How's this for a crazy rumor: According to The Cut Scene, Variety's video game blog, there are rumors that Atari is developing a Neverwinter Nights MMO. Reportedly, signs point to MMO-specialists Cryptic as the development house. (See my interview with Cryptic head Bill Roper here.) See, Atari recently purchased Cryptic, and some say the reason for the purchase was to make this title. Judging by Atari's recently reported cash-flow problems (and the company's non-appearance at E3), this is seen by some as a last-ditch effort on Atari's part -- the fate of one of the grand-daddies of all video game companies could hinge on the success of failure of a Neverwinter Nights MMO.
Now that EA owns the creators of the original NeverWinter Nights games (Bioware), they won't be involved in the project. Personally, I liked the Neverwinter Nights games enough to try out and MMO, but since the NVN games are based directly on Dungeons and Dragons, I have to wonder what the difference between a Neverwinter Nights MMO and Dungeons and Dragons Online will be. Both are, presumably, based on the same rule set, and take place in the same "high fantasy" setting, so I wonder what's up Cryptic's sleeve (if this story proves true, of course).
Perhaps the Neverwinter Nights MMO could take advantage of one of the most interesting aspects of the original games: The ability to easily create elaborate mods to make your own areas... or even the ability for players to "DM" other players' games in real time. I'd definitely play an MMO with those features.
Is there enough time in your gaming day to try out a Neverwinter Nights MMO? If this rumor is true, do you think Atari is wasting its time with this project?