Original cover art
|Developer(s)|| Origin Systems (1997–2004)|
|Composer(s)|| Kirk Winterrowd |
|Series|| Ultima |
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Linux|
|Release||September 24, 1997|
Ultima Online (UO) is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), released on September 24, 1997,by Origin Systems.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) are a combination of role-playing video games and massively multiplayer online games in which a very large number of players interact with one another within a virtual world.
Origin Systems was a video-game developer based in Austin, Texas, active between 1983 and 2004. It is best known for the Ultima and Wing Commander series.
Ultima Online is a fantasy role-playing game set in the Ultima universe. It is known for its extensive player versus player combat system. Since its release, it has added eight expansion packs, a booster pack and dozens of free content updates. The release of Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn in 2007 brought a new game engine with upgraded visuals.
A role-playing game is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making regarding character development. Actions taken within many games succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines.
Ultima is a series of open world fantasy role-playing video games from Origin Systems, Inc. Ultima was created by Richard Garriott. The series is one of the most significant in computer game history and is considered, alongside Wizardry and Might and Magic, to be one of the establishers of the CRPG genre. Several games of the series are considered seminal entries in their genre, and each installment introduced new innovations which then were widely copied by other games. Electronic Arts own the brand.
Player(s) versus player(s), better known as PvP, is a type of multiplayer interactive conflict within a game between two or more live participants. This is in contrast to games where players compete against computer-controlled opponents and/or players, which is referred to as player versus environment (PvE). The terms are most often used in games where both activities exist, particularly MMORPGs, MUDs, and other role-playing video games. PvP can be broadly used to describe any game, or aspect of a game, where players compete against each other. PvP is often controversial when used in role-playing games. In most cases, there are vast differences in abilities between experienced and novice players. PvP can even encourage experienced players to immediately attack and kill inexperienced players. PvP is sometimes called player killing.
Ultima Online continued the tradition of previous Ultima games in many ways, but due to advancing technology and the simple fact that it was Origin's first persistent online game, many new game mechanics appeared. Partially designed as a social and economic experiment, the game had to account for widespread player interaction as well as deal with the tradition of players feeling as if they were the center of attention, as had been the case in single-player games.[ citation needed ]
A persistent world or persistent state world (PSW) is a virtual world which, by the definition by Richard Bartle, "continues to exist and develop internally even when there are no people interacting with it". The first virtual worlds were text-based and often called MUDs, but the term is frequently used in relation to massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) and pervasive games. Examples of persistent worlds that exist in video games include Battle Dawn, EVE Online, and Realms of Trinity.
Ultima Online began with a single world, with specific expansion packs adding additional territory and new worlds. The second world was the "Lost Lands", with additional land, dungeons, creatures, and terrain. The third was Trammel. This led the developers to distinguish the original world by making the environment more grim, and naming it "Felucca".The two kinds of servers were "normal" servers with both Trammel (consensual PVP) and Felucca (non-consensual PVP) ruleset and "siege" servers with non-consensual PVP and no item insurance. Siege servers support one character slot on an account, limits to ways of traveling and other limits.
The worlds in Ultima Online include:
Todd McFarlane is a Canadian comic book creator and entrepreneur, best known for his work as the artist on The Amazing Spider-Man and as the writer and artist on the horror-fantasy series Spawn.
The history of Japan covers Japan and its relation to the world. It is characterized by isolationist, semi-open and expansionist periods.
Ultima Online is the product of Richard Garriott's idea for a fantasy game involving several thousand people who can all play in a shared fantasy world. Prior games allowed hundreds of people to play at the same time, including Habitat (beta-tested in 1986), The Realm Online , Neverwinter Nights (the AOL version) and Meridian 59 ; however, Ultima Online significantly outdid these games, both graphically and in game mechanics. Garriott commented that "it was very important to us that Ultima Online be a game with a theme, and story, and quest - and then support larger, grander activity. We don't want it to be just player controlled and dominated; we want it to be an Ultima experience, with all the qualities that people expect from that. Ultima Online will be, I believe, the very first ever completely virtual world for the mass public to go live out alternate lives in."The goal was to offer the player as much freedom as possible. The initial team was composed of Garriott, Starr Long, Rick Delashmit, Scott Phillips and, a bit later, Raph Koster, who became the lead designer. Koster wrote public "designer letters" and usually went by his nickname of Designer Dragon. Koster drew inspiration from prior online games, such as DartMUD .
