Cryptic Studios has sold its intellectual and proprietary rights to the City of Heroes and City of Villains franchises to MMO publisher NCsoft, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
The IP ownership was previously split between the two companies. As part of the new agreement, NCsoft is licensing Cryptic's engine technologies for use with future games.
"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," said Michael Lewis, president and co-founder of Cryptic Studios.
"City of Heroes was Cryptic's flagship product and we are proud of this title and the many millions of characters that have entertained over a million people worldwide.
"The decision to sell the franchise allows us to focus resources on our soon to be announced first-party projects."
NCsoft said that it has acquired key members of the City of Heroes design team from Cryptic, and plans to expand the franchise. It has opened a new development studio staffed by those Cryptic team members in Mountain View, California.
"Our plans are clear," said NCsoft executive producer and new studio manager Brian Clayton. "We are now in a position to make a major reinvestment in the City of Heroes product line."
Only a month ago, NCsoft unveiled Carbine Studios, which is working on an unannounced MMO. NCsoft also be developing games for the PSP and PS3.
Those are the headlines. God, I wish they weren't.