ZAM: Finally, you've been taking a bit of flak in the media lately for some of your recent Neverwinter announcement interviews, in which you talk about learning from releases like Star Trek Online and Champions Online. The scuttlebutt around the blogosphere is that "Cryptic COO Jack Emmert admits releasing crap MMOs," to paraphrase some of the milder comments. What's your response to those accusations?
Emmert: I've been pretty honest about our faults in the past and people have accused us that I'm virtually admitting that we pushed out Star Trek and Champions as unpolished product. But as God as my witness, when we launched those games, we had zero idea that we thought they were anything less than excellent… When we launched those games, we felt they were superior to City of Heroes, which as you know was a big hit. And I still, to this day, say they are superior to City of Heroes—but, you know, the market changed. If we launched CoH now, oh my God; we'd be in the same boat as [Realtime Worlds'] All Points Bulletin. It would be a bad situation; the way people receive MMOs, it's just a completely different marketplace and I think that we need to change those expectations, and we need to listen.
The reason why I'm doing this interview—and not the guy running the Neverwinter project—is because Neverwinter the start of a completely different orientation to what we're trying to accomplish. I've been reading responses to various interviews, and I can understand people [asking], 'Why did you make Star Trek in 18 months?' Well, that's what it was… If somebody said, 'Hey, here's the Star Trek license.' You say, 'Great, I can't wait to make the game!' You've got 18 months. Do you say no? Of course not… we were full of ego and enthusiasm.