Gameworld: Atari beams up with new Star Trek online game

Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:00am EST
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By John Gaudiosi

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters Life!) - Hollywood director J.J. Abrams has gone where man has gone before, with his 2009 "Star Trek" movie blasting the sci-fi franchise back into the spotlight and online, uniting new and older generation fans. Videogame publisher Atari and developer Cryptic Studios hope to capitalize on the $385 million global box office that the Paramount Pictures movie raked in last year with the first massively multiplayer online (MMO) game set in Gene Roddenberry's science fiction universe that dates back to 1966.

"Star Trek Online" was recently released for PCs, allowing fans from the original TV series as well as the moviegoers who enjoyed Abrams' reboot, to create a virtual character and explore space, the final frontier.

"I think this game has an opportunity to unify the 'Star Trek' fans, many of whom really are serious gaming fans, with those who aren't," said Zachary Quinto, who played Spock in Abrams' movie and voices a hologram medical doctor in the game.

"I think it's great to unify these two groups and give people the opportunity to engage each other and play with each other online and have the experience of the game together."

While Quinto's character guides players through a tutorial that covers the game, the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, narrates the online game.

"There are a lot of young people who never saw 'Star Trek' before who went to see this movie who are now interested in 'Star Trek,'" said Nimoy.

"I think there will be a number of them who will be interested in a video game and a number of them who will be going back to the original episodes to take a look to see what the roots of all this is all about."

According to Michael Pachter, videogame analyst for Wedbush Securities, "Star Trek Online" should attract one million paying subscribers initially but he forecast this number could double.   Continued...