Atari is poised to join the growing social games movement by unleashed the open beta phase of their upcoming Facebook game, Dungeons and Dragons: Heroes of Neverwinter. Players will be able to assume the roles of Haflings, Dragonborn, and Eladrin (half human, half fairy) races to tackle over 50 dungeons and even create their own dungeons to test friends. Never before has it been so easy to slay dragons while commenting on embarassing prom pictures from high school and updating statuses. We live in the future.
“Heroes of Neverwinter delivers a high level of depth, polish and authenticity that will fundamentally change the way players think of RPG gaming on social platforms” said Jim Wilson, President and CEO of Atari, Inc. “Existing fans of the D&D franchise will find the translation compelling in all areas of the gameplay experience, while more casual gamers will find the adaptation accessible and intuitive.”
While many gamers still eschew Facebook games as “not real games,” the fact remains that hundreds of millions of dollars were made last year by companies specializing in social games, money that Atari has its eyes on. Maybe namedropping Dungeons and Dragons, the grandmother of all RPGs, with a hint of Neverwinter, a la Neverwinter Nights, will convince holdouts. Of course, this is a Facebook game, so can it really be any good?