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Atari announces Neverwinter

Atari announces Neverwinter

Atari's Neverwinter will be inspired by R.A. Salvatore's upcoming book trilogy.

Atari and Cryptic Studios have announced that they are partnering to work on a new PC exclusive RPG, Neverwinter.

Announced via press release, Neverwinter will apparently be based on an upcoming trilogy of books by R.A. Salvatore. No mention is made of it being attached to the previously popular Neverwinter Nights games.

Details are still thin on the ground right now, but Neverwinter will feature five classic D&D classes, plus party combat for up to five players - either NPC or Co-op.

Atari will apparently be including mod tools with the game, claiming that players will be able to create their own storylines and events with the help of a new user-friendly modding system, codenamed Forge.

We’re beyond thrilled to develop a brand new version of Neverwinter. It’s been years since the original became a gaming icon and we’re honored to work with such a great franchise,” said Jack Emmert, COO of Cryptic Studios.

The story will apparently focus on a power struggle in the town of Neverwinter, with the last lord dead and zombies rising from the ground in the aftermath of the Spellplague.

Looks like this is the long-rumoured revival that was hinted about back in 2008, then.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

33 Comments

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Obsidianflame 23rd August 2010, 16:13 Quote
If this is really going to be "Baldurs Gate 3" then suddenly not taking much holiday this year (hopefully i can carry it over) is actually seeming a good idea. Clearly this will take over my life much as BG2 did.

*Crosses fingers"

"For the Doomguard!"
Phalanx 23rd August 2010, 16:17 Quote
Sweet mother of god! Now this is a surprise, a welcome one!
liratheal 23rd August 2010, 16:18 Quote
They didn't really code name their mod tools Forge, did they?
mastorofpuppetz 23rd August 2010, 16:22 Quote
Very surprised, PC exclusive, PC is dying, OH SNAP. Witcher 2, this, Star Craft 2, diablo III, Pc is not as bad off as people want you to believe.
JCBeastie 23rd August 2010, 16:22 Quote
Oh Cryptic eh, brilliant.

They can give up on the pretty 'meh' Star Trek: Online and make an average Fantasy MMO instead.

Hooray.
mastorofpuppetz 23rd August 2010, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
Oh Cryptic eh, brilliant.

They can give up on the pretty 'meh' Star Trek: Online and make an average Fantasy MMO instead.

Hooray.

How is it an average MMO? Its not even an MMO, did you read? You play it yet? Love how people judge something without having a clue.
TWeaK 23rd August 2010, 16:33 Quote
I wonder how long it will be until Activision send their lawyers in for infringing on copyright. Even if Atari had the license I wouldn't be surprised if they gave it a go. Maybe they'll send their security guards to the dev's studio and tell them they're all fired.

Seriously though, this sounds like it could be interesting. I imagine that the best part of the game will be whatever its modding community make, however.
Journeyer 23rd August 2010, 16:34 Quote
Ooh, now this is good news!
I love the Neverwinter series, and if this is anything like the others it will be great.
Blademrk 23rd August 2010, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
I wonder how long it will be until Activision send their lawyers in for infringing on copyright
why? Neverwinter Nights was published by Infograms/Atari anyway wasn't it?
UrbanMarine 23rd August 2010, 16:45 Quote
Do want. NWN was pure crack.
Kiytan 23rd August 2010, 17:02 Quote
if this is even anything like the first two, it will be a good game. That will absorb MANY MANY hours of my life.
Zurechial 23rd August 2010, 17:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
I wonder how long it will be until Activision send their lawyers in for infringing on copyright. Even if Atari had the license I wouldn't be surprised if they gave it a go. Maybe they'll send their security guards to the dev's studio and tell them they're all fired..

They wouldn't have a leg to stand on. The city of Neverwinter existed in Forgotten Realms lore long before Bioware's 'Neverwinter Nights' was even conceived, nevermind released.

I'd go as far as to say this new game has absolutely nothing to do with Neverwinter Nights or Bioware aside from sharing the Forgotten Realms setting (along with countless other D&D franchises that do the same) and being an RPG.
I don't mean to dampen anyone's spirits, but the quality or fun of NWN has little to no bearing on this one beyond being from the same general genre.
Different developer, different publisher, different game, different take on the same setting.

News of a PC-exclusive D&D RPG is generally good news to my ears. I'll be eager to see how this turns out.
DarkLord7854 23rd August 2010, 17:12 Quote
They have a lot to live up to..
SlowMotionSuicide 23rd August 2010, 17:30 Quote
Very nice, though I got fed up with Salvatore years ago.
JCBeastie 23rd August 2010, 18:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastorofpuppetz
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
Oh Cryptic eh, brilliant.

They can give up on the pretty 'meh' Star Trek: Online and make an average Fantasy MMO instead.

Hooray.