Richard Allen Garriott de Cayeux is an English-American video-game developer and entrepreneur. He is also known by his alter egos "Lord British" in the game series Ultima and "General British" in Tabula Rasa. Garriott, who is the son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, was originally a game designer and programmer, and is now involved in a number of aspects of computer-game development. On October 12, 2008, Richard flew aboard the Soyuz TMA-13 mission to the International Space Station as a private astronaut, returning 12 days later aboard Soyuz TMA-12. He became the second astronaut, and first from the U.S., to have a parent who was also a space traveler.
Habitat is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by LucasArts. It is the first attempt at a large-scale commercial virtual community that was graphic based. Initially created in 1985 by Randy Farmer and Chip Morningstar, the game was made available as a beta test in 1986 by Quantum Link, an online service for the Commodore 64 computer and the corporate progenitor to AOL. Both Farmer and Morningstar were given a First Penguin Award at the 2001 Game Developers Choice Awards for their innovative work on Habitat. As a graphical MUD it is considered a forerunner of modern MMORPGs unlike other online communities of the time. Habitat had a GUI and large user base of consumer-oriented users, and those elements in particular have made Habitat a much-cited project and acknowledged benchmark for the design of today's online communities that incorporate accelerated 3D computer graphics and immersive elements into their environments.
The Realm Online, originally known as The Realm, is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) launched in December 1996 for Windows PC. It was designed in the tradition of graphical MUDs, before the usage of the terms "massively multiplayer" and "MMORPG".
The project started in 1995 and was presented to the public at E3 as "Ultima Online: Shattered Legacy" in May 1996. Origin claimed to have more than 3,000 participants in the preliminary alpha testing.The development cost was much greater than traditional computer games; it relied on people accessing servers via modem. Ultima Online's initial features included persistent player housing, skill-based character progression (without levels or classes), a craft-based and player-driven economy, and unrestricted player-versus-player combat.
An artificial life engine was supposed to be implemented into the game. A preview announced that ecological events in the game would affect animal behavior, potentially creating new adventure possibilities in an organic manner.However, this feature never made it beyond the game's beta stage. Richard Garriott explained:
We thought it was fantastic. We'd spent an enormous amount of time and effort on it. But what happened was all the players went in and just killed everything; so fast that the game couldn't spawn them fast enough to make the simulation even begin. And so, this thing that we'd spent all this time on, literally no-one ever noticed – ever – and we eventually just ripped it out of the game, you know, with some sadness.
Lord British was Garriott's in-game alter ego, who was killed during an in-game appearance at Ultima Online's beta test on August 9, 1997. During a server population stress test, a player character known as Rainz cast the "fire field" spell, killing Lord British. Producer Starr Long blamed it on human error: Lord British's character, like others, had been made invulnerable to this kind of attack, but by design the invulnerability did not persist over several game sessions. When the server crashed shortly before the incident, Garriott forgot to reset his invulnerability status. Shortly after, administrators banned Rainz's account from the beta test for repeatedly exploiting, rather than reporting, bugs. According to Origin, he was not banned for the assassination but rather for prior complaints against his account highlighted by this incident. Beta testers protested Rainz's ban as well as subsequent actions of Long and other developers, during which his in-game character used a spell to indiscriminately kill other characters who observed the assassination. MMOCrunch calls it the most memorable event in MMORPG History. September 1997 was the last day of the original beta test.[ clarification needed ] The beta ended with a bang, as players were treated to an "end of the world" scenario with Shadowlords, demons, and other evil creatures slaughtering every character in sight.
