Hero Games has officially announced Champions Online... well, kinda sorta. The relevant info:
"The meat of the announcement is that Cryptic is indeed going to be coming out with a Champions MMORPG called Champions Online, probably due out in 2009, though that is a WAG on my part. In an interesting twist, rather than Cryptic licensing the Champions Universe from DoJ, they are buying the Champions and Dark Champions IP (except Harbinger of Justice), and as part of the deal are licensing the rights to print RPG books for those IP back to DoJ in perpetuity (and DoJ doesn't have to pay for it).
DoJ and Cryptic will be working closely together to help insure that any changes to the CU for Champions Online get reflected in the CU books that DoJ will be publishing. Both content-wise and appearance-wise.
Important Note: Cryptic is NOT buying the Hero System IP, just the Champions and Dark Champions IP.
Another Important Note: Champions Online will not be a Hero System MMORPG. My understanding is that Hero is planning on releasing a guide to allow players of Champions Online to recreate their characters in the Hero System at some point after CO comes out, but that it will NOT be using the Hero System itself.
Cryptic has also licensed the Hero System from DoJ so that they can use HERO terminology to describe things. Cryptic has also said that their plan is that CO will have an unprecidented level of customizability in character creation. There is the chance that if Cryptic and DoJ agree that the level of customizability is up to the standards of the HERO System the game may also get hung with the title of HERO Online. Though DoJ retains the right to say "no" on that.
One of the design features that Darren mentioned that Cryptic is looking at implementing that would allow you during character creation to create your own nemesis.
There is also every chance that there will be DoJ produced books that have bits and peices that will be useful for the CO players. Behind the scenes type things.
Oh, and Important Thing: DoJ will be getting access to Cryptic Studios art for publishing in their books."
"There was some stuff and some nice looking screenshots from the Game Informer article:
# The game has classes, but every class has access to every power. Class defines how many points each power costs for your character.
# Graphics are a 3D/cell shading hybrid that Cryptic calls "comic shading".
# The underground arena circuit allows PvP.
# Only heroes at launch. Dark Champions as an expansion later.
# Fully customizable characters AND powers AND movement types(floating,running on four legs).
# Secret identities.
# Customizable arch-nemesis. If you ever decide to kill off or incarcerate your AN, you get to create a new one.
# The game will take place world wide, not in just one city.
# Planned zones: underground cities, dinosaur-infested island, secret desert military base.
# The game has been created with Cryptic's proprietary game engine called "Game Tech".
# The game will also include voice dialogue and cutscenes.
# Scheduled for a 2009 release."
The reason why it isn't the official official announcement:
"You'll be able to find it on the official MMO website, the Cryptic site, and here... on Wednesday the 20th, when it's being officially launched at GDC. We were able to make an early announcement at DunDraCon, but other than that we're not going to be saying anything online, either, until Wednesday."
Having seen the pics of ChampO in the Game Informer article, it looks a lot like CoH, but much prettier. Also: dual
Guess I wait until Wednesday then...