Neverwinter gets June 20 launch date - What you need to know

By Ural Garrett , Updated Jun 06, 2013 10:44 PM EDT

Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios announced today that free-to-play MMORPG Neverwinter will close its open beta and go live June 20. 

Neverwinter is an action based MMORPG based on the Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms universe with interesting twist on genre standards. Most importantly, it's the "spiritual successor" to Bioware's RPG classic Neverwinter Nights. Notably, Neverwinter's biggest feature allows players to create their own quest and campaigns through user-generated content tool called the Foundry.

Coinciding with the launch of the Cryptic Studios developed game will be Gauntigrym, Neverwinter's free PvE and PvP content for veteran players at level 60.

Also revealed was Neverwinter's first module expansion entitled Fury of the Feywild which is slated for a summer release. Fury of the Feywild is described as chronicling "an attempt by Fomorian Giants to seize the Elven city of Sharandar."

Cryptic Studios Executive Producer and COO Craig Zinkievich said the open beta was welcomed with a positive reception. According to Zinkievich, though the developer have "a lot going on," that's been the plan from the beginning.  

"With their[players] help during our Beta Test periods and our accumulated experience from having launched five MMOs, we're confident we've worked out all the major kinks and can sustain the world of Neverwinter without the Beta safety net," said Zinkievich. "I personally thank our open beta players for providing an enormous amount of valuable feedback and supporting us during every single step of the development process."

Cryptic Studios will be running an in-game promotional event near the end of the open beta which began April 30 as a token of its appreciation to participants. Participants in the open beta will see their entire game progress rolled over to launch after a short maintenance. 

First impressions of Neverwinter has been positive so far with Joystiq's Jasmine Hruschak calling it "the first F2P MMORPG I've enjoyed this much."

Brand director for Dungeons & Dragons at Wizards of the Coast Nathan Stewart was thrilled with Cryptic Studios and Perfect World's work. 

"This is one of the Forgotten Realms' most iconic cities and we are excited for the millions of fans that will create their own stories in Neverwinter," said Stewart.

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