Cryptic Studios has had quite a turbulent year in 2009. The studio launched Champions Online back in September to mixed reviews and now is set to unleash the online version of Star Trek on a very Trek heavy world. There are designers who would love to get their hands on an IP like Star Trek to make an MMO. Then there are others who have said they would never touch it. Star Trek is a tough one; the expectations are higher or more complex than most games. Moving into 2010, players will experience Star Trek Online courtesy of Cryptic Studios. What else does the studio have in store for us?
Let's begin by talking about Champions Online. The game has continued to grow throughout the last quarter of 2009 and you can expect regular game updates throughout 2010. With two competing super hero games on the market right now in Champions Online and City of Heroes is their really room for any more? Well the big guns of DC Universe and Marvel have yet to enter the fight for justice inside the super hero space. We have seen demos and game play from DC Universe but little news has come out about the game. Gazillion is working on a Marvel superhero MMO as well in the distant future, but very little has been said about this game as well. Champions Online remains a player in the super hero market at this point and hopefully more fun game updates will continue to carry the game through 2010. The super hero space will become very crowded as these other big title start looking at betas and launch dates.
Star Trek Online remains one of the big releases for 2010 in the MMO space. With Warhammer Online and Age of Conan being the big fantasy games of 2008, it looks like Star Trek Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic will become the big sci-fi games of 2010. That assumes that Star Wars will even launch in 2010, no one knows. So for now Star Trek fans will get the chance to mingle online and battle each other in space combat as well as in away missions. Early reports from beta are that the game is fun and has a lot of potential. Despite some of the Klingon controversies, the game seems to be doing well in beta. You can check out our coverage here (LINK) on the site.
Star Trek Online going into launch will be a major part of MMOs in 2010. Many people have high expectations for the game. Cryptic seems to be cautious about the franchise and is working on making a game that both trekkies and gamers can enjoy. If the game remains fun and players can battle it out with their starships and Birds of Prey, if Cryptic plays their cards right and supports the game with a lot of updates it will work out for everyone, things may work out in that respect. It seems like many MMOs are starting to follow this format by releasing game updates every several months to keep their players coming back. Some players believe Star Trek will launch too soon, but if Cryptic keeps the game active with multiple updates throughout the year, players will be in for some great events and upgrades which will take them into 2011.
Last but not least with Cryptic Studios for 2010. I want to present to you this piece of concept art:
Now, I am not saying that there is a Cthulu MMO in the works. However, take a long look at this picture and tell us what it makes you think of. It can be found on Crytpic's web site under In Development. If for some reason Cryptic does have the Cthulu license and plans to make an MMO with that IP, well the horror MMO genre will definitely get a wake up call. With games like The Secret World and World of Darkness still in development, perhaps bringing in the old wild octopus head might really stir things up. For now, we can only wonder until Cryptic makes their announcement.
2010 should be an interesting year for Cryptic Studios. The company is working hard to get Star Trek out the door. Many will speculate if the game will sink or swim; whatever you believe no one can argue with the power of Star Trek. If the game is fun as beta testers have mentioned, then STO could become the game of the year for 2010. We will just have to wait and see.