With the announcement that Champions Online (ChampO) is going into beta in mid-November (for the PC specifically - still no announcement about Xbox 360 testing) it certainly appears that Cryptic is going to hit that Q2 2009 release date they've been talking up for a bit. If they do make it - MMOs being notorious for delays that push back launches - it would certainly be one of the quickest turn arounds from announcement to lauch. ChampO was first announced in February 2008 and an April 2009 launch would see a mere 14 or so months from the website opening to it appearing on the shelf.
Of course, this process was cut short by other factors - Cryptic working on the Marvel MMO probably gave them quite a bit to salvage and re-use and Cryptic's toolset has had a major workover since 2006 - but it is still an impressive feat, should they pull it off.
Beta will be the first real test of ChampO. Do its comic-shaded graphics look good when playing? Is it really an action MMO, or a pretender to that title? What new things is it actually bringing to the MMO category? Will six months of beta actually be enough to get ChampO ready for launch? Guess the only way to find out the answer to some of these questions is to sign up to beta. Good luck to those who apply!