Atari and Cryptic Studios today announced that their highly anticipated Super Heroic MMORPG Champions Online has now gone into open beta. The open beta, hosted by FilePlanet.com, runs from Monday August 17th until Wednesday August 26th and is open to gamers throughout North America, EU, Australia, and New Zealand.

The site will be giving away 50,000 open beta keys and players can get into the open beta by visiting IGN’s FilePlanet at http://www.fileplanet.com/promotions/champions-online/beta to sign up for a limited number of spots or by pre-ordering Champions Online through IGN’s Direct2Drive (www.direct2drive.com) Players can also get an open beta key through other retailers’ pre-order programs, go to http://www.champions-online.com/retail for more details.

“The launch of the open beta is an exciting milestone in the development of Champions Online,” said Bill Roper, executive producer on Champions Online. “We look forward to welcoming players, both new and old for what will become a truly great gaming experience.”

Champions Online, a massively multiplayer online game based on the popular pen-and-paper Champions RPG, will give players the power of total customization of their hero while they explore a vast comic book universe of richly detailed 3D environments. Gamers create their hero’s name, back story, costume, powers and abilities as well as design their own personal nemesis and his or her back story, guaranteeing a truly unique experience.

After the supervillain Dr. Destroyer single-handedly destroyed the city of Detroit, many thought he had perished in the colossal explosion. But now, the diabolical genius has returned and he is set to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting world. Join up with Defender and the rest of the legendary Champions to stop Dr. Destroyer and his minions in the ultimate showdown of good versus evil!

For more information log onto www.champions-online.com