at what they've ..."
- TrickSh0t    See all 16 comments

More on Marvel Universe Online Troubles

Related Topics – MMO, Cryptic Studios

Speaking with 1up, an anonymous source has detailed some of the issues that are supposedly leading to the rumored cancellation of Cryptic Studios' Marvel Universe Online (PC, X360), which was announced in 2006. "It reminded me a lot of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. Running at 5 fps," claimed the tipster, who is said to have seen the game about six months ago. "[It] kept crashing and apparently hammered the hell out of both the console's hard drive and Live infrastructure." He or she elaborated that the project has been, "in the shitter for a LOOOONG time." Other details indicate that the game's fighting system had yet to be decided up until a few months ago, with the team split between multi-button combo-based combat and the one-button fighting system used in most MMOs, such as Cryptic's own City of Heroes (PC). Another tidbit suggests that the developer was having problems figuring out how to implement popular Marvel characters without detracting from the game, and that the Xbox 360's keyboard controller add-on was "pretty much exclusively designed" with Marvel Online Universe in mind. The release of the keyboard earlier this year is said to showcase Microsoft's lacking faith in the project. Outside of Microsoft's "We do not comment on rumors or speculation" line, neither Microsoft nor Cryptic Studios has formally responded to the allegations of the game's cancellation. 1up's source claims that, unless a miracle occurs, official word of the game's cancellation should arrive in a few weeks.

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"I didn't think this was a "big" title that many were looking forward too though, as Shane B ..."
- dozerking    See all 14 comments

City of Heroes Q&A

Related Topics – Cryptic Studios, NCSoft

City of Heroes Sold on WarCry offers an interview with NCSoft's Brian Clayton, who is asked about the decision to buy out Cryptic Studios' part of the IP ownership (story), and what NCSoft plans to do with the game.

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NCsoft Acquires City of Heroes IP, Opens New Studio, Plans 'Major Reinvestment' in City of Heroes

MMO publisher NCsoft has obtained complete ownership of the City of Heroes intellectual property for an undisclosed sum and is opening a new development studio staffed by members of the game's original team in Mountain View, CA. The company's plans for the superhero PC MMO include new expansions and sequels. NCsoft claims it acquired "key members" of the City of Heroes team--including lead designer Matt Miller, lead engineer Aaron Brady, and lead artist Ken Morse--from Cryptic Studios, which originally developed the game and previously split ownership of the IP with NCsoft. All members of the City of Heroes team have been offered jobs at NCsoft, according to Cryptic's FAQ on the sale. "We're happy to announce that NCsoft has acquired full ownership of the City of Heroes IP," said NCsoft executive producer and new studio manager Brian Clayton. "Our plans are clear. We are now in a position to make a major reinvestment in the City of Heroes product line." The new office represents the second studio NCsoft has formally announced in less than a month. It officially unveiled Carbine Studios in early October, which is staffed by numerous industry and genre veterans and promises to "break new ground in massively multiplayer gaming." Earlier this year, NCsoft--which also publishes and controls the Lineage and Guild Wars franchises along with the recently launched Richard Garriot's Tabula Rasa--partnered with Sony to develop for the PlayStation 3 and PSP. "With our existing Cryptic and NCsoft team as the core," Clayton continued, "we will be able to run our current service without any interruption to our players, expand our studio to deliver triple-A content, and take City of Heroes to new heights." "City of Heroes and City of Villains players should be assured that Cryptic Studios will be working closely with NCsoft to ensure a smooth, seamless transition," noted Cryptic pesident and co-founder Michael Lewis. "The decision to sell the franchise allows us to focus resources on our soon to be announced first-party projects." The next effort from Cryptic is another superhero MMO, this one set in the Marvel universe and planned for both PC and Xbox 360. "All parties involved want whatÂ’s best for the franchise," Clayton wrote in response to the news.

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"Oh yes, the lab. I like the controls, player customization and the powers you get in the ..."
- ArB    See all 16 comments

Boxed Up Briefs

Good lord, I saw some great stuff this week that I can't discuss yet. I know that's a fairly worthless thing to say, but considering all I've done for the last several days is travel--the airport security guys recognize me now, which is slightly depressing--I don't have much else to say. Enjoy your news bits!

  • Grab your stick to experience Fires of Liberation

    Namco's Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation will be available with a two-part Hori-developed Xbox 360 flight joystick (photograph here), publisher Namco Bandai Games announced today. The Ace Combat 6 ACE-EDGE Flightstick Bundle will sell for $149.99 and will include the game, the Hori peripheral, and a custom faceplate. Ace Combat 6 has been announced for Xbox 360 and rumored for PlayStation 3. It will ship for Xbox 360 this fall.
  • More Lost Planet maps to be found soon

    The third map multiplayer map compilation for Capcom's sci-fi shooter Lost Planet: Extreme Condition (X360) will be available June 21, the publisher announced today. It will include three maps: the retro gaming-inspired Lost Technology, the jungle-set Ruins, and the intricate glacier of Ice Drop. Map Pack #3 will sell for 400 Microsoft Points ($5) via Xbox Live Marketplace.
  • Boogie gets a date

