Shacknews - Jeff Mattas
Cryptic's head honcho, Jack Emmert, revealed today in an interview with Eurogamer that Star Trek Online could become free-to-play in the future, provided certain stars align.

Cryptic's Star Trek Online

Emmert is apparently looking to Champions Online, another MMO that just shifted from subscription-based to free-to-play, as a guinea-pig of sorts. "We're not sold one way or the other with Star Trek yet," he said. "If people want Star Trek to go free-to-play then get in and play Champions and help make it a great success, because that would send a strong message."

Champions Online's free-to-play model splits players into groups of subscribers and free-to-players. The free-to-play members don't have access to all of the bells and whistles that subscribers receive, but can still play most of the content for free, with á la carte purchasing options also available.

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
[Update 9/7/11] The contest is now closed. The winners are Knuxsonic, Conrnchak, and *ahem* Whore. Congratulations to the winners.

[Original Story] Shacknews has teamed up with Star Trek Online and Intel to give away three $200 Best Buy Gift Cards! To enter, entrants need only create and save a ship in the Star Trek Online Ship Builder. Then, post here in the comments of this post with your ship and captain names to be entered for a chance to win! It's that easy.

You'll have until September 6th to enter at which point the three winners will be chosen randomly. Multiple entries are allowed as long as each entry is for a unique ship.

Must be 18 years or older to enter. Open to residents of the United States only. For more information please see the official rules.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
To celebrate the launch of its latest additions to Star Trek Online, developer Cryptic Studios is offering a free, limited time "weekend" of game time for former voyagers.

The "welcome back, weekend" is aimed at former Star Trek Online players who "got busy" following the MMO's release and no longer subscribe to the game's monthly fee.

If a user has a retail product key registered on their account, they will be able to play Star Trek Online for free from August 4 until August 9."Maybe you got busy with work or family vacations, but we want to invite you to explore the Final Frontier again," an online community rep on the game's official forum wrote. "All you have to do is patch up and log in."

Sadly, celebrations do not include members who have downloaded the trail version of the MMO. And let's face it, that party would be way too wild.

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Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
The price of Cryptic's star-trekkin' MMORPG Star Trek Online has been permanently cut to $19.99 to celebrate the launch of its 'Season Two' update yesterday.

Subtitled 'Ancient Enemies,' the update brings eight new Klingon Episodes starring "the Fek'ihri, the fabled enemy of Kahless, founder of the Klingon Empire" as well as a little peace and love on the Federation side with 'Federation Diplomatic Corps' missions.

There's also a higher level cap plus new 'Mark XI' items, new 'Tier 5' ships and "high-level versions of every Special Task Force mission and Fleet Action." More importantly, you can now play 'Dabo'--the casino game famously played in Quark's Bar.

You can download a 7.36GB demo for Star Trek Online from FileShack.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
Stardate 64023.9:A horde of new enemies are headed into the skies of Star Trek Online. The debut trailer for the MMO's "Season 2" update showcases a gathering of menacing creatures, referred to as "Ancient Enemies," giving the game a much needed boost in additional content and adversaries.

Watch the video on Shackvideo.

Based on the quick glimpses we scanned from the footage, it would appear that at least one of the new enemies is based on the Hur'q, which had previously threatened gamers on the PlayStation in Star Trek: Invasion.

So far, it appears that Cryptic isn't going to let executive producer Craig Zinkievich's departure slowdown any progress it makes in evolving Star Trek Online for the better. And according to some, it has a long way to go.

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Shacknews - Jeff Mattas
The commander that helped steer Star Trek Online into existence has announced today that he will step down from his post. Executive producer Craig Zinkievich revealed he would walk away from Cryptic Studios after seven years of employment in an open-letter on the Star Trek Online official site.

Zinkievich wrote his intention for leaving stems from a desire to spend more time with his kids over the summer as well as "walking [his] goat" and "taking care of [his] bees."

The longstanding producer did not reveal any long-term plans, including the possibility of a return to Cryptic in the future; however, he says producer Daniel Stahl will replace him as the new "commander" of Star Trek Online.

[Thanks, Nitrium]

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
As previously reported, the Star Trek Online demo has been released offering unlimited playtime for a limited amount of content with Cryptic's MMORPG set in the Star Trek universe.

You can play through the entire Star Trek Online Tutorial, as well as the Episode "Stranded in Space." Master your skills in space and on the ground, then rescue the S.S. Azura!

The Demo is restricted to the Federation faction.

Additionally, players that have allowed his or her game subscription lapse are welcome to play for free this weekend as Cryptic attempts to draw player...

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Shacknews - Brian Leahy
Atari and Cryptic are rolling out a Star Trek Online demo, which will allow players to sample a limited set of content from the PC MMO for as long as they like. The demo will begin pre-loading on May 3 and go live on May 7.

In addition to the demo, various rewards and referrals programs will go live for subscribing players on May 7. They are:
  • Veteran Rewards program - "For every 100 days of playtime logged, players can collect rewards including new titles, ship and ship slots, boosts, costume pieces, character slots and more. Of course, Lifetime subscribers will also receive all Veteran rewards as they reach each 100-day milestone."
  • Referral progr...

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Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
The planned console edition of Cryptic's boldly-going MMORPG Star Trek Online has followed in the footsteps of Champions Online and is no longer actively in development, executive producer Craig Zinkievich has told VideoGamer.

"It's something we can readily do in terms of technology. We've had it up and running on certain consoles, and had plans and designs in order to take advantage of those platforms," Zinkievich explained. "But as it stands right now it's a little difficult to make that final leap on the busines...

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