Cryptic Studios is a private American developer of massively multiplayer online role-playing games headquartered in Los Gatos, California. They are the developers of Champions Online.
Established in June 2000, Michael Lewis and Rick Dakan conceived the idea for Cryptic Studios.
"Rick and I wanted to do an online role-playing game," Lewis told the Los Gatos Weekly Times for an article published January 31, 2007. "We'd been role-playing gamers growing up, and thought that online would be a great way to continue that experience, while overcoming the distances involved. We decided that there were too many fantasy games in development – this was 1999, so we discussed many alternatives. Superheroes quickly rose to the top of the list. It is something people could understand and identify with quickly, versus ideas like science fiction or horror, because it provides an infinite background on which to create adventures of all kinds. And who doesn't want to have super powers?"
At a New Year's party in 1999, Lewis and Dakan met Bruce Rogers, Matt Harvey and Cameron Petty, veterans of Atari's [Coin Operated Games division who had begun trying to found a computer game company but lacked funding.
In 2000, Lewis sold his company, Stellar Semiconductor, Inc., to Broadcom Corporation. With Lewis' funding and Rogers' expertise, the group formed Cryptic Studios. Role-playing game writer Jack Emmert joined to the team to work on game design.
In early 2002, Cryptic signed a publishing agreement for City of Heroes with NCSoft, which wanted to expand into the United States gaming market.
Cryptic Studios began actively recruiting employees in 2006 to work on its upcoming Marvel Universe Online and other titles, though this game has since been cancelled.
In March 2007, Cryptic Studios moved to a larger corporate headquarters in Los Gatos, California. Plans for the new headquarters include adding a state-of-the-art sound studio to be built by the Walters-Storyk Design Group. At that time the company also adopted a new corporate logo. Cryptic Studios now employs more than 100 full-time employees.
On November 6, 2007, Cryptic announced that it had sold the City of Heroes / City of Villains intellectual property to NCSoft. Most of the City of Heroes / City of Villains development team transitioned over to a newly formed NCSoft NorCal studio in Mountain View to continue development on the game.
On February 14, 2008 Cryptic announced it would develop Champions Online. A month later, on March 13, Star Trek news site TrekMovie.com reported Cryptic Studios as the developer for Star Trek Online based on unnamed sources, confirming a several-weeks-old rumor.
On December 9, 2008 Atari announced that it had acquired Cryptic Studios.
- John Needham, Chief Executive Officer
- Bruce Rogers, Chief Technology Officer
- Jack Emmert, Chief Creative Officer
- Shannon Posniewski, Director of Game Programming
- Craig Zinkievich, Executive Producer
- Shayne Herrera, Art Development Director
- Grant Wei, Director of Publishing