Atari-owned Californian MMO specialists linked to the Atari-owned IP

Cryptic Studios allegedly working on Neverwinter Nights

Various news reports are suggesting that the Atari-owned Cryptic Studios is working on a new MMO edition of Neverwinter Nights.

Variety is citing unnamed sources who insist that the Californian developer is now working on the acclaimed MMORPG series, with the alleged project set to arrive in 2011.

Atari has in recent times shifted its focus to online gaming, and acquired the once-indie studio Cryptic in 2008 as part of these plans.

Cryptic is confirmed to already be working on two games, Champions Online and Star Trek Online, with a third tandem-run project hard to imagine with the studio’s sub-200 staff.

However, Champions Online will be finished before September while Star Trek Online – according to an Atari financial report – will be released before April next year; that does provide a window of opportunity to pool resources towards the alleged Neverwinter Nights game for a 2011 release.

Neverwinter Nights itself is embedded in the history of online games. The 1991 original (initially developed by Stormfront) went on to become “the first graphical MMORPG”, though the series saw its reputation grow in 2002 when BioWare finished development on the game’s sequel (which is sometimes argued as the ‘true’ first instalment in the series).

Back then, the publisher for the game was Atari, which still owns the rights to the IP and, of course, Cryptic itself.

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