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Publisher Perfect World and Cryptic Studios create new MMO development studio

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Publisher Perfect World Entertainment Inc. and Cryptic Studios have formed a new development division called Cryptic North, to assist Cryptic Studios in the ongoing growth of free-to-play superhero massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Champions Online, and provide support for other MMO titles.

The Seattle-based studio is also working with Cryptic Studios to provide development support with sci-fi MMO Star Trek Online and free-to-play fantasy MMO Neverwinter.

Cryptic North is headed by 15-year industry veteran and Flying Lab Software co-founder, Russell Williams. Flying Lab Software created pirate-themed MMO Pirates of the Burning Sea and railroad sim Rails Across America.

"I look forward to working closely with Perfect World and the talented developers at Cryptic Studios on Champions Online, Star Trek Online, Neverwinter and future projects," Williams said in a statement. Alan Chen, CEO of Perfect World said that the publisher is excited to welcome Williams and Cryptic North to the Perfect World family.

Published by Atari, Champions Online launched in North America in 2009 for Windows PC. Star Trek Online launched in 2010 and Neverwinter is set to leave open beta and launch on June 20. Both titles are published by Perfect World.