Bill Roper exits Cryptic

Blizzard North and Flagship cofounder bids adieu to chief creative position at Champions Online dev after less than two years.

Less than two years have gone by since Bill Roper joined Champions Online creator Cryptic Studios, but the notable Blizzard North cofounder is already parting ways with the company. In a post on the Atari-owned studio's official Web site today, Roper confirmed that he would be stepping down as chief creative officer at the massively multiplayer online role-playing game house.

Bill Roper

"For the past two years I've had the extreme privilege of working with an amazing array of talented developers and just plain great people here at Cryptic Studios," he said. "Over the past few months my entrepreneurial spirit has become restless, and I've made the difficult decision to move on and look for new opportunities."

Roper joined Cryptic in November 2008, following the messy dissolution of his startup development outfit Flagship Studios. Flagship's first and only project, the ambitious first-person shooter/role-playing MMOG Hellgate: London, launched with a critically positive reception in 2007. However, due to myriad problems and flagging player support, the studio largely shut down in July 2008.

As for his time at Cryptic, Roper oversaw the releases of Champions Online and Star Trek Online, which launched in quick succession in September 2009 and February 2010, respectively. Though Champions Online received favorable review scores, Star Trek Online was greeted quite coolly by critics. In May, Roper said that Cryptic plans to unveil its next project this summer.

Written By

Want the latest news about Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus?

Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus

Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus

Follow

Discussion

18 comments
invictis
invictis

As an STO player and Champions Online player I can say that they both got off to rocky starts. However now the games are fairly solid, they seem well-populated, and are being updated regularly. STO in particular seems to have received a LOT of improvements geared towards certain player feedback (what seems like the reasonable kind). With that said I'd also like to give a big 'thanks' to the haters, especially the ones who have opinions without ever playing the games in question. Nice. Maybe 'thanks' isn't the right word? Bill Roper seems to have implemented some good ideas. Given how vocal and yes, generally stupid a lot of online criticism is, he made a brave stand as the face for these games. It can't be easy to make this all happen and keep a large number of people happy. With that said I also played Hellgate:London and it had some really crappy elements to it, some of which was clearly avoided in Bill's later games. (Same 4 maps, anyone?)

Nodashi
Nodashi

@ indigoAK200 It can SURVIVE, but it lost the chance to be a A+ title. Same happened to Age of Conan, and that made me very sad. Yes, the game is still alive, but has like 10% of the population it once had. Same for Warhammer online, wich is half-dead by now, you can even play free forever if you're happy at the low lvs. Other than that, what's wrong with launching READY products? It's like we are back in 1985, except games take many millions to make now.

indigoAK200
indigoAK200

@Nodashi I disagree. Cryptic's numbers have ever been strong, but their MMOs have always survived. I think there is room for MMOs to launch weak and survive, and I think STO will prove that. The game is only getting better and despite what the media would have the gaming populous believe, there is a sizable active player base, enough of one that Cryptic still has a long term plan for the game and still has a major team pushing out content and updates.

IrishMarine3
IrishMarine3

You guys really shouldn't diss Bill Roper. The Diablo 1/2 game design and storylines we're based on his ideas as long with the early Starcraft work. The dude is smart and been in the biz a long time. Honestly the work he's creating now isn't half as bad as some of the garbage big time companies (mainly EA) are putting out on the market.

Realmjumper
Realmjumper

Um Champions online is not free to play. There is a free trial but that's only the starting zone. It's $15/month like every other major MMO.

Nodashi
Nodashi

@indigoAK200 I really cannot talk about it as I didn't play STO, but truth is, there's no room to release half-baked MMOs nowadays and improve them over the time. The player base will simply leave. Yes, I know that's exactly what WoW did, but nowadays it cannot be done because, well, WoW is there, lurking, so if you quit your new MMO, you can come back to it. I hope developers come to their senses and figure it. I'm tired of trying new MMOs (Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, etc) just to go back to wow because they where not release quality at launch. I have high hopes for next year. Both Star Wars the Old Republic and Guild Wars 2 seem to be receiving extra attention, so I hope they'll be launched finished, and both seem to be good products. Well, time will tell. Meanwhile, I can always log at WoW and do something with my extra time.

Targzissian
Targzissian

Apart from being a little too linear Hellgate: London was a good game. I never played it in multiplayer and never wanted too. I've never tried Champion's Online or Star Trek Online.

Bazackward
Bazackward

If the two games he has under his belt as CEO are Champions Online and Star Trek Online, I think it's pretty obvious he had no choice but to resign

indigoAK200
indigoAK200

Star Trek Online has really, really improved since launch and it's become a pretty different game. Cryptic has really been listening to player feedback when it comes to things like canon and to be honest, I personally think they've turned the game around for the better. I let my subscription lapse a month after launch but resubbed for the Season Two update and find myself wanting to keep my subscription going for a second month, possibly more which is more than I could have said six months ago.

Blitz8529
Blitz8529

Bill I look forward to reading the forums of the next MMO you destroy.

P0T
P0T

Good, Roper was an epic fail.

Warat
Warat

How embarrassing is this? God, Gamespot. Fix this mistake at once.

Zloth2
Zloth2

Aww man, what's all this hate? Tom misquoted his own article. We should be laughing at him and calling his age into question, not demanding he find a new line of work! Think of all the cheap shots your missing out on just so you can pour on the acid! Roper leaving is... well, hard to say. It could be the big names are starting to jump ship. It could be that he was given the opportunity to leave before he got fired. It could be just the standard business of people moving around a lot. {Shrug}

sumdood
sumdood

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Ryke89
Ryke89

Champions Online isn't free to play, quality reporting as always.

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Bill you can make another company just dont make it into a mmorpg..Make a single player world again..Stop being greedy..You ruined my HELLGATE!!!