Everything we learned about the future of Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, & Champions Online from Cryptic’s stream


The knowledge that Cryptic’s MMOs have been shunted off to a tiny European corner of the Embracer empire is not news to the MMO industry. In fact, we’ve known since last year that the ailing megacorp had bustled Cryptic out of Gearbox and over to DECA, a Berlin-based outfit known chiefly for piloting Realm of the Mad God. DECA was hiring remote workers to fill Cryptic’s virtual offices as long ago as December 2023 (following layoffs in November), and then at the end of February, Cryptic CEO Phil Frazier swung by Reddit to effectively reassure the Star Trek Online community that all three live MMORPGs – Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Champions Online – were safe and that development would continue on. However, players have still been rattled; while Star Trek Online has received one major update so far this year, Neverwinter has not.

At the end of his February missive, Frazier promised a more in-depth conversation via Twitch, and he made good on that promise as of last night. Frazier was joined by executive producers Brett Norton and Jarrod Fisher as well as as senior CM Mike Fatum to discuss all three games.

During the stream, Frazier reiterates that DECA has been heavily ramping up hiring and training for the Cryptic and DECA staff – and yes, DECA will be working on the titles, not just Cryptic, though it’ll probably take DECA time to get up to speed (he suggests it takes a new Cryptic worker about a year). “What players should expect is just more people involved,” he says, suggesting that Cryptic will “start to take more of a support function for the game[s] while a lot of the work is happening within DECA.” The teams should be “effectively transitioned” by fall or early winter.

Frazier also reiterates that all three games – yes, even Champions Online – are safe from sunset. Licenses with the Star Trek and D&D franchises apparently are locked in for “several more years” already (and DECA will apparently be continuing the Paramount relationship with Trek IP actors). The plan is “several releases per year for each” game – including for Champions – roughly in line with the frequency and size of updates the games already have. The whole move, he says, is to secure the games well into the future, not to do all this to sunset them. “Sunsetting a game that still has gas in the tank just doesn’t make a ton of business sense,” he says, referring to the fact that STO (and NW as well) are high performers in Embracer’s back catalogue.

STO’s Jarrod Fisher then posts a roadmap from March to June, teasing tons of new ships, the console anniversary launch, First Contact Day, the new season and new Iconian event in May, and then the new season for console in June. “Just as much as we normally have in the past,” he says. The May/June season is season 32, of course. It’s not House Reborn, despite the slide pic; it’ll be the continuation of the Kings and Queens story, with a new episode, TFO, and secret feature and secret returning Trek actor. We don’t know what the feature is, but Fisher does give a teaser word: “token.”

Brett Norton also delivers a roadmap for Neverwinter, which honestly is seriously welcome (since we were more worried about that). Module 28 – Adventures in Wildspace – is coming up this spring, along with the April Fowls event, followed by the Anniversary event and Hell Pit this summer, and then the unnamed module 29 later in the year. Module 28 aka Adventures in Wildspace, set for April, will conclude the Xaryxian storyline, add new Wildspace landing sites, and insert a new dungeon too, along with several QOL buffs and tweaks to the battlepass. Norton also teases Module 29, which will feature a new setting and storyline in Toril on the Sword Coast. No hard dates for it yet, though.

And here comes the big surprise: Champions Online has a partial roadmap, no kidding. Norton also runs Champions, apparently, and while the team is small, he acknowledges the loyal playerbase and promises new missions and events, including one for Foxbat Con.

At the end of the stream, Frazier answers a ton of questions from players; most notably…

  • Cryptic had two new games in development before Embracer’s chaos last year, but both were canceled along with the layoffs. The studio has no new games in development currently; the team is waiting for clarity on the new game pitch process and also for clarity on whether Cryptic “has space to bring a new game to market.”
  • Multiple players asked about whether Cryptic is merging into DECA and whether DECA staff were or are replacing Cryptic devs. In fact, Frazier says, more Cryptic staff will be moving on in the coming months, though he doesn’t say who. He says he cannot discuss whether Cryptic will stay involved with the games in the long term; it will depend on how fast DECA ramps up. “I do expect that we’ll see, at least in the short term over the next year, you’ll see a blend of Cryptic people and DECA people” – but he can’t speak to four years from now.
  • Maintenance windows aren’t set to change in the short term.
  • No Cryptic game is switching to a new engine, but the groups have at least investigated the costs. (It’s probably not happening – too expensive – but he can’t speak for DECA.)
  • Cryptic and DECA will be announcing new IP partnership liaisons post-GDC for licensing and actors and so forth.
  • Subs and lifetime subs and ZEN aren’t in jeopardy from the transfer to DECA.
  • Cryptic and DECA will be announcing community reps in the next few weeks.
Source: Twitch, STO Reddit. Thanks so much, Dandelion!
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