Fulfill your Star Trek fantasies

The Star Trek television series may have inspired millions to seek out careers in the science and technology fields, but making a good Star Trek game has been hit or miss. Even excellent Star Trek games like Bridge Commander and Klingon Academy may not be profitable compared to something like Modern Warfare 2. However, there is a lucrative fanbase of several hundred million Trekkies (or Trekkers) out there for the right product.

The folks at Cryptic Studios, makers of City of Heroes, City of Villains, and Champions Online, think that they have the right formula for Star Trek Online. The Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game officially launches next week, on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 in North America and February 5, 2010 across Europe and Australia. Players who pre-order the game will also receive a code for a "head start", allowing game play beginning this Friday at 1PM EST. There are also additional exclusives that retailers are offering in order to encourage pre-order sales.

The large intellectual property base of the Star Trek universe would seem to lend itself well to an MMO, similar to how LucasArts' Star Wars Galaxies or The Old Republic. Star Trek Online takes place in the year 2409, in the prime continuity rather than the alternate universe branched off in the latest Star Trek film.

"In Star Trek Online, the Star Trek universe will appear for the first time on a truly massive scale. In this massively multiplayer online game from Cryptic Studios, players can pioneer their own destiny as Captain of a Federation starship. Or, they can become a Klingon Warlord and expand the Empire to the far reaches of the galaxy. Players will have the opportunity to visit iconic locations from the popular Star Trek fiction, reach out to unexplored star systems, and make contact with new alien species. With Episode Missions, every moment spent playing Star Trek Online will feel like a new Star Trek episode in which you are the star. Immerse yourself in the future of the Trek universe as it moves into the 25th century: a time of shifting alliances and new discoveries," wrote Cryptic Studios in a statement.

Star Trek Online will have different missions in space, on planets, and even inside other starships, with different missions focusing on exploration and combat. Players pick either Tactical, Engineering, or Science careers and have the opportunity to work their way up through the ranks from Ensign to Admiral. STO has a heavy focus on customization, with multiple ship types and the ability to change parts and colors. Additionally, anyone can create their own species in Star Trek Online, as well as customize the look of their avatar’s uniform and appearance.

Game publisher Atari was so impressed by early concepts of the game that it went ahead and bought Cryptic Studios in December of 2008.

"Star Trek Online is poised to become the ultimate Star Trek gaming experience," said Jim Wilson, CEO of Atari at the time. "Throughout the last four decades, Star Trek has been a mainstay in pop culture, influencing legions of fans through television, film, and more. Star Trek Online opens a whole new chapter and expands upon this incredible universe in 2010."

Cryptic wasn't the first company to try and develop a Star Trek MMO. Perpetual Entertainment started development of the first version of Star Trek Online in 2004, but ran out of funds trying to develop STO and God & Heroes at the same time. Cryptic saw an opportunity and negotiated a deal with CBS Paramount, the owners of the Star Trek license. The company choose to begin their own development program rather than use assets from Perpetual.

Players will have to subscribe to the game in addition to buying a digital or retail copy of the game. Cryptic is offering special 12-month and Lifetime subscription rates for those who pre-order before February 2, after which new (and higher) rates will apply.

Subscription Pricing






1-Month Recurring






3-Month Recurring






6-Month Recurring






12-Month Special



Lifetime Special



DailyTech will have more coverage from the Open Beta program and Head Start.

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