Neverwinter delayed as Hasbro, Atari settle D&D dispute

Hasbro reclaims Dungeons & Dragons digital licensing rights, confirms Perfect World acquisition of Cryptic is pushing back PC RPG into late 2012.

When Atari first announced the PC role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons: Neverwinter, the publisher did so under a cloud of uncertainty, thanks to an ongoing legal dispute with Hasbro over the seminal pen-and-paper RPG license. While Hasbro and Atari today announced a settlement to their dispute, Neverwinter has been delayed after all, due not to legal wrangling but to the publisher selling the game's developer, Cryptic Studios, to Perfect World Entertainment.

The heroes of Neverwinter will stay in the shadows a while longer.

Neverwinter was revealed last August with a generic 2011 release date attached. As a result of the Cryptic Studios sale, the game is now set for release in late 2012, with Perfect World "investing in a more immersive experience" for the game.

As originally announced, Neverwinter would let players choose from five traditional D&D character classes. Gamers could then join five-man squads composed of other online players to venture forth into the city's dungeons, completing quests and gathering items along the way. Neverwinter was also intended to offer a single-player component, in which players could recruit computer-controlled allies to accomplish the same missions.

Neverwinter aside, the settlement between Hasbro and Atari brings to a close a legal fight that had been waged since December of 2009. As part of the agreement, Hasbro will regain the digital licensing rights to the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. However, Atari will still be able to sell and develop a selection of games under the license, including its recently released downloadable action game Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale and the upcoming Facebook game Heroes of Neverwinter. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

For more on Neverwinter, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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61 comments
AfterFX13
AfterFX13

*******CONSUMER ALERT*******  

Please be careful before purchasing any products from Perfect World Entertainment.  The company is known for engaging in consumer fraud and rewards their employee's for conducting it.  Also be aware the company uses sponsored players within their products to target/cheat/harass customers.  SEE Facebook Page "Neverwinter Alert" for additional information.  Its a free country, and if you choose to play at PWE, at least prepare yourself.  Thank You & God Bless. .[NOTE] This is merely a warning.We still live in a free country.If you plan on playing Perfect World's please do so but be safe.Watch your wallet, keep your head down, and NEVER EVER spend money.Don't let your account get too powerful, it will get banned.

Ultam
Ultam

nwn mmo is a big mistake

johnny_highrise
johnny_highrise

RIP Neverwinter. New owner of Cryptic making the game an mmo, free-to-play so you can be nickled and dimed to death. Not only do these idiots not seem to realize that there is already a licensed D&D mmo, but what D&D players and old Neverwinter fans want is an absorbing, real D&D experience. Not another feckless, carbon copy mmo with shallow gameplay. Single player full party campaign? Oh, you have to be online, maybe they'll advertise to you in pop ups during game play too! What a waste.

Scarab83
Scarab83

Took you long enough, Gamespot.

Scarab83
Scarab83

If Gamespot is aware of this, why don't they update the release date on here?

Edge15
Edge15

@enevharaldarion You just crushed all my hopes and dreams... However, I did expect that which means they better demo this game up, otherwise it will crash and burn before it even hits the takeoff strip...

bjohnson003
bjohnson003

Hope fully we get a good game out of this and not another Daggerdale or a DS3.

george43
george43

I did not know they were making a new NWN. Hopefully they tune up the controls from previous installments. Controls were the only real negative about NWN 1 + 2.

naomha1
naomha1

@nitzan_z I clearly remember NWN 1 and 2 both having co-op multiplayer. I still have both of them and all the expansions still on my hdd. The only thing is, is that the co-op multiplayer was NOT the game. Know what I mean? The single player experience was where all the meat and potatoes of the game were. Pausable and placeable real time combat the way it was meant to be played. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the online aspects of NWNs. However, you did not have to be online ever if you didn't want to be. Ever. I don't want to be forced to be online and to group if I don't want to, and I sure don't want my next NWN game to be a MMORPG. Sure, there's viability in having a multiplayer experience in a game, most of them FPS. But, when you take away from the single player experience or can it altogether, you're not only robbing us, you're robbing the experience. Not to mention that any company creating a multiplayer only game can cancel that online portion at any time and you're stuck with a $60 game usuable only as a prop. They don't and won't keep the online alive forever, whereas any single player game, you can enjoy for as long as you wish.

100proofsoco
100proofsoco

I played the original NWN online all the time with many friends. Awesome game. Can you imagine a D+D game that has the scope of an Elder Scrolls game. The Forgotten Realms world is right there and ripe for the picking. No more half-a**ed D+D games. Thank You. Doesnt have to be MMORPG

buckxn
buckxn

maybe we will finally see a 4th edition video game. the 4th ed rules would be great in a video game.

hrothgar99
hrothgar99

rpg's like these are better off solo with no co-op or multiplayer ....i feel as if most of the creaters are ready to betray the true fans of the genre for cod and wow fans ..sad really :'(

gix47
gix47

i have more faith in Hasbro then i do in Atari

nitzan_z
nitzan_z

@naomha1 probably you (or anyone else this generation) don't remember that co-op was actually one of the original NWN key selling points. that's the thing that it made unique and not like baldur's gate, it was also on NWN 2 but only as a "side campaign" which was the original campaign only with co-op. personally I played those games alone, but I know a lot of people played them online

wcw6
wcw6

@thaxeus BG2 is one of my top 3 games of all time and I would agree with you if Bioware was not under EA now. Looking at DA2, I would rather if EA not get the rights to D&D.

