Cryptic hires Flagship's Bill Roper

Diablo luminary now on Champions Online.

MMO specialist Crytpic Studios has announced that it has hired Bill Roper as a Design Director. The veteran producer, formerly of Blizzard North and the doomed Flagship Studios, will be working on superhero MMO Champions Online.

Roper joined Blizzard in 1994 and worked there for nine years, contributing to the Warcraft and StarCraft franchises in his time. However, he is best known for shaping the Diablo games as vice president of the Blizzard North studio, something that earned him superstar status in Blizzard-mad South Korea.

After leaving Blizzard, Roper co-founded Flagship Studios and served as its chief executive, working on the Diablo-esque online RPGs Hellgate: London and Mythos.

However, Hellgate floundered at retail, and Flagship eventually collapsed earlier this year. The promising free-to-play Mythos was abandoned at late beta stage, and Hellgate servers will be closed at the end of January 2009.

"Bill brings a ton of creative energy to the Cryptic office and we're thrilled to have him join our team," said John Needham, Cryptic's chief executive. "His years of gaming and online experience are huge assets to all of our projects, and Bill will assist us in furthering our studio's vision to create innovative, exciting MMO gameplay."

"Cryptic has experienced huge growth over the past year and has exciting opportunities ahead of it," said Roper, returning the press-release compliment. "The company knows how to choose compelling IPs that have rich histories such as Champions and Star Trek. I’m looking forward to working with the team."

Champions Online is due out for Xbox 360 and PC in the first half of next year, and it's looking quite tidy. You can find out more at the Champions Online gamepage.

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