Fans — and general looky-loos — anticipating Cryptic’s next game will have to wait a little while longer. Neverwinter has been officially delayed following a bout of legal mumbo jumbo involving Atari and Hasbro struggling over the Dungeons & Dragons license.
While the two companies have finally settled this long-running dispute, Atari’s sale of Cryptic to Perfect World Entertainment has come with a catch regarding its Neverwinter project. Due to the new ownership, Perfect World is demanding Cryptic work on “a more immersive experience” for Neverwinter and is thus pushing the cooperative RPG’s release from the formerly announced 2011 launch window to late 2012.
Sadly this doesn’t do well to confidence in the product, it was only announced less than a year ago and now they’re pushing for a release date next year. As much as I like cryptic’s work on STO at the moment I don’t hold the same faith in their other teams. I fear this will only end the same way with all their other recent releases.
The settlement means that Hasbro will regain the digital licensing rights to D&D, but Atari can still sell and develop some titles under that umbrella. Cryptic Studios was acquired by Perfect World earlier this month for a whopping $49.8 million.