stephen d’angelo

Cryptic’s CEO discusses taking an IP and making it work for an MMO

At this point, Cryptic Studios has a stable of games based off of existing IPs, most notably Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and the upcoming game based on Magic: the Gathering. A new interview on GamesIndustry.biz with CEO Stephen D’Angelo discusses working with the IP and making a successful game out of it, noting that first and foremost it’s a matter of finding the core element of the IP that makes it interesting and designing the game around that.

D’Angelo explains that the studio’s core goal is to expand beyond the existing audience for the IP by exploring new directions, rather than trying to solely cover the same material as the original; he notes that the expansion into Magic: the Gathering made sense due to a strong working relationship with Wizards of the Coast and the desire to not simply make an online version of the same card game. The studio wants to explore the world from another angle, just like Neverwinter doesn’t simply plug the stats of the tabletop game into digital form. If you’re interested in the mechanisms of making an IP-based MMO work, the full interview is worth a read.

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Cryptic announces brand-new Magic: The Gathering MMORPG

One of the largest and longest-running collectible card games is about to become a brand-new role-playing video game, courtesy of Cryptic Studios. Cryptic and Perfect World Entertainment announced today that it is ramping up development on a Magic: The Gathering MMORPG in partnership with Wizards of the Coast.

The untitled game is being made “from the ground up” for both PC and console as a top-tier release and is part of Wizards of the Coast’s Magic Digital Next initiative. According to the press release, the RPG will allow players to “fully immerse themselves in the Multiverse.”

“Everything from the graphics to the gameplay is being targeted for a truly unique AAA game,” said Cryptic CEO Stephen D’Angelo. “We’re thrilled to provide Magic fans with an opportunity to explore the game’s worlds and characters through an entirely new lens. Get ready to embark on a brand new journey.”

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Star Trek Online changes executive producers

Star Trek Online has a new captain helming its ship, as Stephen D’Angelo has stepped down as executive producer and long-time STO dev Stephen Ricossa has filled the vacancy. D’Angelo will now be Cryptic’s chief technology officer in charge of overseeing “several internal projects.”

Ricossa introduced himself as a life-long Star Trek fan and teased one big upcoming change to the game: Sector walls will be coming down in Season 10, leaving a single map per quadrant instead of several segmented ones.

In other STO news, the team unveiled its work on Tier 6 command battlecruisers that will be coming “soon” to the game store. These battlecruisers will not only have a commander engineering/command hybrid specialist bridge officer seat but access to a new inspiration mechanic. An inspiration meter is filled by using bridge officer abilities, and once it’s full, captains can activate one of three powerful abilities for their entire group.

[Source: A change in command, Tier 6 command ships]

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