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