John Needham, former senior VP at Sony Online Entertainment has joined the superhero MMOG-making lineup.
Sony's internal online-focused studio, Sony Online Entertainment, has been responsible for a number of well-known titles over the years including EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies, GripShift, Field Commander, Untold Legends: The Warrior's Code, and the upcoming massively multiplayer online game, The Agency.
Back in March, Sony announced that SOE would no longer be part of Sony Pictures Entertainment and instead would fall under the Sony Computer Entertainment banner, reporting to SCE group president and CEO Kazuo Hirai. In addition, Yair Landau, vice chairman for Sony Pictures Entertainment, announced he would be leaving the company after 17 years of service. Landau oversaw SOE in addition to other divisions.
It appears that following the assimilation into SCE, another exec at SOE has moved on. John Needham, former senior vice president of Business Development and Operations for Sony Online Entertainment, has joined developer Cryptic Studios as chief executive officer.
President of Cryptic Studios Michael Lewis said in a statement today, "John Needham's proven leadership in the MMO space makes him a dynamic fit for heading up Cryptic's new corporate direction. As a senior vice president of Sony Online Entertainment he has contributed greatly to the growth of the industry and we're excited to combine his operational experience with our vision for the future of online games."
Cryptic, like SOE, has been responsible for a number of online role-playing games, including the superhero-themed City of Heroes and City of Villains. The studio also worked on Marvel Universe Online, which was (Marvel Universe Online officially offline) subsequently canceled by the game's publisher, Microsoft Games Studios. MGS head Shane Kim didn't go into details other than confirming "Microsoft and Marvel have decided to discontinue that project."
Shortly after that, the studio quickly announced it would be release a new superhero MMO, Champions Online for the PC and Xbox 360 and currently slated for a spring 2009 release.
Well, both Cryptic and SOE love to swing the Nerf bat so hard it makes grown men cry as they cancel their accounts at super human speeds.I hope to God this doesn't negatively effect Star Trek...
Ugh. Whatever project he gets his mitts on is going to be an unbalanced mess that will be further unbalanced by further attempts to spice the game up. See: Star Wars Galaxies, Planetside, Everquest...
re: GHOSTRyDr I wouldn't worry about City of Heroes/Villians with any announcement from Cryptic. CoH/V is in NC Soft's lineup these days.
cooldude03 - Most games that you buy once usually don't give free updates of content and some don't update their content at all. When they do have an 'expansion', it costs you just a little less than what you bought the original game for. Think about it, how many one-time-buy MMOs have free expansions or even have more expansions at all? I don't know too much about this guy but reading about Champions Online has me kinda excited. And being with CoX since the beginning, I hope that this change will be for the best.
I don't like games you have to buy, every month. MMO's are for suckers. Once you buy a game you should be allowed to play it without having to pay $15 a month to play.
Bah, SOE is a nightmare. I don't know how much this guy had to do with it, but I hope he doesn't ruin Champions. Oh, and that whole, "escaping from the PS3" has nothing to do with this, SOE creates MMO's for the PC already. If you read the first part, you can see some of the titles they have destroyed.
jknight5422 - "This is awesome. We got a guy who worked as an exec for Sony, now producing MMO games for the Xbox 360/PC. It really shows the love for the PS3. Further, it seems a ton of execs are abandoning Sony to escape the PS3 furor..sometimes it feels like I'm watching the Titanic sink when I keep hearing the bad news about Sony's videogame/console department." That does have a lot of irony to it. I have to agree with you man!
I don't know much about Champions online, but I have been playing CoH for a few years now. Hopefully this will mean good things for the game.
I hope Champions Online turns out to be a great game. From what I've read it is showing a lot of promise. Been wanting an MMO on a console for some time now.
This is awesome. We got a guy who worked as an exec for Sony, now producing MMO games for the Xbox 360/PC. It really shows the love for the PS3. Further, it seems a ton of execs are abandoning Sony to escape the PS3 furor..sometimes it feels like I'm watching the Titanic sink when I keep hearing the bad news about Sony's videogame/console department. Having been a fan of COH/V for a few years, I will definitely purchase Champions Online for my 360 when it's available.
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