Atari and Turbine Entertainment announced plans to bring Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons to the world of massively multiplayer games with Dungeons & Dragons Online. For Turbine Entertainment, creators of Asheron's Call and Asheron's Call 2, the D&D MMORPG represents the first time that the company has received full economic and creative control over a project. The goal with the D&D online game is provide the definitive online D&D experience complete with dramatic dungeon crawling, terrifying monster combat, challenging puzzles, character advancement, and guild-based power struggles. The D&D MMORPG is scheduled for release in 2005.
While Dungeons & Dragons has very strong name recognition and a well-defined audience base, its success in the highly competitive world of MMORPGs is far from assured. Everquest, known to cynics as 'evercrack' due it to the life-altering hold it has over many of its devotees, is the industry leader and may well prove difficult to unseat. Other options for online gamers will include the game based on another WotC property, Magic: The Gathering (see 'WotC Takes Magic Online'), as well as a number of high rofile licensed competitors, including MMORPGs for the Matrix, Marvel (see 'Marvel Launches MMORPG'), and Lord of the Rings (see 'Lord Of the Rings Joins MMORPG Club') have all jumped into the ring, which means that the D&D online game will have plenty of competition.