Atari and Hasbro have settled their legal beef over the rights to Dungeons & Dragons but the launch of the online RPG Neverwinter has been pushed deep into next year.
Back in December 2009, Hasbro, the parent company of Wizards of the Coast, filed a lawsuit against Atari over allegations that it had sublicensed certain D&D rights to Hasbro competitor Namco Bandai Partners, a breach of its own licensing contract. Atari called the whole thing "meritless," naturally, and claimed that Hasbro was simply looking for a quick and dirty way to get the D&D rights back from Atari. Thus the lawsuits flew.
All is now well, however, as the companies announced yesterday that all claims and counterclaims have been settled and resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Digital licensing rights to Dungeons & Dragons have been returned to Hasbro, while Atari will continue to make "several" games under license, including Dungeons & Dragons: Daggerdale and the currently-in-beta Facebook game Heroes of Neverwinter.
But the bad news is that Neverwinter, the upcoming online RPG for the PC that was originally slated for launch later this year, has now been pushed back to late 2012. The delay isn't actually related to the court case, however, but the recent sale of Cryptic Studios to Perfect World Entertainment. The sale of Cryptic apparently puts Neverwinter in the hands of Perfect World, which said it "will be investing in a more immersive experience."