GDC: Champions Online “is all about total customization”

By Patrick Garratt, Wednesday, 20 February 2008 17:17 GMT

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Cryptic just announced Champions Online, its new super-hero MMO. The game was inadvertently announced through a magazine cover a few weeks ago.

“Champions Online is all about total customization – it will offer a near infinite amount of character customization so that all players will have a unique game experience,” siad the formal announcement.

Cryptic was the company working on the now defunct Marvel MMO, and is the developer of NCSoft’s City of Heroes. Champions Online is based on the Champions pen-and-paper RPG, and is scheduled to hit in spring 2009. Press release after the link.

Update: The official site’s live now, with screens, etc.

LOS GATOS, CA–(Marketwire – February 20, 2008) – Cryptic Studios™, one of the leading independent developers of massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs), announced today Champions Online™, their first ever self-developed and self-published MMORPG. Champions Online, based on the popular pen-and-paper Champions RPG, will give players the power of total customization of their hero experience while they explore a vast universe of richly detailed 3D environments. Champions Online is slated for release in Spring 2009.

Cryptic Studios also announced today that it has acquired the Champions intellectual property (IP) from Hero Games. First published in 1981, the Champions role-playing game is one of the first RPGs to forgo the traditional dice-rolling system of character generation in favor of a point-based system. Cryptic Studios has licensed back to Hero Games the rights to produce Champions RPG books, and the sixth edition of the HERO System and Champions, set to release in 2009, will include rules on how to recreate Champions Online characters and scenarios.

“We thought carefully about which IP to select for our next game,” said Jack Emmert, chief creative officer of Cryptic Studios. “I’ve been playing the Champions RPG since it first came out and I love both the rich history and wide array of compelling characters which made this an obvious choice for Cryptic Studios.”

“I am very excited to be working on Champions,” said Michael Lewis, president of Cryptic Studios. “We have a powerful development team, a better engine, more resources, and a vision for a new kind of MMO experience. Bringing the operating side of the business in-house enables us to be more efficient, get our developers even closer to the customer, and ultimately make a better game and long-term experience.”

Champions Online is all about total customization — it will offer a near infinite amount of character customization so that all players will have a unique game experience. Gamers will be able to create their hero’s name, back story, costume, powers and abilities as well as design their own personal arch-enemy and his or her back story, which will guarantee a truly unique experience.

“Champions Online brings a lot to the table. Gamers have literally billions of options to create their own fully customized hero,” Emmert said. “Couple that with the unique character generation system and tons of beautiful, expansive environments in which to roam, and Champions Online is going to be unlike anything MMO fans have seen before.”

For more information on Champions Online and Cryptic Studios please check out the feature story in the March issue of Game Informer magazine on newsstands now, www.crypticstudios.com, and www.champions-online.com to view character profiles, gameplay trailers, and forums.

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