Star Trek Online Announced

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Post by Vassa on Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:00 pm

Star Trek is one of the two most enduring and popular sci-fi franchises in history, however when it comes to massively multiplayer games it has been noticeably absent. Star Wars, the other pillar of sci-fi, has its own MMO. The Matrix, another potent sci-fi franchise, has its own MMO as well. Yet despite having millions of fans worldwide, there remains no Star Trek MMO, and the most recent effort by Perpetual Entertainment to make one never materialized beyond a handful of screenshots that trickled out over the years. The Perpetual game died along with the studio's fortunes earlier this year, and the developer has since shut down. But now Cryptic Studios, the developer of City of Heroes, City of Villains, and the upcoming Champions Online, has picked up the torch for Trekkers. The company announced on Monday that it had secured the global rights to Star Trek Online from CBS Consumer Products, the holder of the license. Moreover, it said it would show the first gameplay video and reveal the first details regarding the game next month, at the Star Trek Convention in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 10.
In a message posted to the forums on the newly launched
Cryptic co-founder and chief creative officer noted his geek affair with Star Trek. He reminisced about watching Star Trek: The Next Generation as a child, and each successive Star Trek series as he grew older. It's a feeling that he says is shared amongst his staff. "I realized how many people at Cryptic loved the IP when the possibility of us getting the rights leaked out to the rest of the company. I had more Trekkies in my office asking to work on the project than I ever imagined."
Star Trek Online looks like it will focus on the modern Trek series; the web site features a Sovereign-class starship the likes of which were seen in the latter Next Generation movies. That would make sense, since modern Trek is what most of the audience is familiar with, however it brings an interesting question as to whether Star Trek Online will be able to incorporate elements from the original Star Trek from the 1960s, as well as Star Trek Enterprise, which was a prequel series. Modern Trek basically encapsulates The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and Voyager.
Cryptic also released some screenshots of the game, though details are scarce since most of these just feature views of seemingly generic alien worlds. There are no starships or alien species in sight. In his message, though the web site does note that you will be able to command your own starship as either a Federation officer or a Klingon warrior. Does this mean you can't play as a Vulcan, Romulan, or Ferengi? Or is it simply that those races haven't been announced yet?
What's interesting is also Cryptic's take on the gameplay and how it differs from what Perpetual proposed. The Perpetual game would have let you play as a member on a starship that was also crewed by other players. That raised interesting questions as to how players would work together, or who would get to decide to open fire. If everyone gets a starship in the Cryptic game, though, does this mean that the space around Earth and other major planets is going to be swarming with starships all the time? And how much of the game will be dedicated to starships and starship combats? How much of the game will be focused on beaming down to explore alien worlds? Hopefully, Cryptic will answer these questions and more on August 10.

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