Star Trek Online engaging Feb. 2

Cryptic Studios' MMORPG based on iconic sci-fi franchise will warp onto PCs before Valentine's Day.

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Cryptic Studios is on a tight turnaround schedule. Having been acquired by Atari in December 2008, the studio released Champions Online--its first massively multiplayer online game since 2005's City of Villains--in September for the PC. (An Xbox 360 edition of the superhero game is also planned.) With rumors circulating of the San Francisco Bay Area studio readying a Neverwinter Nights MMO role-playing game for 2011, Cryptic is also at work on Star Trek Online for a launch early next year.

Hint: Engaging Klingons in asteroid fields can have dire consequences.
Hint: Engaging Klingons in asteroid fields can have dire consequences.

Now, Star Trek Online's release date has reportedly came into focus, as Atari and Cryptic Studios have announced that the PC game's servers will go live on February 2 in North America and February 5 in Europe. Cryptic Studios said that it had picked up the rights to make the Star Trek MMOG from Perpetual Entertainment in July 2008, after that studio fell on financial hardship.

Star Trek Online operates independently from any of the events established in the film or television series. Players assume the role of a starship captain operating under the banner of either the United Federation of Planets (better known simply as "the Federation") or the Klingon, who are locked in an intergalactic struggle. The hive-minded Borg will also play a role in the MMOG.

Star Trek Online entered a closed beta-testing phase in late October, and Cryptic Studios is still accepting applicants through its official Web site. For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Star Trek Online.

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