Perpetual Entertainment, the company developing Trek’s MMORPG Star Trek Online, appears to be having some financial problems. Gaming site Gamasutra is reporting that the company has fired 35 employees including at least 8 who were working on Star Trek Online. The problems seem to be stemming from delays related to their premiere game Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising. Perpetual is just 2 years old and has yet to release any games. It would be a shame to see their problems result in more delays or even the shelving of the exciting new Trek MMORPG. UPDATE: Perpetual Founder/President Spins the layoffs
After being delayed, the much anticipated new game ‘Star Trek Legacy’ has shipped. Bethesda Softworks has announced that the PC version has just been sent out to retailers and the XBox 360 version should ship next week. Legacy is the biggest thing in Star Trek gaming in years and sports a story written by DC Fontana as well as voice acting by all 5 Trek captains. The buzz on the game is quite good and TrekMovie awaits its review copy with anticipation.
If you haven’t heard of it yet, ‘Star Trek Online’ is a new MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) being built by Perpetual Entertainment. The game allows players to create characters and ‘live’ in the Trek Universe. One of the big decisions was regarding where exactly to set the game in the centuries-long Trek timeline, and the designers decided on 25 years after ‘Star Trek Nemesis’. This is a different approach than other licensed games, for example the ‘Star Wars Galaxies’ MMORPG is set between episodes IV and V of the saga. In an interview with STO Galaxy the executive producer for the game, Daron Stinnett, explains that they chose the post Nemesis era to allow themselves artistic freedom to create new Trek stories.
On Wednesday William Shatner appeared on G4’s ‘Attack of the Show’ to talk about the new game ‘Star Trek Legacy’. Shatner (along with all the other Trek captains) lends his voice to the biggest thing in Trek gaming in years. Host Kevin Pereira noted "there are five captains theoretically, but clearly you are the one", to which Shatner replied modestly "well I like to think that." After spending most of the segment discussing cigars, Shatner pimped Legacy a bit saying: "It is a wonderful game, I think your whole audience should buy it." He then declared: "Star Trek is coming back," seemingly referring to Star Trek XI. When asked what he thought of other ‘Kirks’ from the various internet fanfilms, Shatner replied "they are not me." Afterwards he gave some additional interviews, including one with Geek Magazine’s Jeff Bond. Jeff tells TrekMovie.com that he asked Shatner if he had any advice for a new actor playing Kirk. Shatner’s reply: "imitate me"…got to love the Shat! Go to G4 for the video By the way…here are the latest Legacy screenshots provided by Bethesda…
It is great to see Trek return to the world of gaming, but perhaps the new publisher Bethesda could have chosen a better game than ‘Star Trek Encounters’ to be the first entry. IGN gives the game a 4.9 out of 10. From the review: "Encounters suffers from a dire lack of Star Trek. There’s very little point in using the Star Trek license without exploiting its greatest assets"…ouch. Bethesda has just started shipping the 2nd game (Tactical Assault for the PS2 and DS), hopefully the reviews for that are better. For the third and most anticipated game, ‘Star Trek Legacy’ it appears we will have to wait even longer. Gamespot reports the bad news that the game is being delayed until the end of November due to quality assurance issues. There is a bit of good news, Bethesda recently announced a deal with Ubisoft to distribute all the new Trek games in Europe, story here. While we wait for Legacy, Bethsoft has provided some screenshots to tide you over… (Xbox 360)
Its been a slow couple of days around TrekMovie HQ…here a few things to tide you over 5 years after DC comics (through WildStorm) dropped its license, Star Trek is headed back to comics (not counting the recent ‘manga’). According to Newsorama, IDW (who do comics for CSI, 24 and other franchises) are picking up the Trek Comic baton. Their first foray will be for the 20th anniversary of TNG next year (has it been that long?). IDW also hint at a Trek XI adaptation. Anything has to be better than Marvel’s Trek/X-Men crossovers. Unlike some of his TNG colleagues, Star Trek Enterprise’s Conner Trinneer seems to be open minded towards Abrams Trek XI. The actor tells SFX Magazine (via Scifi Pulse) "I certainly hope JJ Abrams is doing it (Trek XI) I think that would be fantastic. And I’m sure Star Trek is going to continue in some form, at some point down the line." Trineer also says he prefers to get paid but is open to being in a fan film…they can certainly use the help.