xts3
xts3

@naohma1 You said "Why does everything have to be about co-op and online multiplayer?" Money... people saw world of warcraft and all game developers switched gears from single player games to MMO's. It's the whole "software as a service" (rather software as a scam) thing. Everyone see's worlds of warcraft's sick profits and MMO's are relatively pirate proof. We're seeing the same thing where a formerly single player game like Age of empires now is an "MMO" even though the game mechanics don't fit the MMO space. Game developers are shoe-horning game design into a multiplayer model in the hopes of gamers being gullible enough to pay for games as a service.

Dominicobaggio
Dominicobaggio

@naomha1 i know what you are saying but i think you completely miss the point when it comes to dungeons and dragons. It is multiplayer and the only way to recreate it is to make it online multiplayer. Trust me if they could recreate the pen and paper and get it online multi player you would love it. Nothing can beat a team experience in rpgs and playing on your own doesnt even begin to break the surface of the game play. I hope some time someone makes a good multi player d&d rpg. But i think its along way off.

thaxeus
thaxeus

@ emerin7 i'd have say Baldur's gate was good but i think Shadows of Amn was better. Also bioware should pick up the D&D rights and see if they can get the Baldur's gate rights too. totally need to make Baldur's gate 3, and i can't think of a better company to do it currently.

dashawnthl
dashawnthl

@naomha1 Sir, you my friend hit the nail dead on the head. Not everything has to have a co op style of gameplay espeically my RPG's and Neverwinter night being in the hands of Crpytic is a 100% failed.

naomha1
naomha1

The last great D&D game was NWN2 and the latest, Daggerdale, is an insult to the D&D franchise. Why does everything have to be about co-op and online multiplayer? It's an RPG. RPGs are meant to be huge, immersive and meant to wisk you away to another world to be someone, something else and live another life doing that. Games like Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights and The Temple of Elemental Evil were all spectacular and not a single one of them were co-op or multiplayer. If you want to make a co-op rpg, don't make them like Hunted. Don't drag the goodness of being an rpg through the mud and expect anyone to really be happy about it. If you're going to make it online, make it like Demon's Souls. Epic. RPGs for the Gears generation doesn't cut it for any rpg. RPGs were not created to be Gears games. Period. Developers could take cues from houses like Bethesda, where the rpg is (hopefully) never going to die, and never be co-op or multiplayer. I just read recently that Bioware is making ME3 with multiplayer. Stop it already. Go suck an egg EA. Seriously. Make DA3 more like DA1 and the world of rpg'ers will be happy again. Mass Effect, though a great story and fps, lost pretty much all of its rpgness. Now it's just a leveling fps. Whatever. Bioware, knock, knock, remember when you guys made really, really great rpgs? And someone please tell me how the hell Crpytic got the Neverwinter name? WTF?

RadPro
RadPro

@artic1982 Yeah, today's RPG's have becomed so streamlined and dumbed down. Just take a look at what Bioware have done with Dragon Age 2 compared to Dragon Age: Origins, DA 2 deserved all the flak it got. Although on the bright side, Fallout New Vegas is great.

BigBigR
BigBigR

@grove12345 "But if modern day developers cant design a new type of MMORPG after 10+ years, chances of RPG developing is about zero as well." It's not that developers don't know how to design new types of gameplay for those genres, its just that what we have now... works for them. MW3 will not be a drastic innovation compared to BO, but it will still sell a bazillion copies. Why would developers change a formula that is still working? The day gamers stop buying those games is when you'll start seeing more innovation. Right now games that innovate aren't as successful as they could be. Heavy Rain and Demon's Souls (which, sorry to say, isn't much of an RPG, and I say this while having played it to death), while having very nice reviews and decent enough sales, did not get the number they truly deserved. Shadows of the Damned had even worse sales. FF13, while introducing a very fast-paced combat mechanic that made RPG battles look and feel fresher, more action oriented, got some not so good reviews due to it not being what some people thought a FF should be, even though it is a very good game by itself (squeezed me out of 150 hours of my time). At least it got pretty good sales seeing as it was multiplatform. Thing is, people complain about lack of innovation, but then when innovation comes knocking on their doors they tend to ignore it or finding faults that should not stop them from enjoying those games.

grove12345
grove12345

After playing Demons Souls (yes on console), I realized how amazing and serious an action RPG can be. Unfortunately most live RPG combat games or even turn based are pretty much crappy generic super easy games. Killing 5000 goblins just using the same tactic over and over. YAWN BORRING!! I think if you consider yourself an RPG fan you should play Demons/Dark Souls (ITs like an RPG gamer who never played a Elder Scrolls game). Changed my view of the RPG world, and ive been playing RPGs for like 24 years. Granted no story, but the combat mechanics are amazing. And be nice if a real developer picked up those mechanics and threw in a story and open world. Then you would have a perfect RPG. But if modern day developers cant design a new type of MMORPG after 10+ years, chances of RPG developing is about zero as well.

