Cryptic Studios is entering its third decade in the massively multiplayer online game market, where it started (like everyone else) in paid subscriptions before moving on to the free-to-play model.

In that time, CEO Stephen D’Angelo has seen the company grow from working on one game (City of Heroes) to now maintaining three MMORPGS: Champions Online (Cryptic also owns the pen-and-paper IP after the deal it had with Marvel fell apart and the studio pivoted to another brand), Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter.

And for the first time since the early 2010s, Cryptic is getting ready to release a new game: Magic Legends, which is a more action-RPG take on its MMO model.

I spoke with D’Angelo over the summer about the studio’s history and how Cryptic approaches the business. We talked about how it’s thrived since partnering with Perfect World after the Atari meltdown, how it came to work

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