Article Updated: The Christies Trek auction is over and according to their release it brought in $7,107,040 (more than double their expectations). The highest priced item was the model for the ST:TNG Enterprise D for $576k, a new world record for Trek memorabilia. Other items that far exceeded expectations were McCoy’s TOS spacesuit for $144k and Picard’s flute from ‘Inner Light’ for $48k. Christies touts it as a truly ‘global event’ with bidders coming in from all over the world, however all but two of the top 10 items went to Americans. could have been yours for half a $mil
The auctioning of Trek’s history has begun and boy did Christies underestimate their prices. Not a single item has gone for anything close to their original estimates. For example: two empty Chateau Picard wine bottles (from Nemesis) were estimated to go for $700, in the end they went for $5500…for two empty wine bottles!. Christies and CBS Paramount had made around $250,000 off just the first 50 lots (out of 1000) which was at least double what they were estimating.Other highlights from the first 50 lots (note auction started with TNG films) Enterprise E Captains Chair: $52,000 (est. $9k)Enterprise E Blueprints: $2,400 (est. $600)Picards Sextent: $5,500 (est. $300)Ent-E Dedication Plate: $7,000 (est. $600)Ent-E Engineering Table: $13,000 (est. $1200)Borg Alcove: $8,000 (est. $700)Borg Mannequin: $12,000 (est. $800) Watch the auction live at History.com Click ‘more’ to see end of day update
It has been more than two and a half years since the release of the last Star Trek video game (the lackluster ‘Star Trek Shattered Universe’ for the PS2). But Trek gamers can now rejoice, the long wait is over. Bethesda Softworks has announced the North American release dates for their first swath of Trek Games: Ocotber 3 October 24 November 7 Encounters Tactical Assault Legacy PS2 PSP & DS PC & XBox 360
Star Trek’s return to video games this fall has been shaping up to be a fanboy fantasy. Not only will ‘Star Trek Legacy’ feature a story written by Trek vet DC Fontana, it includes voicework from all 5 Trek Captains (Shatner, Stewart, Brooks, Mulgrew and Bakula). Fans could have reasonably assumed that the epic story spanning the entire Star Trek timeline would include some or all of the classic battles from the Movies and TV shows, such as Kirk’s epic battle with Khan in Star Trek II. In fact, the game’s publisher Bethesda has used the Wrath of Khan battle to demonstrate the game at E3 (see video). But Bethesda developer ‘Gary’ has thrown some cold water on this notion, from the official forums:
One of the persistent rumors about Star Trek XI is that it centers on the life of Kirk and Spock at the Academy. The Academy story is not a new one, it was originally proposed by Harve Bennett as an idea for Star Trek VI; the studio eventually went with Nick Meyer’s Cold War themed ‘Undiscovered Country’. Last year the Academy notion came back when William Shatner revealed that he is working on a Starfleet Academy book series with his longtime writing partners Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens. He also revealed at the time that he had pitched the idea as a series to ‘top executives’ at Paramount. The Trek Movie Report has learned from a studio insider that the Shat went right to the top and pitched it to none other than Viacom Chairman Sumner ‘Get Tom Cruise Off My Property’ Redstone. Supposedly Shatner went in to Paramount after Star Trek Enterprise became ratings challenged in it’s second year. Shatner believed that Paramount/UPN would replace Enterprise with his Academy show, but they stuck with Enterprise for 2 more seasons before pulling the plug. There are currently no known plans for new Trek on TV. But Shatner still plans on getting his story out there in book form,
It is really becoming Shatner Week around here isnt it? William Shatner talked to the Toronto Star about Star Trek XI and his latest novel. When asked to comment about rumors that JJ Abrams is planning on bringing back Kirk and Spock he had this to say: I don’t know about that…I’d heard a rumour that Matt Damon was signed (to play Kirk), but we don’t know if he is signed. I know nothing.” …but if Abrams phones him, Shatner would certainly take the call: Oh yeah…I would love to do it.”
One of the fanboy wet dreams for Star Trek XI is to have a single film with every single TV Trek Captain, something never done on big or small screen or even in book form. It appears JJ Abrams isn’t going to provide that wish fulfillment for the Trek’s return ot the big screen, but Bethesda Softworks is going to do it for Trek’s return to gaming this fall. Bethesda just announced: Surrounding the 40th Anniversary of STAR TREK, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart, Scott Bakula, Avery Brooks, and Kate Mulgrew to Reprise Captain Roles for STAR TREK: Legacy™
Some Star Trek XI numbers 2…ranking of ‘TOS’ for preferred setting of STXI on new SciFi Wire poll (#1 ‘something new’) 2…ranking of ‘Matt Damon’ for the preferred new Kirk in a StarTrek.com poll (#1 ‘total unknown’) 5 (out of 5)… STXI’s level on Cinemablend ‘excite-o-meter’. 7…ranking of STXI on Cinescape top 10 movies in development Did someone mention Matt Damon? According to Moviehole, he has pulled out playing the title role in the Lance Armstrong biopic, to be replaced by Jake Gyllenhall. The reason given is ‘his busy schedule’. Matt will be filming Ocean’s Thirteen and The Bourne Ultimatum through the winter. Leaving his spring wide open…JJ Will Paramount bring back the Star Trek spoof Galaxy Quest at the same time its bringing back Trek itself? Tim Allen tells the SciFi Wire that a sequel idea has been presented to Dreamworks (now part of Paramount). Never give up, never surrender Tim.
In the immortal words of Yogurt from Spaceballs (pictured right holding Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower…kids love it) “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made.” To that end Paula Block from CBS Paramount consumer products announced at a Comic-Con that CBS Paramount will be handling the licensing for Star Trek XI. CBS Para has been on a bit of a roll lately for Trek liscensing, bringing Star Trek back into the world of gaming after a 3 year drought, along with a new magazine and even a Manga comic book. Block summed it up thusly: “Contrary to some people’s opinions, Star Trek isn’t dead”
Star Trek XI isnt the only big comeback for the Trek franchise in 2006. This year also marked the return of Trek to the gaming community with the announcement of a deal with BethesdaSoft last January. Star Trek had been out of the gaming world since Activision sued Paramount to get out of its licensing deal back in 2003.