Atari and Cryptic Studios (City of Heroes, Champions Online, Star Trek Online) have announced the development of Neverwinter for PC.

Neverwinter is a new online role playing game based on Wizards of the Coast's Dungeons & Dragons and the city of Neverwinter. Once a bustling location, Neverwinter has faced a great many disasters in the past hundred years. Rule of the city remains unclear following the unfortunate demise of the last Lord of Neverwinter and factions still battle for dominance after the all-consuming Spellplague took a high toll on the population. Even Neverwinter's dead are beginning to rise from their graves and march upon the city they once called home.

"We're beyond thrilled to develop a brand new version of Neverwinter. It's been years since the original became a gaming icon and we're honoured to work with such a great franchise," said Jack Emmert, COO of Cryptic Studios. "We've been working closely with Wizards of the Coast and R.A. Salvatore to create an authentic D&D adventure filled with compelling fiction and exciting gameplay."

In Neverwinter, players choose to become one of five classic D&D classes and team up with friends or computer-controlled allies to form five-person co-op groups. Players also create their own storylines and quests utilising a content generation system, codenamed Forge.

Neverwinter for PC is scheduled to release in Q4 2011 and is part of a multi-platform event, including a book trilogy from New York Times best-selling author R. A. Salvatore and a tabletop role playing game from Wizards of the Coast.

Book one in Salvatore's Neverwinter trilogy, titled Gauntlgrym, is scheduled for release on October 5, 2010 and lays the groundwork for the Neverwinter storyline.