NCsoft annexes City of Heroes

MMO franchise falls into publisher's hands, new studio founded

NCsoft has founded a new studio and acquired the full ownership of the City of Heroes MMO franchise as it plans to build upon the series.

The City of Heroes brand was previously shared between the original developer Cryptic Studios and NCsoft. Publisher NCsoft said it has initiated "a renewed push to further develop the City of Heroes property."

The City of Heroes acquisition (which includes City of Villains) is tied to the foundation of a new NCsoft studio in Mountain View, Calif., which is built around key members of the City of Heroes team from both NCsoft and Cryptic.

Former Cryptic employees on board with NCsoft's new plan includes Matt Miller (lead designer), Aaron Brady (lead engineer), and Ken Morse (lead artist).

Brian Clayton, executive producer and manager of the new studio, stated, "Our plans are clear. We are now in a position to make a major reinvestment in the City of Heroes product line. With our existing Cryptic and NCsoft team as the core, we will be able to run our current service without any interruption to our players, expand our studio to deliver triple-A content, and take City of Heroes to new heights."

Clayton added in a post on NCsoft's Dev Corner, "As a player you shouldn't see any ill-effects of this transition from a development or customer support perspective."

Specifics for the long-term effects of the acquisition are under wraps, although he wrote, "What I can say is that we're building this new studio not just to maintain the status quo. We're looking beyond the normal slate of free Issues for City of Heroes. We want to use City of Heroes as a focal point and really build on this franchise."

Cryptic's website states that the series' live team "has set a high standard for development and updates, and NCsoft would like all of them to continue working on the project. Every member of the team has been offered employment at NCsoft."

The studio sold the franchise "to free up resources for our future projects." Currently, the studio is working on an MMO based on Marvel superheroes.

Article supplied by Next-Gen.