Last week it was announced that Cryptic Studios, the company making the new Star Trek Online MMORPG, has been acquired by Atari. Although all indications were that this would only help the development of this big project, TrekMovie checked in with Craig Zinkievich, Executive Producer of Star Trek Online, for an exclusive interview to see how things are going with STO and the new owners.
TrekMovie.com: What effect, if any, does the Atari acquisition have on the development of Star Trek Online?
Craig Zinkievich: The deal with Atari gives Cryptic the funding and the support we need to focus on making great games! Atari is very excited about our games, and the team there will be assisting us to make both Champions Online and Star Trek Online the very best MMOs that we can.
TM: Will there be any changes to the team currently developing STO?
CZ: The team has been hard at work, and we’ve been adding members over the last few months. We’ll continue to do that. We’re keeping to the development schedule that we planned out when we acquired the license. The acquisition hasn’t changed our plans at all – it’s just assured that we have all of the resources we need.
TM: The official [Atari acquisition] press release noted a release date of 2010 for STO, but in the past Cryptic has indicated late 2009, is the change due to the acquisition, and are we talking early or late 2010?
CZ: We have yet to announce an official release date for Star Trek Online. We have a target date in mind, and the Atari deal hasn’t changed it. Don’t worry about missing out – when we announce the release date, we’ll make a lot of noise! We want every Trek fan to know about STO.
STO will take you to the 25th Century of the Star Trek Universe
TM: When will beta [testing] for STO begin?
CZ: I can’t tell you that! We’ll announce more information when we’re closer to the beta launch – join the community at startrekonline.com for the latest updates.
[Editors NOTE: Cryptic Chief Creative Officer Jack Emmert indicated to Massively.com the beta would start in ‘later’ in 2009)
TM: The most recent ‘Path to 2409’ update is beginning Cryptic own take on the future of Star Trek in the post Nemesis era, will future updates (and the game itself) incorporate any elements of the new Star Trek movie or official prequel comic books that take place in the post Nemesis TNG era.
CZ: We’ve been in contact with Bad Robot [JJ Abrams production company] and IDW [publishers of Trek comics], but I’m not at liberty to talk about any possible crossovers or tie-ins at this time.
Could STO be tied to new movie and comic tie-ins?