Cryptic Studios has announced Champions Online, its first ever self-developed and self-published MMORPG, based on the popular pen-and-paper Champions RPG.
According to a statement from the firm, Champions Online, slated for release in Spring 2009, "...will give players the power of total customization of their hero experience while they explore a vast universe of richly detailed 3D environments."
The company also announced that it has acquired the Champions intellectual property from Hero Games. First published in 1981, the Champions role-playing game is one of the first RPGs to forgo the traditional dice-rolling system of character generation in favor of a point-based system.
Cryptic Studios has licensed back to Hero Games the rights to produce Champions RPG books, and the sixth edition of the HERO System and Champions, set to release in 2009, will include rules on how to recreate Champions Online characters and scenarios.
"We thought carefully about which IP to select for our next game," said Jack Emmert, chief creative officer of Cryptic Studios. "I've been playing the Champions RPG since it first came out and I love both the rich history and wide array of compelling characters which made this an obvious choice for Cryptic Studios."
"I am very excited to be working on Champions," said Michael Lewis, president of Cryptic Studios. "We have a powerful development team, a better engine, more resources, and a vision for a new kind of MMO experience. Bringing the operating side of the business in-house enables us to be more efficient, get our developers even closer to the customer, and ultimately make a better game and long-term experience."