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Creator / Cryptic Studios

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Cryptic Studios is a California-based video game company that specializes in developing licensed Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. At time of writing they have three active games: Champions Online, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter.

Established in June 2000 as an independent studio, the studio began life as the developers of the superhero MMO City of Heroes, published by NCsoft. They fully sold the game to NCsoft subsidiary Paragon Studios in 2007. In 2006, they signed a licensing deal with Marvel Comics to produce Marvel Universe Online; however, the game was cancelled in 2008, and the previous development work was repurposed for a new license with the superhero Tabletop RPG Champions, which became Champions Online.

That July, Cryptic announced they had rescued the license for Star Trek Online from the defunct Perpetual Entertainment, and opted to start over from scratch using the Champions Online engine. The company was acquired by Atari for 26.7 million dollars in December 2008, and STO launched in February 2010, becoming the first MMORPG ever to launch with both spaceflight and ground combat modes—which still to this day leads to occasional amusing glitches where the game forgets to switch between the two, causing starships to appear in ground maps in place of a toon or vice versa.

In August 2010, Cryptic announced they were working on their third ongoing MMO, Neverwinter, licensed from Wizards of the Coast based on the Forgotten Realms setting with a game system loosely adapting Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition. It was released in 2013. In 2017, a sister game based on Magic: The Gathering titled Magic: Legends was announced; however, the game was cancelled in June 2021 while still in open beta.

In August 2011, Chinese MMO developer Perfect World bought Cryptic Studios from Atari, Inc for an estimated 49.8 million dollars. In December 2021, Perfect World was bought by Gearbox Software's parent company Embracer Group, who placed the studio under Gearbox's umbrella. However, a 2023 restructuring by Embracer led to them being reassigned as a subsidiary of DECA Games.

Games include: