NCSoft today announced they have taken full ownership of the City of Heroes IP, previously split between NCSoft and Cryptic Studios. Continuing development on the game will be a new studio in Mountain View, California.
Some gamers might be concerned about the future of Cryptic Studios as they are currently creating the Marvel Universe MMO. To that end, MMORPG.com Managing Editor Jon Wood spoke with Cryptic Studios' Online Community Relations Manager Victor Wachter. While Marvel wasn't mentioned specifically, he had this to say:
"We've got a lot of plans going forward, and this allows us to focus on those and direct our company with a lot more creative and business freedom."
Below, please find the press releases from both NCsoft and Cryptic Studios:
NCsoft® Corp, the world’s leading developer and publisher of online computer games, today announced the formation of a new development studio in Mountain View, California. The announcement comes as the company begins a renewed push to further develop the City of Heroes® property, which is now 100 percent owned by NCsoft. Previous to today, ownership of the intellectual property (IP) was split between NCsoft and Cryptic Studios, the original developer of the project.
The new studio will be built around key members of the City of Heroes team from NCsoft and Cryptic Studios including the art, programming and design team leads.
“We’re happy to announce that NCsoft has acquired full ownership of the City of Heroes IP,” said Brian Clayton, NCsoft executive producer and manager of the new studio. “Our plans are clear. We are now in a position to make a major reinvestment in the City of Heroes product line. With our existing Cryptic and NCsoft team as the core, we will be able to run our current service without any interruption to our players, expand our studio to deliver triple-A content, and take City of Heroes to new heights.”
NCsoft will soon be announcing formal plans for the City of Heroes IP, which will include expansions and sequels to the popular comic-book inspired massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.
Matt Miller, Lead Designer on the City of Heroes project and formerly with Cryptic Studios said, “We’re thrilled to be bringing the CoH franchise to the next level. And we couldn’t be more pleased to be working completely under the NCsoft banner. We feel that City of Heroes’ best days are in front of it.”
Cryptic Studios™ announced today that the development house has sold its intellectual and proprietary rights to both the City of Heroes® and City of Villains® franchises to publisher NCsoft. As part of the 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."