Los Gatos, California based Cryptic Studios has announced that they are developing a Massively Multiplayer Online Game based on the Star Trek universe. Details from the Star Trek Online website are vague at this point. Players will apparently be able to play a Federation Captain or Klingon Warrior and command a customizable starship. They will be able to recruit their own crew members, fight space battles and beam down to planets for away missions. The game is to be released for various game consoles and PC formats, but the game system type or specific computer operating system have yet to be defined.
Star Trek Online has been a long time in coming. In 2004, Viacom and the now defunct Perpetual Entertainment issued a joint press release introducing the project. Perpetual Entertainment at that time was in beta development for the MMORPG Gods & Heroes: Rome Rising. After several rounds of layoffs, Perpetual stated in 2007 that it was suspending work on Gods & Heroes in order to divert all of it’s resources to Star Trek Online. Then, Perpetual closed it’s doors.
P2, a new company but with the same executives as Perpetual, was "sold" Perpetual’s assets, including the licensing agreement to the Star Trek franchise. This lead to lawsuits against Perpetual by those with a financial stake in Gods & Heroes. Then, it was announced in January of this year that work was being halted on Star Trek Online, and that the licensing agreement and game content, but not the game code, were being transferred to another game developer. That developer was later confirmed to be Cryptic Studios. Clear as mud?
Cryptic Studios will reveal their first gameplay footage from Star Trek Online at the Official Star Trek® Convention in Las Vegas. The presentation will be on August 10, 2008 at 1:30 p.m. PDT in the Gene Roddenberry Theater. They will be webcasting the presentation as well on their site, for those unable to attend the convention. It will be interesting to see how much of the original scope of the game remains and whether Cryptic will be able to deliver where Perpetual had failed.