Last week, Atari CEO Jim Wilson told GameSpot that the publisher won't be exhibiting at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, even though the June 1-4 trade show was slated just in advance of its big Ghostbusters and Champions Online launches. This weekend the immediate need for hype on one of those titles slackened, as the official Web site of the superhero-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game was updated with news of a delay.
While Champions Online's original July 14 launch date was announced less than a month ago, Atari has already rethought that schedule. The publisher now expects the Cryptic Studios game to arrive September 1, and the game's beta-testing phase will be extended as a result of the delay.
"Through our constant dialogue with our vocal and supportive community of beta testers, we quickly realized that in order to implement certain features that we all considered important the development of Champions Online would require more time," explained executive producer Bill Roper on the site. "So that's what we're going to give it. Cryptic has a proven track record of releasing solid games and we want to maintain that with Champions Online."
An Xbox 360 edition of the game, which was announced prior to Champions Online being dropped by Take-Two and picked up by Atari, is also planned for release. However, Atari has not given it a release window as of yet.
Tracing its roots back to the now-canceled Marvel Universe Online, Champions Online features myriad character customization options, ranging from body structure to costumes to superpowers. GameSpot recently sat down with Cryptic for an extensive look at the superhero-themed MMOG, covering topics ranging from players' custom archvillains to the various superpowers.
For more information, check out the rest of GameSpot's previous coverage of Champions Online.