Take-Two drops Champions Online

Publisher no longer championing superhero-themed MMORPG following Atari's acquisition of its developer, Cryptic Studios.

When Atari announced its acquisition of Cryptic Studios last week, it answered the question of who would publish Star Trek Online. However, it raised doubts about the publisher of the Los Gatos, California-based shop's other massively multiplayer project, Champions Online for the PC and Xbox 360. On the eve of the E3 Media & Business Summit this past July, 2K Games announced that it would distribute the pen-and-paper RPG-inspired title, which began life as the now-canceled Marvel Universe Online.

"Um, yeah...I just don't think this is going to work out. We can still be friends!"

With none of the parties commenting, the publishing status of Champions Online lingered in purgatory for a week. Today, though, 2K parent Take-Two Interactive gave a definitive answer on the publishing question--in the negative. "We no longer intend to publish the MMOG Champions Online due to Atari's acquisition of Cryptic," said Take-Two president Ben Feder in a post-earnings conference call with analysts.

Take-Two's exit wasn't totally unexpected, as acquisitions often scupper preexisting publishing agreements. The biggest exception to this is Star Wars: The Old Republic, which continues to be developed by BioWare for LucasArts despite Electronic Arts' 2007 purchase of the former. Speaking to GameSpot, executives from both BioWare and LucasArts pointed to the success of their previous joint venture, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, as a reason for their continued collaboration.

With Atari now firmly ensconced in the publisher's seat, it remains to be seen whether or not Champions Online will stick to its previously announced spring 2009 release date. On the one hand, the game only bore a general "2009" release window when mentioned in the Atari acquisition announcement. On the other, Cryptic has ramped up work on the project, enlisting famed Diablo and Hellgate: London cocreator Bill Roper to work on the project.

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

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Discussion

48 comments
01-cannon-mpc
01-cannon-mpc

Champions Online cinda looks interesting. But im not sure if i whould play it. After all Cryptic have deleted my subscription to Ciry of Heros two times. Without asking or telling me about it. I just tried to log on and it sed i cant because i dont have an active subscription. But why whouldent BioWare and LucasArts work together? And why whould EA care about that? EA will or might get there fair share of the cash. Atleast thats what im guesing.

cjtech
cjtech

I hope this game get teleported to a good develepor -Live long and Prosper -Spock

_AbBaNdOn
_AbBaNdOn

I about crapped my pants when I heard this was also going to be able to be played from an Xbox 360!!! I pray to the gaming gods that Atari will go ahead and support a 360 version!!! I was already trying to figure out how much it would cost to upgrade my 360 and stuff. 40$/month for broadband, 10$/month for XBL, 15$/month for CO subscription + a new hard drive for the 360 arcade + an xbox keyboard....

Finally I had hope of playing a current MMORPG again. I would rather play City of Heroes/Villians but CO did sound appealing with its focus on action based combat and the ability to totally customize your hero even down to the color of his powers.

kakotan
kakotan

Has there been any news anywhere about if this game is still a go ????

DTH17
DTH17

dude, jason19 I can barely understand a word of what you said.

jason19
jason19

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

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

So still no word on the whole pay to play thing then? No one knows? Anything? If you do have to pay to play, then how much will it be per month? Hopefully they will realize that people do not want to not only pay for xbox live, but pay to play a game on line on top of that. That's just outlandish and scary. I do not think I can deal with that. Gruug.....oh well, guess we'll just have to wait and see. Hopefully they will be nice and only charge the P.C. users.

thealternativex
thealternativex

BlackAce...More like StupidFACE...Huh...huh!! Seriously, shut up. These are the guys who made City Of Heroes, so it is not, in anyway, a "wannabe". Also, they are not generic heroes considering YOU make them. Man you suck..

illuminutty
illuminutty

Why does this news not surprise me one bit? I guess no one wants to go "Where no man has gone before."

BloodMist
BloodMist

Gruug, your name fits.Quite an ogreish thing to say.

Gruug
Gruug

Not interested in anything "cross platform". That means I have removed Star Trek Online and Champions from my wish list.

mcginnism
mcginnism

I haven't played a MMO in years, and I was really looking forward to this one. Hopefully someone else will take it on; there's a lot of potential in this property.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

why is there always people complaining about charges? usually MMORPG's work that way....95%of the times even free ones charge you for some stuff for those with very high levels....

Turkeysoup1
Turkeysoup1

Blackace, it is not generic super heroes. It is based off an already established IP created in 1981. Is it me or do people not even bother to research a game before they bash it? Here is an interesting idea, look into a game and see what it is about before you just trash it. Play it before you judge it. Oh and read an article before you call a game dead.

xitwenty20ix
xitwenty20ix

"$9.99 - $14.99 a month" is nothing. Stop complaining about games that charge, there are good reasons for this price.