GunnyHath
GunnyHath

@Setho0 Yes, but it wasn't a direct sequel iirc, and it wasn't as good as the first one in my opinion. Still a good game, but it was a high bar to reach.

artic1982
artic1982

I really miss the days with GOOD RPG releases, only Skyrim looks good these days.

SlickMajestic
SlickMajestic

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

howie1926
howie1926

Why is it so hard for them to make a GOOD D&D game?? The world is so rich and is basically already laid out for them!! WHY DAMN IT!!!

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

I tought it was about Neverwinter Nights 3 when i read the headline of this post, too bad that would be great. Anyway i didn't even know there was going to be a new D&D.

tyco_ex
tyco_ex

@GPXA_001: Well said sir, well said.

Melchior111
Melchior111

Less courtroom drama and more games please.

Genocide6sic6
Genocide6sic6

Thank you corporate D-bags for taking the D&D license and dragging it face first through the mud for the past 10 years. I hate humans.

DigitalDame
DigitalDame moderator moderatorstaff

Like a blue dragon would ever land :P I'm not sure how I feel about this but I'm still excited for a release for NWN3

mdboomer
mdboomer

No don't let Obsidian touch anything. Their track record has been pretty spotty with many substandard sequels!

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

Recently D&D Daggerdale is atrocious, I want Neverwinter Nights 3 :(

Setho10
Setho10

@GunnyHath - You realize there is a Neverwinter nights 2 right?

GunnyHath
GunnyHath

I want a continuation of Neverwinter Nights, the first one. Prequel, Sequel, Sidequel, I don't care; just not this.

Evilnator
Evilnator

Stop screwing with Neverwinter Nights! A crappy MMO with 5 classes, and a crappy facebook game... How about you let Obsidian make a sequel to NWN2?

Cobra5
Cobra5

Seeing as cryptic puts out nothing but crappy games, I don't really care one way or another what they do with the license. DnD has plenty of terrible games in its license already... another won't kill it... it doesn't detract from the GOOD DnD games.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

@James00715 Really they are dumbing down the game? Man I how I wish Bioware was in charge again. Why is it that all the games seem to be contracting to something you could play on an iphone....ohh maybe I have answered my own Question I also didnt think NWN2 was nearly as good as the first series and I am not a fan of 3.5 edition rules.

GPXA_001
GPXA_001

D&D 3.5 is about as far as I'll go when it comes with D&D series, 4.0 was a bad joke when it was released and it limits the game to the point of stupidity. Now there making a computer/console game of it, in the past a computer version of the game limited the player greatly in things he can do with the environment. This game is just going to be a absolute let down for those who have played the previous D&D games.

Boomer76
Boomer76

Hasbro should take the rights back. There should be snow in hell before Cryptic is allowed to destroy D&D also like they did with Star Trek Online.

Alex_Masterson
Alex_Masterson

@Edge15: They announced at GenCon that they are putting out setting books for Neverwinter using the 4th ed. rules, so you can be pretty sure that the PC game will use the same rules. :(

greendude123
greendude123

@Sugarboy79 I agree, i would have loved a new neverwinter game, but i highly doubt Cryptic can make a decen't game. After Champions and Star trek, i have lost all faith unfortunatly.

demondogx
demondogx

thats what the world needs another mmorpg >.> i like mmo's but some games should just stay sp or add a co-op mode in it

Edge15
Edge15

Hopefully, they don't butcher it nearly as bad as they seem to be making it sound. It needs more diversity, not less. I loved the Neverwinter Nights games, but unless they are going to before the first Neverwinter Nights game, I think they will only ruin things for it. I also really hope that they don't go to 4th edition. 3.5 is the limit for me, and that's walking a fine line...

Nicoenz
Nicoenz

Neverwinter Nights was fantastic, but with Neverwinter Nights 2 it started going downhill for D&D games. I really hope this will be a succes but it sounds like a stupid hack'n'slash game instead of an amazing game with endless opportunities like Neverwinter Nights were with its amazing toolset. I'm keeping an eye out for this game, but I won't get excited like I did before NWN2 which was a massive letdown. I hope Bioware spits something great out(like NWN) after they've launched Old Republic.

Scarab83
Scarab83

@SipahSalar For one, it IS a different game entirely. And two, the city is called Neverwinter. It's based in Neverwinter. Why would adding the word 'Nights' to it make any difference whatsoever?

SipahSalar
SipahSalar

If they try to make it like dragon age 2, i wont buy it even if i get paid to play it. and whats with the name? Neverwinter? I thought it was neverwinter nights. Maybe they are trying to make a different game entirely.

emerin76
emerin76

@ vicsrealms I feel the same bud. I was never a fan of 3rd edition. Anything with the D&D logo doesn't hold any interest. Baldur's Gate was the last great D&D game.

Onix95
Onix95

@AfterFX13 Funny how your accounts keep getting banned, spreading all of these lies.