How is it an average MMO? Its not even an MMO, did you read? You play it yet? Love how people judge something without having a clue.

"Neverwinter, an online co-op role-playing game"

http://kotaku.com/5619535/return-to-neverwinter-in-2011

Granted it may not be massively but it is multiplayer and on-line. Also I've had the dubious joy of playing Cryptics previous titles and they never seem to be able to focus long enough to finish anything.
Venares 23rd August 2010, 18:08 Quote
Not sure how I feel about this.
On the one hand, Neverwinter Night YAY.
On the other, Cryptic GROAN.

I'm praying they prove me wrong though and its a pure crackfest ala 1, 2 & all the other great DnD RPGS of old.
Hovis 23rd August 2010, 18:14 Quote
How has the word 'Night' crept into this conversation?

This new game has nothing to do with the classic Neverwinter Nights. Absolutely nothing.

Cryptic are doing the trick of acquiring an intellectual property that cannot fail to attract interest (such as Star Trek) and cobbling together something to use it. It's dishonest and cheap in my opinion.

Whether the game will be any good or not we won't know til it comes out, but I'm a little peeved that Crptic would attempt this kind of two bit chicanery so soon after Star Trek Online. Have they no shame?
JCBeastie 23rd August 2010, 18:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
How has the word 'Night' crept into this conversation?

This new game has nothing to do with the classic Neverwinter Nights. Absolutely nothing.

It's still based in Faerun, so not quite nothing.
mastorofpuppetz 23rd August 2010, 18:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
"Neverwinter, an online co-op role-playing game"

http://kotaku.com/5619535/return-to-neverwinter-in-2011

Granted it may not be massively but it is multiplayer and on-line. Also I've had the dubious joy of playing Cryptics previous titles and they never seem to be able to focus long enough to finish anything.

With a Single player story where you can play alone with 4 NPC party members. So no, its not a mmo at all.
JCBeastie 23rd August 2010, 19:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastorofpuppetz
With a Single player story where you can play alone with 4 NPC party members. So no, its not a mmo at all.

Should be 'masterofpedantry', allow me if you will, to rephrase:

Oh Cryptic eh, brilliant.

They can give up on the pretty 'meh' Star Trek: Online and make an average Fantasy RPG instead.

Hooray.

Happy now? Thankyou for your contribution.
Ne0ne 23rd August 2010, 19:52 Quote
More good news for PC gamers
mastorofpuppetz 23rd August 2010, 20:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
Should be 'masterofpedantry', allow me if you will, to rephrase:

Oh Cryptic eh, brilliant.

They can give up on the pretty 'meh' Star Trek: Online and make an average Fantasy RPG instead.

Hooray.

Happy now? Thankyou for your contribution.

Whats next weeks lotto numbers? Maybe concentrating ona non-mm, they will make a better product, You have no way of knowing how it will turn out. At least wait until you have some proof it is average before panning it.
Hovis 23rd August 2010, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCBeastie
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hovis
How has the word 'Night' crept into this conversation?

This new game has nothing to do with the classic Neverwinter Nights. Absolutely nothing.

It's still based in Faerun, so not quite nothing.

That really doesn't mean much, Faerun is a very detailed setting but it is also flexible and large enough to let you do pretty much whatever you want with it. You could quite comfortably set fifty different games in Faerun, without straying from the source material at all, and none of them would have to overlap or have much in common (as evidenced by the number of avid Dungeons and Dragons fans who ran persistent world modules for the original NWN without ever really having much crossover).

I wait to be impressed but all it would take is the words 'Champions Online Engine' to creep into the discussion about this game and I'd be off to find a ten foot pole with which to not touch it.

But despite all that negativity, the best case scenario is a fully co-op party based RPG which has been a long time coming, and if it does include the means to build modules, and it all hangs together, it could still be something great. It's just the cynical use of the name 'Neverwinter' when they could have chosen something fresh that set off my shenanigans sensors.
tad2008 23rd August 2010, 21:42 Quote
Good to hear about a co-op PC game, will keep an eye out for this one and to see how it fares on the ratings.
Skiddywinks 23rd August 2010, 21:58 Quote
I can't believe they are calling the mod engine Forge. Surely Bungie have some sort of copyright?

Was a little disheartened to hear Bioware are having nothing to do with it. Meh. Not massively excited. Hopefully it turns out half way decent at least.
greyhavens24 23rd August 2010, 23:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWeaK
I wonder how long it will be until Activision send their lawyers in for infringing on copyright. Even if Atari had the license I wouldn't be surprised if they gave it a go. Maybe they'll send their security guards to the dev's studio and tell them they're all fired..

They wouldn't have a leg to stand on. The city of Neverwinter existed in Forgotten Realms lore long before Bioware's 'Neverwinter Nights' was even conceived, nevermind released.

