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Star Trek to boldly go massively multiplayer in 2007

San Francisco based developer Perpetual Entertainment has announced that it has secured the rights to create a massively multiplayer game based on Viacom's Star Trek franchise, which it plans to release in 2007.

San Francisco based developer Perpetual Entertainment has announced that it has secured the rights to create a massively multiplayer game based on Viacom's Star Trek franchise, which it plans to release in 2007.

Viacom has granted Perpetual the exclusive worldwide rights to develop massively multiplayer products based on the entire Star Trek franchise, extending from the original series through all the various TV series and movies, right up to the latest incarnation, Star Trek: Enterprise.

Perpetual plans to initially place the game in the 24th century timeline of the series, and will add other elements of the Star Trek universe through expansions. The company claims that the title will feature a range of both solo and multiplayer missions set in space, on planets and on starbases around the series universe.

"The scope of the content license is extraordinary for a game of this kind, giving us the opportunity to immerse fans and players in the incredibly rich, diverse and exciting universe of Star Trek," commented Perpetual CEO Joe Keene.

Perpetual Entertainment may seem like an unusual choice for such a valuable license, since it is a new company with no previous titles under its belt, but the firm's management team brings with it a wealth of experience in the game development field.

The company's top management largely hails from industry giant Electronic Arts, where CEO Joe Keene formerly held roles including COO of Maxis and COO of EA.com, VP of worldwide publishing and VP of corporate development, while president Chris McKibbin was CFO and COO of EA Canada Studio and COO and general manager of Origin Systems - the studio which produced Ultima Online.

Perpetual also today announced that it has secured $6.5 million in investment in a series B funding round, which was led by SOFTBANK Capital and also saw participation from Manitou Ventures, Mobius Venture Capital and Changwei Ventures. This brings the amount of funding secured to date by Perpetual to $11 million.

The Star Trek online title, which is one of two titles in development at the company, is expected to launch in 2007 after a public beta phase which is set to begin in 2006.

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Rob Fahey: Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.