With the announcement that Cryptic is working on another MMO based on the lore of Magic the Gathering, folks in Neverwinter have been wondering whether the studio’s main attention is about to shift. Might the Sword Coast’s biggest threat not be Acererak but Planeswalkers? Let’s look at the benefits and dangers of Cryptic doing another MMO for Wizards of the Coast (WotC).
First of all WotC seems to be liking what they have in Cryptic. Otherwise they wouldn’t have teamed up for yet another MMO. A strong partnership between the two can also help Neverwinter as it doesn’t look like anyone is pulling out of whatever licensing deal they have in place anytime soon. If you saw the Stream of Annihilation you’ll know that Cryptic now belongs to the WotC family. So players have little to be afraid of on that end.
One definite drawback are relocated resources, most namely devs, that switch from Neverwinter to Magic the Gathering. Lead Designer Thomas Foss gave some hints on streams this has happened. I remember him saying that he currently does not have some devs “available”, which would be a weird phrasing in case they’d left entirely. It’s safe to assume some senior designers switched to help jump-start the new project. Cryptic however constantly moves its assets around anyway. Foss himself in example started with Neverwinter and did some other projects before coming back recently.
Short-term this still might be a concern. Long-term you’d hope former devs either come back or get replaced though. You’d think Cryptic definitely needs to hire additional guys to help maintain another title.
Another MMO on the market certainly means more competition for Neverwinter. There’s however little incentive for Cryptic to add too much rivalry here. I’m sure they are more trying to extend their user base by bringing in a different franchise. In the end Neverwinter also hasn’t killed Star Trek Online, although you could say that the setting of D&D and MtG is a tad closer. The multiverse of MtG however is not straight fantasy and combines a wide array of elements such as eastern MMOs or cyberpunk.
Of course MtG could eventually outgrow Neverwinter and demand the most attention and resources from the studio, but that would probably be caused by more reasons than these two simply being competitors for the same players.
The next project
Overall I don’t think Cryptic develops a new title because Neverwinter is not doing well or they want to quickly move on to the next thing. Studios are constantly moving and after recent years were focused on the console expansions of Neverwinter and Star Trek Online, it certainly makes sense to get into a new title next. You could even say that they have to be doing well, otherwise they wouldn’t have the resources to expand.
It’s certainly unfortunate that resources are moved around in the studio, but right now I don’t see why players should be overly concerned. Cryptic has a strong partner in WotC and is doing well enough to develop a new game. Chances are there are still many stories to be told along the Sword Coast!
What’y your opinion about the new MtG MMO? Do you think Neverwinter is in trouble or will both work alongside each other? Share your thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.