Champions Online – Free Weekend Play

Starting on Thursday, November 27th at 10 AM (Pacific) – Cryptic Studios will be ‘hosting’ a Free Weekend period of play time. During this time anyone can sign up and play the game for free until November 30th at 10 AM (Pacific). So if you want to try an adventure out in Millenium City, but don’t want to have any strings attached, dive right into the free play. I see this as a sign that maybe the game isn’t quite where Cryptic had hoped it would be, this is the second free play period in the space of about 2 months.

champions-online-promopic

Head on over to the Champions Online website to learn how to get going with this free period.

Well, lots has gone on

…since I have last written. Lord of the Rings Online is coming about with its first expansion, Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria this Fall. Gametap inked a deal with THQ to bring a huge lineup to their service, including the renowned (and one of my favorite) Warhammer 40k Dawn of War series. Cryptic Studios announced that is not only working on the next generation of Super Hero MMO’s (Champions Online) but it has decided to let the public know it is developing Star Trek Online; That is the first definite news on that project in quite a long time – trekkies rejoice.

Quite a busy year in the games industry, lots of interesting tidbits are coming down the line slowly but surely. As I have always stated, GameTap is doing well and has a great idea going for it – Cryptic, after making a shaky move in selling the City of Heroes franchise certainly has its hands full with 2 new upcoming productions (Go get em Statesma– er.. Jack).

Rumormongering, Cryptic Studios, Microsoft and MUO

First of all, for those who don’t know MUO is short for Marvel Universe Online – an MMO planned by a trifecta of Microsoft, Marvel, and (a late entry into the trifecta) Cryptic Studios (the creators of the ‘famed’ City of Heroes franchise – who, if you remember, sold it off to NCSoft recently).

So I was trolling my news feeds this evening and came across a juicy tidbit that slithered down the ‘wire’ from WIRED (get it?). Apparently 1up.com got an inside tip saying that the upcoming Marvel MMO is to be no more – it will go the way of the dodo apparently. One thing that caught my eye and brought to mind rumormongering is this little tidbit:

Cryptic Studios, developer of the game, recently sold its rights to the City of Heroes MMO that it created to publisher NCSoft. In the announcement, the company touted its upcoming original projects, but made no mention of the Marvel game.

Source: http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/11/1up-marvel-mmo-.html

Why does that bring rumormongering to mind? Well, because the sale of City of Heroes was to be all about City of Heroes – Cryptic didn’t want to ‘demean’ the community of the game by bringing talk of other games into the announcements. Also, the fact that they are keeping quiet means absolutely nothing – it is pretty common for developers to maintain quiet while working on a project that hasn’t even gotten a glimpse of code yet (as far as we know at least).

Of course this does bring to question what Cryptic has going for it if this project is truly a dead fish, they have a ‘secret’ project they are purported to be working on.. but no one knows much more than that. The guys and gals at Cryptic are a great bunch, they worked hard on City of Heroes (no matter what the players may say/think 🙂 ) and they seem to have a pretty good think tank. Only time will tell if the sale of its #1 IP (and with it the transfer of the entire CoH development team) and then this rumor will actually pan out in a bad way, or a good way.

In the end this might just mean that only one Super Hero MMO will stand in the wild, and it is also possible that Cryptic may come out with a new blockbuster.

Good luck Cryptic! Hopefully this is just a pothole for you all.

Sources: Wired (http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/11/1up-marvel-mmo-.html), 1up.com (http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3164355)

There is your rumormongering for the day ladies and gents!