    EA Montreal's motion-based Wii rhythm game Boogie (see our impressions) has been dated for August 7, 2007 in North America and August 31, 2007 in Europe. Artists with confirmed tracks in the game include The Jackson 5, Kool & The Gang, M.C. Hammer, The Village People, Cyndi Lauper and Britney Spears.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online celebrating solstice soon

    Turbine is planning nearly three weeks of special in-game activities for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, themed around the upcoming summer solstice. Summer Solstice Festival will run from June 20 to July 10 and will include new quests, items, race-specific dance moves, and more. See the official site for details.
  • Be twice as heroic in City of Heroes this weekend

    Cryptic Studios superhero-themed MMOs City of Heroes and City of Villains are currently in the midst of a promotion that will see all players gain experience points, Influence, and Infamy at twice the normal rate. The bonus will extent through Sunday, June 17 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Running With Scissors runs with MMA

    Postal series developer Running With Scissors, currently working on Postal III (X360, PC), has announced that it will sponsor UK-based mixed martial arts combatant Keith Turner. Running With Scissors has sponsored numerous MMA fighters in the past, including Drew "The Master" Fickett, Ed West, Chad "The Postal Punisher" Griggs, Shane "Battlecat" Johnson, and Hayley "The Hammer" Salazar.

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"And a lot of wrist straps not being used so the 3 out of the 12 that are retarded end up ..."
- Clone42    See all 117 comments

Cryptic Animation Tool Released

Related Topics – City of Heroes, MMO, Cryptic Studios

Independent developer Cryptic Studios, the company behind MMOs such as City of Heroes (PC) and the upcoming Marvel Universe Online (X360, PC), has released its internal animation tool to the public as a free download. Made available via the GNU General Public License, the Cryptic Animation Rig is a 1.82 MB plugin for Autodesk's 3d Studio Max software. "Our goal is to foster a community of animators by providing them the power to generate animations without having to worry about supporting a toolset. Since we were already developing the rig for our core technology team, we decided to release it to the public under the GNU GPL," commented Cryptic Studios art development director Shayne Herrera. "We feel that the development and gaming communities will benefit greatly from a professional tool like the Cryptic AR." To make use of the Cryptic AR, one must have an installed copy of Autodesk's 3d Studio Max 8 or higher. More information can be found on the official site, and the plugin itself is up for download at FileShack. At present, it does not appear that public Cryptic AR creations can be imported into Cryptic Studios titles. Shacknews has contacted Cryptic Studios for clarification on the matter.

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"the student version (obviously only for those who are eligible) should be like 100 or 200 ..."
- yuried    See all 21 comments

Cryptic Studios Interview

There's a brief GDC interview with Jack Emmert of Crytic Studios on WarCry, chatting with the designer about City of Heroes / Villains.

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"What's more interesting is their comments about their next (not Marvel) game and the art on ..."
- Sylvanus    Add a comment

Jack Emmert Q&A

Related Topics – MMO, Cryptic Studios has a Jack Emmert Q&A up. The Cryptic Studios creative director answers questions about himself, his role at the company and Marvel Universe.

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City of Villains/Heroes Q&A

Related Topics – City of Heroes, MMO, Cryptic Studios

There's a City of Villains/Heroes interview on Boomtown, asking Cryptic Studios designer Melissa Bianco about the super hero/villain MMORPG.

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Marvel Universe Online Q&A

Related Topics – MMO, Cryptic Studios, RPG News

Kotaku has a Marvel Universe Online Q&A up, talking to Frank Pape of Microsoft Games Studios, Jack Emmert of Cryptic Studios and Ames Kirshen of Marvel about this newly announced Xbox 360 / PC MMORPG.

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Marvel Universe Online Q&A

Related Topics – MMO, Cryptic Studios, RPG News

Decrypting the Marvel 360 MMOG deal is a GameSpot Q&A, asking principals from Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios and Marvel Entertainment about the MMORPG Marvel Universe Online. Topics include characters we'll see, the setting, storyline, post release content plans, cross platform play and more though a lot of answers are less than informative.

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"(Mind you, I'm not saying this in a negative way.) And by not going past level 20, you missed ..."
- Sylvanus    See all 16 comments

Marvel Universe Online Announcement

Related Topics – MMO, Cryptic Studios, NCSoft, Games: PC

Back in 2004, Marvel sued NCSoft and Cryptic Studios, saying that City of Heroes was violating Marvel copyrights. Cryptic Studios' new game certainly won't do that, as they will be developing Marvel Universe Online, the MMORPG coming to Xbox 360 and Windows Vista.

"The vision behind the alliance of Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios and Marvel is to expand the MMO genre and create an epic gaming experience exclusively for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista gamers to experience together online," said Frank Pape, senior director of business development, Microsoft Game Studios. "Cryptic Studios is widely respected for their established track record of innovation and understanding of the MMO space, and they are a perfect fit for the creation of the best possible experience in 'Marvel Universe Online.'"
What will this mean for City of Heroes/Villains? Not much according to NCSoft, who send along this letter from CoH lead designer Matt Miller.

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"I can imagine that the appeal might be playing alongside of the iconic characters or taking on ..."
- jccalhoun    See all 15 comments

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