I'd go as far as to say this new game has absolutely nothing to do with Neverwinter Nights or Bioware aside from sharing the Forgotten Realms setting (along with countless other D&D franchises that do the same) and being an RPG.
I don't mean to dampen anyone's spirits, but the quality or fun of NWN has little to no bearing on this one beyond being from the same general genre.
Different developer, different publisher, different game, different take on the same setting.

News of a PC-exclusive D&D RPG is generally good news to my ears. I'll be eager to see how this turns out.

I don't understand what Activision and Bioware have to do with any of the Neverwinter Nights games. They weren't the actual developer that was down to Obsidian which in turn were formed from the remnants of Black Isle Studios (Of Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale series). Atari have as far as I can remember been the IP holders for the D&D and Forgotten Realms settings since Neverwinter Nights, the Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale were originally punlished by Interplay but as Atari announced possible revisits to Baldurs Gate, I can only assume that they either now own the IP to those titles or that Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast (who own the D&D IP) have licensed these rights to Atari.

Going back to D&D will be great. I do feel that although Dragon Age was brilliant it didn't quite have the fully fleshed out world of the Forgotten Realms. Don't forget that Wizards of the Coast (and TSR before them) have been expanding this world for years and years through novels, Desktop RPG, modules and various add ons for the paper based game.

I also think it is heartening to think that R A Salvatore is involved. It was him that penned the Icewind Dale Trilogy of novels that gave us such memorable characters as Drizzt Do'Urden the Drow Ranger.

I would like to see a move away from Neverwinter though. What about Waterdeep, the Moonshae Islands or Cormyr? The trilogy's such as the Avatar Trilogy (Shadowdale/Tantras/Waterdeep) or the Darkwalker Trilogy (Darkwalker on Moonshae/Black Wizards/Darkwell) are excellent source material. Or the Dragonlance Saga could be another good series that would be ripe for episodic or DLC release. From memory the actual Pen & Paper stretched over 13 modules so as a source material it could be massive.

Bring it on. Any D&D is good in my opinion, I've enjoyed every one I have played including Troika's Temple of Elemental Evil (despite the bugs) and Ruins of Myth Drannor.
Zurechial 24th August 2010, 02:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhavens24

I don't understand what Activision and Bioware have to do with any of the Neverwinter Nights games. They weren't the actual developer that was down to Obsidian which in turn were formed from the remnants of Black Isle Studios (Of Baldurs Gate and Icewind Dale series). Atari have as far as I can remember been the IP holders for the D&D and Forgotten Realms settings since Neverwinter Nights, the Baldurs Gate/Icewind Dale were originally punlished by Interplay but as Atari announced possible revisits to Baldurs Gate, I can only assume that they either now own the IP to those titles or that Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast (who own the D&D IP) have licensed these rights to Atari.

From Wikipedia article on NWN:
Quote:

Neverwinter Nights (NWN), produced by BioWare and published by Infogrames (now Atari), is a third-person perspective computer role-playing game that is based on third edition Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms rules.
From Wikipedia article on the city of Neverwinter:
Quote:

The city has been the home locale for the first graphical MMORPG ever created, the original Neverwinter Nights on AOL (1991-1997), which was developed by Stormfront Studios. BioWare later acquired the rights to the title and developed a series of best-selling RPGs under the name Neverwinter Nights.[1]

BioWare developed NWN and hold the rights to the franchise. Obsidian Entertainment was tasked with the production of NWN2, just as with KotOR 2; while Atari/Infogrames handled publishing in both cases.
I'm not sure where Activision came into it as they have nothing to do with it as far as I'm aware. I suspect TWeaK was thinking of Electronic Arts, who are the parent company of Bioware.
My point remains that EA are unlikely to have any legal ground to stand on if they were to sue Atari over the use of the name and setting of 'Neverwinter', as BioWare's NWN was far from the first occurrence of the city.

The real point of my post though was that this new game has nothing to do with NWN apart from sharing genre and setting.
Tulatin 24th August 2010, 02:34 Quote
Oh Atari. NWN->Books->NW? Good work on redundency.
deadsea 24th August 2010, 02:56 Quote
D&D RPG should be interesting. Just hope that it's good proper length like any one of the Baldurs gate series. Really worried that it's going to be "epic" like mass effect or dragon age..

1 week is not the new massive.......
greyhavens24 25th August 2010, 00:48 Quote
Sorry to be pedantic Zurechial but Obsidian (who were previously Black Isle Studios) were the developers not Bioware. Bioware are a Production Company. It has been this way for all the D&D Titles (I incorrectly included Icewind Dale in my previous post as I was doing it from memory and thought I'd better do some research since people are quoting Wikipedia at me LOL)

As far as I was aware a producer or production company are responsible overseeing the game, for the cohesion of the project and would be responsible for such things as writing or scripting the story line, hiring the voice talent, fleshing out the game, quality control etc. The actual tech of the game is undertaken by the developer.

