Atari has announced plans to resurrect the Neverwinter Nights series of fantasy adventure games with an online multiplayer game for PCs entitled Neverwinter, due out towards the end of 2011.
Though Bioware, the studio behind the classic Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights series, went on to produce 2009's award-winning Dragon's Age: Origins, Atari still holds the rights to the Neverwinter name and have turned to genre specialist Cryptic Studios for help in bringing it to the masses.
Cryptic Studios' background is in massively multiplayer online games - City of Heroes, City of Villains, Champions Online, and Star Trek Online.
Whereas Dragon's Age: Origins and Dragon Age II are for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Neverwinter will be PC-only but is expanding in other ways, as there will be a tabletop role-playing game and a book trilogy to coincide with it.
Fantasy author R. A. Salvatore will be penning the books and is already familiar with the genre, having previously written ten other series within Neverwinter's Forgotten Realms setting. That also includes the Icewind Dale trilogy that went on to become a Baldur's Gate spin-off.
Currently targeting the last three months of 2011 for release, Neverwinter will be rubbing shoulders with established big names such as the free-to-play Lord of the Rings Online and subscription-based World of Warcraft.
Fans of the medieval fantasy games should be well served throughout 2011, with Dragon Age II releasing in March, Torchlight II at a similar time, and then Diablo III in the second half of the year.
In the meantime, Atari has set up a teaser website at PlayNeverwinter.com.