Lord British Joins The House of Farmville

Lord British Joins The House of Farmville

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Ultimate Collector, Richard Garriott's next free-to-play "mid-core" game, is being published by none other than Zynga.

In the days when Richard Garriott was better known to gamers as "Lord British," he made heavyweight, single-player RPGs set in the fantasy realm of Britannia that remain famous to this day. These days, however, he's more about accessibility, the mass market and making games that are the absolute opposite of those of his past. The first game to come out of Portalarium, the company he launched back in 2010, was a Texas Hold 'Em poker game, and next up is Ultimate Collector, a free-to-play game about buying, selling and trading stuff that's being published by Zynga.

"We've got almost 30 years in the business, and we feel like we're at the beginning of a new era in gaming - social games - which can reach ten times more people than massively multiplayer online games can, which in turn could reach ten times more people than single-player games could," Garriott told VentureBeat. "Zynga is at the head of this market."

Not that Ultimate Collector will be just another mindless Zynga clicker. "We believe the market is already showing its taste for more depth and stickiness. And that's what we create," he explained. "The front end for these mid-core games is light enough to attract new gamers, but we add enough depth so we don't run off the hardcore players."

Ultimate Collector is all about finding and buying virtual items, fixing and selling some of them to earn in-game money that's used to decorate your virtual home and expand your collections. Objects in the game will have real-world equivalents that can be purchased through affiliate partnership deals with companies including Macy's, Simon and Schuster, Wild About Music, Go Antiques and Wonderful World of Animation, with more coming in the future. The game has been in development for two years, and is currently in closed beta testing.

And despite Zynga's well-publicized troubles of late, Garriott believes it's still the best option for his game. "They have millions of eyeballs and are clearly the master of viral spreading and monetization," Garriott said. "We'd have to spend money on marketing to acquire users, either way. And there is less risk this way. The early analysis shows Zynga is a good platform."

Source: VentureBeat

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This is just sad, sad to see a man who was once an icon of gaming now not only make crap games but try to somehow make them out to be the future of gaming.

Richard Garriott has never been afraid of failure, why should he start now?

You were the chosen one!

On another note, that's actually not a bad idea for a game. But Zynga? Seriously?!

I'm sure this will go down well with long time fans.

The game does sound really crap though. Just buying and selling to buy virtual trinkets which do nothing... great. Also that whole "mid-core" therm just has the words "marketing bull crap" written all over it.

He's like he Robert Baratheon of video games. Once a proud, strong man, now fat and feeble-minded who throws his lot in with those who only wish him ill.

I can practically hear Spoony's rage now...I'm so sorry, Spoony.

I would really like to experience the mindset of the poor fools who genuinely think that social games are the way forward and that working with or for Zynga is anyting other than a one-way ticket to the poor house.

Garriott believes it's still the best option for his game.

"Your knowledge of the land shall be great"

Wow. I'm starting to suspect somebody has just kidnapped Gariott's family and will not release them until he has completely soiled his formerly good name.

When Zynga sinks what will Lord Brittish do then?

Evil Smurf:
When Zynga sinks what will Lord Brittish do then?

Make a new game and find a new publisher. If you are making a "social" game Zynga is still the publisher you want. I can see where Garriot is coming from, making games is just the day job to make money for living on and to pursue his real interests.

octafish:

Evil Smurf:
When Zynga sinks what will Lord Brittish do then?

Make a new game and find a new publisher. If you are making a "social" game Zynga is still the publisher you want. I can see where Garriot is coming from, making games is just the day job to make money for living on and to pursue his real interests.

I'd have made my own company, just like 21 cans

Evil Smurf:

octafish:

Evil Smurf:
When Zynga sinks what will Lord Brittish do then?

Make a new game and find a new publisher. If you are making a "social" game Zynga is still the publisher you want. I can see where Garriot is coming from, making games is just the day job to make money for living on and to pursue his real interests.

I'd have made my own company, just like 21 cans

Good idea, he could call it Portalarium...Zynga is the PUBLISHER that is PUBLISHING his company's new game. It is the best way to get his product out there.

...

I understand how between the hash EA has made out of everything Ultima and the spectacular failures of games like Tabula Rasa which were closer to the genres that made Garriott a name in the industry, he might feel that the choices that remained amounted to either making a big change in the way he's doing things, or flat giving up on the industry.

...But making a Zynga game is only a hairsbreadth away from the "giving up" side, in my opinion. Even among Facebook games, there are more novel (not to mention ethical) players.

Great another old Dev who hasn't been relevant to the industry for well over a decade is trading on their name and making a move into social gaming. Pity the social gaming bubble is about to burst. As to who he chose to publish the game well the reason the article gives was complete marketing, investor soothing, middle management dribble for Zynga showed up with one dump truck of money more than anyone else because thats how business works.

Andy Chalk:

And despite Zynga's well-publicized troubles of late, Garriott believes it's still the best option for his game. "They have millions of eyeballs and are clearly the master of viral spreading "...

Yes. Clearly.

Dear Richard, I've been defending your (in)sanity for many years. But I'm afraid I can't follow you on this one. You've changed, and not for the better. Its a shame really.

I don't know, he might be up to something.

This little game is basically testing the waters for the "Ultimate RPG", which aims to open up the hundreds of millions of casual players to a real sandbox MMO experience with PvP, housing, interactive world, both combat and non-combat roles etc, everything that made UO great.

In his words:

If you look at the games that became popular in social media first, they're games about farming, about running a cafe, about managing your pets. To me they're all a dissection of the things, the non-combat roles, that we proved to be popular with Ultima Online.

So if there's anyone around who can take this new group of players who like farming and pets and cafes, and introduce them into a deeper reality where they can live in a world where next door to your cafe may be a farmer where you can go buy all your crops, and there might be a combatant who comes from the dungeons or the wilderness outside who comes through to buy some of your goods or services, I think that my team and my Ultima experiences are very well-suited to do that.

Or, hey, maybe he's just taking us for a ride, and in reality he's just gathering up money for another space trip. We'll see.

When people use the phrase "Jump Ship" they usually don't mean jumping ON the ship... I guess Lord British didn't get that memo.

You know, its almost as if he WANTS us to stop respecting what little shred of decency and relevance he has left!

I mean heck, he practically abandoned Tabula Rasa to the wolves just so he could fly around in space. Yes yes there was that bull with NCSoft and him, but that is besides the point. They knew since beta that crap wasn't all there with the game, and instead of manning up and putting off his little space joyride for at least a month or two to help with damage control, he turned tail and ran off. TR's failure ultimately lays upon him and his complete inability to both gather a cohesive team (the original big issue for the game) and follow through on the game post release (second major issue).

And now, he's playing off on what little push his name has to sell a crappy online cardgame (because when haven't we seen those around) and essentially Pawn Stars online (which is an actual game if I remember right, have to check History Channels site).

He has no "Ultimate RPG", he's been caught lying about being in talks over making it even. And at this point, I'm happy he doesn't have one. He's like Adam Sandler or Eddie Murphie now, sure they were great back in the day, but now? They are lucky if they even manage to stay just above nonexistent in peoples minds.

"These days, however, he's more about accessibility, the mass market..."

Whenever I read the words "accessibility" and "mass market" together with a game I turn around and simply walk away. These 2 words together usually mean that the game is so easy and the gameplay is so simple that even morons with an IQ of 10 can't lose.

I tried a few of those online social games in the past (a few years ago) but I can't get myself to like these games. Therfore I don't even bother with them anymore.

But it's actually funny to see big names like RG go into the social gaming. Proabably means he can't do real games anymore.

I smell a desperation move.
Can't think of a way that this isn't a failure waiting to happen.

Sad story, waste of talent. I doubt anyone that made games he made in the past could say all that garbage and mean it.

But in the end the guy got to earn a living. It still beats flipping burgers, sorta.

Lord British with Zynga...
Warren Spector making crappy Mickey Mouse games...
Will Wright being on the board of directors for Second Life...

When legendary game designers use their renown to back horrible things it makes me want to cry inside.

Next we'll see Peter Molyneux overhyping a reboot of EA's Sydicate reboot

Once you're past 40, boldness, imagination and creativity die a slow, agonizing death and MONEY starts taking over your brain.
It seems.

meh, Garriott hasn't made anything worthwhile probably in fifteen years at LEAST. It's kind of strange to think THIS is his fall from grace.

The last thing the mobile gaming industry needs, or any industry in general needs, is for something to somehow save Zynga from destruction. Kairosoft, now THERE'S a company that has potential.

Nooners:
I can practically hear Spoony's rage now...I'm so sorry, Spoony.

Glad I'm not the only person who feels bad for Spoony.

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..."Objects in the game will have real-world equivalents that can be purchased"...

Who the hell is going to buy any of that crap in real life?

 

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