Variety's well-connected games blog is rumouring that Cryptic is working on a Neverwinter Nights MMO for new owners Atari.
The game is scheduled for a 2011 release - after current Cryptic projects Champions Online and Star Trek Online - and is "reportedly the primary reason Atari was interested in acquiring Cryptic late last year", according to Variety's sources.
Atari has already confirmed that Cryptic is working on an MMO game or games based on its existing intellectual properties - most recently in its latest financial statement.
Neverwinter Nights and Atari's other Dungeons & Dragons-based role-playing game series always seemed like the likeliest candidates for the MMO treatment, adding credibility to this rumour.
While not technically a massively multiplayer game, the original Neverwinter Nights, created by BioWare, was known for its large-scale online multiplayer features, making it a natural fit for development into an MMO. But betting on an entry into the hotly-contested fantasy MMORPG market, dominated by World of Warcraft, would be a risky strategy for the cash-strapped Atari.
We'll bring official word either way as soon as we have it.