The latest Dungeon Keeper title may eventually compete with World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons Online.
It wasn't too long ago that we first saw EA filing a trademark registration for Dungeon Keeper, the classic PC RTS series in which players built and managed dungeons while fending off hero characters. The IP was originally launched by Bullfrog Productions back in 1997, and was followed by the sequel, Dungeon Keeper 2, in 1999. The third installment never saw a release, discontinued after the EA-owned Bullfrog decided to cease all RTS development.
Back in December 2008 there was talk that NetDragonWebsoft would begin development of an MMOG version of Dungeon Keeper, slated only to appear in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Other than EA's recent trademark registration, much hasn't been said about this classic revival. However conceptual artwork and slivers of information have now appeared, and apparently things haven't changed much since 2008. TG Digital Entertainment is now slated as the publisher after securing rights for Fantasy Disney Online and Heroes of Might and Magic Online.
The details thus far are scarce: Dungeon Keeper Online will ditch the 2D sprites for full 3D graphics. What's not clear is if the game will be in first-person, or keep the standard isometric view seen in the previous titles. As it stands, players will assume the role of an evil lord aimed at building their own underground empire. Players will endure encounters, level up like a standard MMORPG character, wear equipment, and summon their own minions during battle. Players will even have the ability to launch attacks on other player-owned dungeons.
Currently there are no screenshots available, however the official website is currently sporting some concept artwork. If the game turns out to be an actual MMORPG, this may be a heavy contender in a market dominated by World of Warcraft... if it hits the States, that is. Stay tuned as more details become available.