Cryptic hints at MMO based on Atari IP

Can't comment on publisher for Champions.

Following yesterday's news that the resurgent Atari has bought Cryptic Studios, Cryptic's chief creative Jack Emmert has hinted that the developer could make an MMO based on an Atari property.

Explaining the benefits of the acquisition to Massively, Emmert said: "Atari has a great pool of resources: PR, marketing, distribution, et cetera. Atari also has a number of terrific IPs that would make great MMOs."

Cryptic's next two projects will be the superhero MMO Champions Online, released next year, and Star Trek Online after that. It was revealed in yesterday's announcement that it would follow up with a third MMO by the end of 2011. Emmert's comments point to the possibility that the third game might be based on Atari IP.

At last week's Atari Live event, president Phil Harrison showed a slide of Atari properties that would return in future, including classic role-playing games Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. However, Turbine currently runs the MMO Dungeons & Dragons Online, and BioWare has said that it will be returning to Baldur's Gate in the future.

Regarding the future for Champions Online - which was signed to Take-Two for its 2K Games publishing label before the Atari deal - Emmert told Massively that he couldn't comment. Eurogamer understands that such details are still being thrashed out between Atari, Cryptic, and the developer's other partners.

"I can only say that I enjoy working with 2k games; they're a great company and even better people," said Emmert. Champions Online is still on track for a release in the second quarter of next year, he confirmed.

Emmert said that the deal came about when Cryptic chief John Needham "hit it off" with Atari's new leadership duo, Harrison and David Gardner, when he was looking for "funding opportunities".

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