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

To be fair. It remains unseen if an MMORPG can actually be pulled of in a good way on consoles. I highly doubt it since it's best of on a PC platform that has easy Internet connection, Keyboard and mouse, Ventrilo etc.

makemeweak
makemeweak

I'm relieved - Take-two is not a good publisher. They will probably be better off in someone else's hands.

blackace
blackace

I'm not overly excite about Champions Online. When it had the Marvel characters in it, it seemed interesting. Using generic super heroes will make this game a CoH wannabe MMO. If it's FREE maybe I'll have a look, but I refuse to pay $9.99 - $14.99 a month for another MMO. More MMO's need to be like Guild Wars.

king_bobo
king_bobo

I wouldn't care much if this game wasn't published at all - especially if you it's not a 'pay-once' MMO. It had potential, but after seeing previews and stuff it really doesn't sound up to much, especially when compared with other '09 games.

Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

The saying is "you can polish a turd, but it's still a turd" not "you can't polish a turd" I really don't know how people got confused about that

CyboDeus
CyboDeus

Actually, Zoomer30, you can polish a turd. Mythbusters have proven this... youtube it. :P

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

Now all they need to do is drop Star Trek Online. I mean you cant polish a turd. We all know STO is a cancelled game just waiting to happen. Pull the plug.

mark632
mark632

What in the world are you guys worrying about? The game is not cancelled. They're simply changing publishers. Atari is going to publish the game instead of Take Two. That makes perfect sense now that Atari owns the IP. There is no reason for Atari to pay Take Two to do something Atari can do itself - publish the game.

jazilla
jazilla

this will change budgeting and content even. At least this is something that could go either way. I hope this allows them to do some stuff that their former publisher wasn't allowing. Who know though.

xxxTristamxxx
xxxTristamxxx

It seems that this is very common trend among game companies...the industry is changing.

ChudWarrior
ChudWarrior

Yes, but the problem with delays like these is that this game will probably be pushed back until a tentative late 2010 release. Which would be too late. Kind of like what happened with Too Human, by the time it finally came out no one really cared and had more than likely forgotten about its existence. You cannot over hype games like this and then release them in 3 years. Waiting is annoying, unavoidable most of the time, but still annoying. I will still buy it and play it no matter what. I have one question though, if anyone has an idea what the answer might be that would be great. Will you have to pay to play this game, like phantasy star,(I only played the demo, don't worry) or will it be free to play? Cause if you have to pay for your Live membership, and then pay to play this on top of that, it would be really bothersome.

Devvy01
Devvy01

please no more nails

Pete5506
Pete5506

I will watched it, havent seen much for this game

Oni
Oni

People this game is not canceled! Stop freaking out. Atari bought the studio that is making "CO", Take two was publishing. Just put two and two together and calm down. sheesh.

newb16
newb16

I dont think Take-Two Interactive has done all that great of a job for a very long time anyway.

chikahiro94
chikahiro94

No surprise there. Fewer companies involved, less money to have to share. Given Atari is publishing the retail version of EVE, plus The Witcher? Looks like they're wanting to get a name for themselves in RPG's.

shade1978x
shade1978x

I don't know. I was hyper-interested in this game when I heard about it, then I heard that the same devs behind City of Heroes was making it. Now, if CO is just another COH, I'll pass. I don't need to waste time on another "Treadmill Online" game.

Cobra5
Cobra5

We'll see. I'm interested in the gameplay- MMOs thus far have not had enough action for me. It feels more like I'm watching my guy fight, then actually fighting... click a button now and then... and wait for fights to be over so I can... well, do it again. Depending on how far this game diverges from that formula is how much I'll like it, I think. They say its going to be more "action packed" then other MMOs, but the videos so far don't seem to indicate that.

1valiantknight
1valiantknight

Settle down it's not like it's dead in the water. I suspect we will still see the game. Look at Brutal Legend and Riddick, you never know what's gonna happen.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Umm...big....deal?Different publisher, same game. BTW it's kinda funny that they didn't mention how Lucasarts is required by contract to at least semi-produce any game that uses the Star Wars license.Odd that they downplayed that.

BoomLazMan
BoomLazMan

Lol I guess COH and COV dont have any competition still.

Ghutch55
Ghutch55

Thats kinda sad i was looking forward to it, but what's the deal with the DC universe online I really want to play that one

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

Oh well, I was looking forward to the game.

Wezker619
Wezker619

Lets hope it isn't canceled.

firedrakes
firedrakes

well that sucks... but cant be help