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Cryptic Studios and Marvel collaborate on MMO for Windows Vista and 360

MMO developer Cryptic Studios and Marvel have set aside their differences to create Marvel Universe Online, which will allow Xbox 360 and Windows Vista owners to play alongside one another

City of Heroes creator Cryptic Studios is to collaborate with Marvel Entertainment and Microsoft on a new massively multiplayer title for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista.

The announcement, made at X06 in Barcelona this evening, brings together two companies - Cryptic and Marvel - whose only previous association had been in the courts.

Until recently, the two had been sparring over the legality of the City of Heroes' character-creation tool's ability to create facsimiles of Marvel characters like Wolverine and Spider-Man.

However the new union will see Marvel Universe Online brought to the Xbox 360 and Microsoft's eagerly anticipated Windows Vista, which the Redmond software and hardware giant is positioning as a key games software platform - and a critical ally to its console endeavours.

The game will take advantage of Microsoft's Live Anywhere cross-platform relationship to allow Xbox 360 and Windows Vista users to play alongside one another.

"The vision behind the alliance of Microsoft Game Studios, Cryptic Studios and Marvel is to expand the MMO genre and create an epic gaming experience exclusively for Xbox 360 and Windows Vista gamers to experience together online," said Frank Pape, senior director of business development for Microsoft Game Studios.

"Cryptic Studios is widely respected for their established track record of innovation and understanding of the MMO space, and they are a perfect fit for the creation of the best possible experience in Marvel Universe Online."

Cryptic Studios president Michael Lewis said his company's independent status allowed it "the freedom to make games and forge partnerships that we are truly passionate about".

"Cryptic Studios and Microsoft share a common vision for online gaming and commitment to quality titles. Together we will create a new exciting game that captures the uniqueness of the Marvel IP."

Marvel Entertainment executive vice president David Maisel, meanwhile, made no reference to previous hostilities between the two companies over City of Heroes, published by NCsoft, in calling Cryptic Studios a company which has enjoyed "such incredible success in the online gaming world".

"Marvel, Microsoft and Cryptic are committed to creating the definitive interactive Marvel universe experience via this massive multiplayer online game," he said.

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Tom Bramwell

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Tom worked at Eurogamer from early 2000 to late 2014, including seven years as Editor-in-Chief.

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