In September 1997, Ultima Online launched and opened the first game servers to the public. 's second expansion Ultima Online: Renaissance dramatically altered the game. It split the game world into two parts called Trammel and Felucca, one was a consensual PVP zone, while the other was non-consensual. In November 2000, a Ultima Online's first official fanfest was held, called the UO World Faire in Austin, TX. In March 2001, Ultima Online's third expansion Ultima Online: Third Dawn was released. It added a new area to the server called Ilshenar. This new area could only be accessed with a new game client that launched with the expansion. The original game client could be used in the previous server areas. In January 2002, Ultima Online's second official fanfest was called Online Worlds FanFest, also held in Austin. Players were able to meet the developers, as well as guest speaker Todd McFarlane. February saw the release of Ultima Online's fourth expansion Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge . Notably, it enabled access to the areas previously only available to the newer Third Dawn game client. In February 2003, Ultima Online's fifth expansion Ultima Online: Age of Shadows was released. It was the most game changing update yet including: offering players the ability to custom design their game homes, a server area that doubled the size of homes, and overhauled the item system. Around March 2003 Ultima Online reached approximately 250,000 subscribers. In February 2004, Origin Systems shut down. Ultima Online no longer had a named studio managing it. Development headquarters moved from Austin to Fairfax, Virginia.Upon release, Ultima Online proved popular, reaching 100,000 paying subscribers within six months, causing severe lag problems. In 1999, servers opened around the world to support the rising popularity of the game, in Japan, Europe and South Korea. In 2000, Garriot resigned from Origin, taking Lord British with him. Game players created their own fanfiction speculations as to why the Lord had vanished. In February 2000, a large in-world event had a massive army of undead lay siege to the Britannia city of Trinsic. The event ran concurrently on all servers over several months. Another server opened in Australia during this time. In May 2000, Ultima Online
The sixth expansion, Samurai Empire , launched in November 2004 was Japanese-themed. It offered two new professions, the Ninja and the Samurai, as well as new Japanese-themed housing tile sets. New lands, the Tokuno Islands, were added, with the cities being styled after ancient Japanese cities.
Ultima Online was the first MMORPG to reach the 100,000 subscriber base, far exceeding that of any game that went before it.Subscriber numbers peaked at around 250,000 in July 2003, but then began a steady decline. In 2008 the game had around 100,000 subscribers. As of April 2008, Ultima Online held a market share below 0.6% of the massively multiplayer online game subscriptions. This may in part be attributed to the 2004 release of World of Warcraft, which quickly established hegemony over the MMORPG market and has attracted scores of players from all preexisting games in the genre.
Expansion number seven, Mondain's Legacy , launched in August 2005. It featured the second player race, Elves. The quest system received a major upgrade, as did the crafting system. Spellweaving was added to the skills. Many new dungeons were added. This expansion was the first that was only available online (offline versions on CDs could be ordered). Mondain's Legacy was the last expansion, with updates becoming more irregular after that point.
In June 2006 Electronic Arts purchased Mythic Entertainment, the creators of Dark Age of Camelot. Mythic was tasked with managing EA's MMORPG portfolio, including Ultima Online. That month it was also announced that the anti-cheating software PunkBuster would be integrated into Ultima Online. This marked the first time PunkBuster would be used with an MMORPG to help curb cheating and exploiting. However, it was never integrated into the game, and in November 2006, Electronic Arts put the PunkBuster integration on indefinite hold.
In August 2007 Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn was released. This was the first major overhaul of the client and artwork systems since Ultima Online: Third Dawn . The final expansion was Stygian Abyss (2009), which focused on the gargoyle race. After Stygian Abyss the development model shifted from expansions to "booster packs" that were intended to be smaller updates released more frequently. However, the first booster pack High Seas of 2010 was also the last.
It was announced on February 6, 2014 that development of the game would be transferred from Mythic to Broadsword, a new studio, that would take over future development.
Next Generation reviewed the game, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "it's a very big world in there, full of lots of exciting things to try and accomplish, with more to be added over time and lots of real people around to know you did them. Brittania is what you make of it. Have fun."GameSpot rated the game 4.9 of 10.
Internal sales predictions for Ultima Online were low, 's launch on September 25 and November 13, the game sold 65,000 units. In Japan, its initial shipment of 5,000 units sold out within 15 minutes on shelves.as Electronic Arts president John Riccitiello remarked that Ultima "was never a big franchise." According to an Origin Systems employee, the game's expected maximum subscriber count was 15,000 users. However, Stefan Janicki of GameSpot later noted that it "quickly became one of the most commercially successful games ever". CNNMoney similarly declared it a "watershed event" and the first major hit in the Internet-only game genre. In the United States, Ultima Online debuted at #9 on PC Data's computer game sales rankings for October 1997. It carried a list price of $65, and its average street price was $55 for the month. A writer for CNET Gamecenter found that the title was part of a trend of role-playing successes in October, alongside Fallout and Lands of Lore 2: Guardians of Destiny . He remarked, "If October's list is any indication, RPGs are back." Between Ultima Online
Ultima Online's sales rate was the fastest ever for an Internet-only game by 1997, and it led Electronic Arts to declare the title its fastest-selling computer game of all time. A writer for PC Gamer US considered this speed the possible cause for "the many reports of lost orders, delayed pre-orders and stores out of stock that occurred when the game launched." In mid-November, Electronic Arts revealed plans to ship an additional 80,000 units of Ultima Online worldwide, including 15,000 for Japan. The majority of its first shipment had been targeted at the United States. On November 20, the game became Japan's best-selling computer title of its launch month. Ultima Online reached 70,000 global subscribers by early December, of which Japan made up 8,000 and Europe 5,000. More than half of the title's sales by that time had occurred outside the United States, despite the fees for long-distance calls between international modems and the game's entirely North American servers of the period. The game had fallen from PC Data's monthly top 20 for the United States during November, but the firm tracked 87,000 sales of Ultima Online in that country alone through the end of 1997.
