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Cryptic Studios - All News

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Sunday - May 26, 2013
Tuesday - May 31, 2011
Monday - November 03, 2008
Tuesday - November 13, 2007
Tuesday - July 17, 2007
Saturday - December 23, 2006
Box Art

Sunday - May 26, 2013

Cryptic Studios - CEO Jack Emmert On Free-To-Play

by Couchpotato, 00:10

Forbes has an interview with Cryptic Studios CEO Jack Emmert about how free-to-play is reshaping the MMORPG market, and  Neverwinter.

How was the decision made to go free-to-play with Neverwinter and other Cryptic titles?

The market simply had changed.  Subscription games and boxed product were not the only way, and the business model had shifted.  Some games were seeing a large degree of success with free to play. We were acquired by Perfect World Entertainment, they are a Chinese MMORPG company primarily, and they do films and other things as well.  They are entirely free-to-play.  They taught us an awful lot about what to do and what not to do, and we saw how powerful that business model can be.

We saw how their games were performing in the West, in the U.S. and Europe.  It was far beyond anything we could possibly imagine.  It’s just funny, the magnitude, if people knew the size of Perfect World they would just be astonished.  They’re one of the larger MMO players in America and Europe, I’m not talking about China, I’m talking about in America and Europe.    Sony Online Entertainment is a household name but it’s amazing to me that given the number of players that Perfect World has how that isn’t better known in the gaming industry.  It’s kind of baffling to me.

We listened because we could see how powerful the model was.  Neverwinter is our first fully free-to-play game and we have no intent to ever go to a subscription model.

Is there more of a challenge in creating a free-to-play environment? Risking division between a paying and non-paying userbase?

Yes, there’s a challenge in finding where to monetize and how to monetize.  It requires a lot of careful thinking because you don’t want to open things up to pay-to-win.  In our market, the Western market, that is strongly frowned upon.  Before it was just a matter of making a fun game.  Now it’s a matter of making a fun game and finding out how to monetize it.

Is free-to-play “the” model? Will there be something after this?

There always will be something after; it’s just a matter of what it will be and what form it will take.  I can tell you that free-to-play is going to be a greater business model that gaming follows across the board more and more.  That doesn’t mean that traditional box products and games sales won’t exist, but I think you’ll see fewer of them.  Free-to-play will tend to dominate.  My hunch is that these things change over time and someone will find something other than free-to-play and it will be just as good.

Tuesday - May 31, 2011

Cryptic Studios - Acquired by Perfect World

by Dhruin, 22:18

Chinese online gaming company Perfect World has acquired Cryptic Studios from Atari. Terms weren't disclosed and, of course, we don't know what any of this means for Neverwinter. You may recall Perfect World also owns Runic (Torchlight).

Monday - November 03, 2008

Cryptic Studios - Hires Bill Roper

by Asbjoern, 19:50

Following the demise of Flagships Studios Bill Roper has joined the team currently at work on Champions Online at Cryptic Studios as Design Director. Below is the press release:

Los Gatos, CA - November 3, 2008 - Cryptic Studios™, one of the leading independent developers of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), announced today that Bill Roper has joined the company as Design Director and will be working on Champions Online™.

"Bill brings a ton of creative energy to the Cryptic office and we're thrilled to have him join our team," said John Needham, Chief Executive Officer for Cryptic Studios. "His years of gaming and online experience are huge assets to all of our projects, and Bill will assist us in furthering our studio's vision to create innovative, exciting MMO gameplay."

"Cryptic has experienced huge growth over the past year and has exciting opportunities ahead of it," said Bill Roper, Design Director, Cryptic Studios. "The company knows how to choose compelling IPs that have rich histories such as Champions and Star Trek. I'm looking forward to working with the team."

As a 14-year game industry veteran, Roper has worked directly on numerous top selling titles, including the Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo series. He joined Blizzard Entertainment in 1994 to work in sound, music and voiceover, eventually being appointed as Vice President of Blizzard North and a Director of Blizzard Entertainment where he managed all external projects and coordinated internal development teams. In 2003, Roper co-founded Flagship Studios and Ping0 where he held the role of CEO for five years and oversaw the launch of Hellgate: London and development of Mythos.

Cryptic Studios, headquartered in Los Gatos, is currently in production of two highly anticipated MMO action games, Champions Online and Star Trek® Online. Champions Online, based on the popular Champions™ pen-and-paper RPG and published by 2K Games, will give players the power of total customization for their hero experience while they explore a vast comic book universe. Set in the year 2409, Star Trek Online will allow players to immerse themselves in the future of the Star Trek universe, exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and new civilizations in an ever expanding vast universe.

For more information about Cryptic Studios, please log onto

Tuesday - November 13, 2007

Cryptic Studios - PvP Considerations

by Inauro, 21:10

Geoff Tuffli, a Combat Systems Designer for Cryptic Studios, has updated the Cryptic Studios blog with a new entry on PvP considerations.

As touched on in the previous article in this series, modern MMORPGs are overwhelmingly based on a number of conventions, one of which is that a player’s character gets better based on time played. Yes, there are some games such as Final Fantasy XI where a character can de-level, but even there the long-term trajectory is always one of more time leading to a better character. Generally this takes the form of levels first, and items secondarily.

Source: Cryptic Studios

Tuesday - July 17, 2007

Cryptic Studios - Comic Writer Joins Marvel Universe Team

by Inauro, 23:11

Cryptic Studios has announced that veteran comic writer John Layman has joined the Marvel Universe Online development team.

LOS GATOS, CA -- July 17, 2007 -- Cryptic Studios, Inc., a leading independent developer of massively-multiplayer online games, today announced that is has added to its growing talent pool with the hiring of design writer John Layman. Layman, a twelve-year veteran of the comic book industry and an accomplished game writer, joined the team in its Los Gatos headquarters on Monday, June 25. He will be lending his expertise to Marvel™ Universe Online, the highly-anticipated MMO currently in development for PC and the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

"Having a creator like John on our side really demonstrates to our players -- present and future -- that we strive for authenticity when we bring a universe to life," said Michael Lewis, CEO of Cryptic Studios. "As a company, we are committed to hiring the most creative people in and out of the industry. It's all about delivering high-quality games that stay true to what both gamers and fans of the genre have come to expect from our studio.

Layman's comic credits include written work from several prominent Marvel Comics series, Including Gambit, House of M: Fantastic Four, and Marvel Zombies vs. Army of Darkness. He is responsible for several creator-owned titles, including Puffed for Image Comics and Armageddon & Son for Oni Press. Layman also has several notable games to which he has contributed his writing, including Metroid: Hunters for the Nintendo DS™ and Marvel Trading Card Game for the PSP® (PlayStation® Portable) handheld system.

Source: Cryptic Studios

Saturday - December 23, 2006

Cryptic Studios - Recruitment Interview @

by Inauro, 23:21 talks with the Cryptic Studios team about what the studio is hiring for, and the sort of people they are seeking. I’ve noticed over the last little while that you have quite a few job postings on your company website. Why the sudden need for so many new bodies?

Victor Wachter: Because Cryptic is growing! We’re continuing to develop and support City of Heroes and City of Villains, while also starting new projects like Marvel and others that aren’t announced yet. We have a lot of cool opportunities, but it takes talent to make them all come true.

Jack Emmert: The obvious answer is: Marvel Online! But as Victor said, we’ve got some other top secret projects we’re working on. 


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