Lord British has got some serious funding behind him for his latest Portalarium mobile gaming project.
Richard Garriott - aka Lord British, master of all things Ultima - has a lot of fans, and some of them like him so much that they've decided to fund his Portalarium to the tune of $7 million. The latest round of financing has closed, and when the dust had settled venture capitalists in London, San Francisco, New York and Garriott himself wound up being the majority investors.
"This is an important step for the growth of our company," said Garriott in an official statement once the financing round had closed. "We are grateful for the confidence [our backers] have placed in our team and we believe gamers will ultimately reap the benefits from this partnership." His backers are optimistic about the deal. "Richard is one of the legendary developers in the gaming industry," said investor Joseph Kim, "and his vision for this next era of mobile and social gaming will firmly position Portalarium as an industry leader."
Portalarium exists for the purpose of developing and publishing social games for mobile platforms, and its latest project - working title "Ultimate Collector" - is all about buying and selling garage sale goodies. That's where most of the $7 million is headed: to help Facebook and iOS players buy and trade bird baths and bouncy castles. However a small portion of the fundraising is going to be pushed towards something provisionally titled "Ultimate RPG", which may or may not have links to the Ultima universe. That will also be a mobile title, but there are no other game details available.
Portalarium is meant to be joining forces with Zynga to release more social games, but as yet no products have been announced.