By December 1998, Ultima Online had reached 100,000 subscribers, with an average simultaneous player count of 12,500 and an average weekly playtime of 20 hours. Declaring the game a hit, IGN's staff wrote that its users "pay $9.95 a month to play the game. That's a million dollars in revenue a month. Twelve million dollars a year." 's global sales had surpassed 200,000 units. A writer for GameDaily described this performance as "almost like printing money." Its subscriber base continued to climb in 2000, reaching 150,000 users by February. Domestically, Ultima Online and its Second Age add-on together had sold 249,610 copies and earned revenues of $11.3 million at retail alone by early 2000, according to PC Data. Gamecenter's Mark Asher wrote at the time, "Add in its current subscriber base of 150,000 players at $10 per month, and you can see the appeal of online, fee-based games." Subscribers rose to 165,000 by March, which amounted to $1.65 million in monthly revenue, and to 250,000 by October 2000.The game had risen to 120,000 subscribers by March 1999, and by June Ultima Online
By early 2001, Ultima Online's player base was estimated at being 20–30% women, which was common to MMORPGs of the period. Japan remained a key market for Ultima Online by July 2001, and accounted for 64,000 of the game's 240,000 subscribers at the time. A representative for Electronic Arts reported, "While we do only a fraction of PC game business in Japan against EA's worldwide business, over 25 percent of Ultima Online business is done in Japan." Worldwide, Ultima Online retained 225,000 subscribers by early 2003.
Ultima Online's success resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the game eight world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "First MMORPG to Reach 100,000 Players", "Longest Running MMORPG", and "First and Only Person to Kill Lord British", which was done by a player named Rainz during a server reset which turned off his invulnerability. In May 2001 Ultima Online won the MPOGD game of the month award In 2010, Ultima Online was the first inductee into the Game Developers Choice Online Awards Hall of Fame. In 2012, Stratics presented Ultima Online with a "Historic Achievement Award" to commemorate "fifteen years of innovation, imagination, and dedication in support of the Ultima Online community." Time designated it as one of the 100 greatest video games of all time in November 2012.
Since the designers of Ultima Online wanted to provide freedom and sense of agency, it was important to allow players to act in a villainous role. The consequences of in-game criminality were adjusted over time, but maintaining the general commitment to player freedom. As explained by designer Raph Koster, "Being safe from evil is, in my mind, an uneven tradeoff for the fact that you don't get to be heroes anymore, in that you can just opt out of fighting evil. It may be nobody wants to be heroes except when it doesn't count, when it isn't challenging, that people would rather fight 'pretend evil' than the real thing, but I don't personally believe that. I still think people are better than that." [ citation needed ] A significant spike in account reactivation was attributed to this aspect of Renaissance.[ citation needed ]Eventually, the Renaissance expansion created large areas of the game in which it was not possible to harm other players.
Ultima Online was sued by former player volunteers ("Counselors") and settled in 2004 without admitting wrongdoing.AOL had their volunteers train customer service personnel it hired, then shut down the volunteer program. Concern over future lawsuits led Microsoft to shut down their volunteer program for Asheron's Call.