Don't get me wrong as a Producer, BioWare are very good at what they do but they do get a lot of credit for the developers hard work (everybody thinks of the D&D titles as being Bioware games) such as Black Isle Studios for Baldurs Gate, Obsidian Entertainment for KOTOR2, Neverwinter Nights and Mythic Entertainment for Warhammer Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Ultima Online.

Bioware have developed and produced their own games, notably Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic and Jade Empire.

Personally I think the best producer/developer combo have been Bioware with Black Isle Studios and Bioware with Obsidian Entertainment. Neither Bioware or Black Isle/Obsidian have been able to achieve the heady heights of their collaboration in the Baldurs Gate titles in my opinion. They seem to work better together than apart. Although brilliant, Dragon Age still doesn't quite hit the same sweet spot and the first title developed/produced by Obsidian in a while, Alpha Protocol, has not been well received.

I just hope Neverwinter is a step in the right direction rather than going the wrong way, as it's not an MMO maybe this cooperative idea actually embodies the spirit of D&D i.e. a group of mates sitting round and playing D&D together. Maybe it's D&D for the Facebook generation?
Zurechial 25th August 2010, 15:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhavens24
Sorry to be pedantic Zurechial but Obsidian (who were previously Black Isle Studios) were the developers not Bioware. Bioware are a Production Company. It has been this way for all the D&D Titles (I incorrectly included Icewind Dale in my previous post as I was doing it from memory and thought I'd better do some research since people are quoting Wikipedia at me LOL)

As far as I was aware a producer or production company are responsible overseeing the game, for the cohesion of the project and would be responsible for such things as writing or scripting the story line, hiring the voice talent, fleshing out the game, quality control etc. The actual tech of the game is undertaken by the developer.

I don't mean to be pedantic either, as it's not really an important topic (and not really relevant to the thread we're in), but I'm just going by what I've seen in the past in terms of logos and credits in games along with what I've read on Wikipedia (as quoted) and elsewhere.
You may be right, and maybe my sources are flawed; but for your information I can only reply with [citation needed]. :p

As to the rest of your post with regards to the various related studios and the games they've produced, I fully agree. The Infinity era of RPGs (Baldur's Gate et al) was my favourite by far and far superior to Dragon Age and Mass Effect (for me) despite the lower production values.
The shift towards big-budget, movie-like games with less of an emphasis on nerdy D&D-style roleplaying and stat-juggling is a downwards shift in enjoyment for me, but I'm aware that I'm not the kind of custiomer they're aiming for these days.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greyhavens24

I just hope Neverwinter is a step in the right direction rather than going the wrong way, as it's not an MMO maybe this cooperative idea actually embodies the spirit of D&D i.e. a group of mates sitting round and playing D&D together. Maybe it's D&D for the Facebook generation?
'Nerd chic' is on the rise in the mass media lately and sites like Penny Arcade are probably encouraging a lot of people to try out old-fashioned D&D these days, so maybe publishers and developers will want a slice of that revivalist pie.
Whether that would be a good thing or not in this age of dumbing seemingly everything down, I don't know - But one can only hope that Neverwinter brings some old-school CRPG fun back to the market.
Voslol 30th August 2010, 01:14 Quote
I believe that there is more to be afraid of than to hope with any game wanting to measure up with the infinite epicness of BG2.
Dark Alliance was heresy, NWN was dull, and I tend to consider NWN2 as an update (a fix update) of NWN.
I want a game with challenge, a nearly impossible challenge, I want a game with a gut-wrenching scenario, a flawless gameplay which naturally delivers infinite possibilities. I also want a game that is not a massively multinoob online game, and a game that doesn't forget the player in the midst of moviesque landscapes, explosions or ever-grander story.
BG2 achieved all that and more (remember the LAN parties). Planescape Torment was a non-ending brain orgasm and these games are the games that will, for the rest of my life, define the other computer games.

The question is : can an online oriented rpg measure up ?
AstralWanderer 4th September 2010, 15:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurechial
...I'd go as far as to say this new game has absolutely nothing to do with Neverwinter Nights or Bioware aside from sharing the Forgotten Realms setting (along with countless other D&D franchises that do the same) and being an RPG.
I'd agree but suspect that this title won't even have anything to do with D&D or the Forgotten Realms.

D&D/Forgotten Realms is the intellectual property (IP) of Wizards of the Coast, part of Hasbro. Atari has exclusive rights to produce computer games using this IP but is currently being sued by Hasbro over passing proprietary information to a competitor, Namco Bandai, who recently purchased the European division of Atari - as well as for failure to properly support, market and develop the Neverwinter Nights franchise.

Until that lawsuit is resolved, there is no realistic chance of anyone developing a D&D-based CRPG and even when it is, people should allow a couple of years to produce a decent game of this type.
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