Throughout Ultima Online's history, there have been many major additions to the game. Expansion packs have been released regularly, all of which add new content in the form of landmass, art, quests, items, or game mechanics.
|Ultima Online: The Second Age||Oct 1, 1998||Lost Lands, along with an in-game chat system and new creatures. Also known as T2A. It was released in two boxed versions with different artwork and a single manual.[ citation needed ]|
|Ultima Online: Renaissance||May 4, 2000||Doubled the size of the world, adding a second copy. The worlds were called Felucca and Trammel, after the two moons in Ultima's Britannia world. The Trammel world did not allow player killing and was geared towards fighting monsters. Felucca adopted a darker, more foreboding look and kept its player vs player roots.[ citation needed ]|
|Ultima Online: Third Dawn||Mar 7, 2001||Included a 3D client to compete with 3D competition like EverQuest . A special Third Dawn-only land was created, called Ilshenar. It was accessible only to 3D clients until the release of Lord Blackthorn's Revenge.[ citation needed ]|
|Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge||February 24, 2002||Brought "a dark new world based on new characters from Todd McFarlane" to Ultima Online with improved game artificial intelligence, in-game help and improved character creation.[ citation needed ]|
|Ultima Online: Age of Shadows||February 11, 2003||Brought the landmass of Malas with space for new housing, two new character classes (Paladin and Necromancer) and the ability to customize house designs. The item system was reworked with this expansion. Armor resistance was split into five types and many new properties that affected game play were added to weaponry. As good equipment became vital, this expansion also brought with it item insurance. Subscriptions reached a peak of over 250,000 accounts following the release.|
|Ultima Online: Samurai Empire||November 2, 2004||Brought ancient Japanese mythology and folklore to the game, two new classes (Ninja and Samurai) and a new area to explore, the Tokuno Islands. The new class skills shifted the balance of player vs. player combat away from mage dominance.[ citation needed ]|
|Ultima Online: Mondain's Legacy||August 30, 2005||Introduced a new race, elves, and a new skill, spellweaving. Several dungeons were also added.[ citation needed ]|
|Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss||September 8, 2009||Featured a new playable race, the Gargoyle; additional play areas; and three new skills: imbuing, throwing and mysticism. Stygian Abyss also featured significant upgrades to the Kingdom Reborn client, which has been renamed to the Enhanced Client. The original client is still supported.|
|Ultima Online: Time of Legends||2015||New Areas: Shadowguard and Valley of Eodon; two new champion spawns; сompleting the virtue system; lots of new items; new skill-masteries; updates to classic housing.|
At a public relations event on August 28, 2010 it was announced that the development team was moving to a "booster" style development process.The stated goal was to release two boosters per year.
|Ultima Online: High Seas||October 12, 2010||Focused on additions to fishing, sailing and the pirate skill. Four new ship types, improved ship movement, pirate NPCs to hunt, and new boss encounters are introduced along with improvements to the fishing skill like new types of fish and crustaceans to catch and an increased skill cap.|
Ultima Online has had several special releases that were not expansions, but came with boxed or in-game extras.
Two sequels were planned by Electronic Arts, but both were canceled during development so that more focus could be spent on the original.
During the game's May 1996 alpha testing, there already formed over a dozen player-created guilds.
Shadowclan is a guild that gained notoriety within the online gaming communityin 1997 by taking the place of non-player character orcs in Ultima Online. Former clan administrator Ogur was interviewed about Shadowclan in Massively Multiplayer Games For Dummies . A reference to Shadowclan was written into the official Dark Age of Camelot documentation.
Fans of Ultima Online reverse-engineered the game to produce server emulators of the original Electronic Arts servers.With emulation server software it is possible to customize most aspects of the game and support large numbers of concurrent players on a single server.
Electronic Arts provides the standard clients with which players are allowed to connect to the Ultima Online servers, though some third-party clients were made.
The original Ultima Online client is 2D and presents a crisper, simpler artistic flavor that some people find more attractive than the 3D client. Some of the graphics used are high-resolution versions of graphics used in Ultima VIII: Pagan .
The 3D client was originally released as a part of the Ultima Online: Third Dawn expansion, but received poor reviews due to performance issues (especially memory leaks early on) and sub-par graphics. An update to the 3D client was made on January 30, 2006 when characters and creatures from the game were scaled down to smaller sizes. As of early May/Late April 2007, the Third Dawn client was no longer supported by Electronic Arts, and focus shifted to the Kingdom Reborn client and its successor the Enhanced Client. Electronic Arts Ultima Online servers do not allow the Third Dawn client to connect.
Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn was announced in August 2006 and was released August 27, 2007.The new client modernized the game's look, making it easy to add new content without backsliding through outdated and outmoded art, while maintaining the niche market as an MMORPG that can run on lower-end computers. Electronic Arts referred to the Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn client as "2.5d," meaning that it was written in 3d and then moved into 2d to make it easier for lower-end computers to run. The client is available as a free download.
Electronic Arts originally stated that the Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn client would replace the long-standing Ultima Online client. Support for this client ended on September 9, 2009, to streamline the patch process prior to the release of the Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss expansion.
A modified version of the Kingdom Reborn client, renamed as the "Enhanced Client", was introduced as part of the Stygian Abyss expansion. It was released as an open beta in July 2009. Changes included enhanced macro abilities, a more configurable interface, changes to the mapping system, and graphical improvements.The enhanced graphics of the Kingdom Reborn client had been retired in favor of lower resolution original graphics that more closely resembled the original 2D client. This graphic set was based on the Third Dawn client and was previously available in the Kingdom Reborn client as optional original graphics.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is an American video game developer and publisher based in Irvine, California, and is a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard. The company was founded on February 8, 1991, under the name Silicon & Synapse, Inc. by three graduates of the University of California, Los Angeles: Michael Morhaime, Frank Pearce and Allen Adham. The company originally concentrated on the creation of game ports for other studios' games before beginning development of their own software in 1993 with games like Rock n' Roll Racing and The Lost Vikings. In 1994 the company became Chaos Studios, Inc., then Blizzard Entertainment after being acquired by distributor Davidson & Associates.
EverQuest is a 3D fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) originally developed by Verant Interactive and 989 Studios for Windows PCs. It was released by Sony Online Entertainment in March 1999 in North America, and by Ubisoft in Europe in April 2000. A dedicated version for macOS was released in June 2003, which operated for ten years before being shut down in November 2013. In June 2000, Verant Interactive was absorbed into Sony Online Entertainment, who took over full development and publishing duties of the title. Later, in February 2015, SOE's parent corporation, Sony Computer Entertainment, sold the studio to investment company Inception Acquisitions and was rebranded as Daybreak Game Company, who develops and publishes EverQuest to this day.
Asheron's Call (AC) was a fantasy MMORPG for Microsoft Windows PCs, developed and published by Turbine Entertainment Software. Though it was developed by the Turbine team, it was published as a Microsoft title until 2004. The game was set on the island continent of Dereth and several surrounding smaller islands and archipelagos on the fictional planet of Auberean. The game was played in a large seamless 3D virtual world which could host thousands of players' characters at a time.
Lord British, whose full name is Lord Cantabrigian British, is the name of the fictional ruler of Britannia, a kingdom in the fictional world of Sosaria, created by Richard Garriott for his computer game series Ultima. Garriott himself is also known to his fans as Lord British.
Akalabeth: World of Doom is a role-playing video game that had a limited release in 1979 and was then published by California Pacific Computer Company for the Apple II in 1980. Richard Garriott designed the game as a hobbyist project, which is now recognized as one of the earliest known examples of a role-playing video game and as a predecessor of the Ultima series of games that started Garriott's career.
Ultima X: Odyssey was to be a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based in the Ultima universe, developed by Origin Systems for Electronic Arts.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy setting, developed by Mythic Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts in 2008. The game revolved around the continual worldwide conflict that the Warhammer Fantasy setting is known for, and the game is geared toward ongoing, constant war laced with dark humour. Age of Reckoning ended up selling over a million copies and peaking at 800,000 subscribers, but dropped to 300,000 subscribers several months later. The game received generally positive reviews from critics and shut down in 2013.
Scott Jennings, also known as Lum the Mad, is an American commentator on MMORPG games. He is best known for creating a website, The Rantings of Lum The Mad, a pioneer blog, which existed from 1998 to 2001, when Jennings was hired by MMO developer Mythic Entertainment, where he remained until 2006.
Ultima Worlds Online: Origin (UWO:O) — originally titled Ultima Online 2 (UO2) — was to be the first sequel to the popular 1997 massively multiplayer online role-playing game Ultima Online. Origin Systems revealed that they were developing UO2 in September 1999 for release within a year or two, but development was cancelled on March 21, 2001.
Meridian 59 is a 1996 video game developed by Archetype Interactive and published by The 3DO Company. It was the first 3D graphical massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) and one of the longest running original online role-playing games. The development team included John Hanke, who later founded Niantic, Inc. and codeveloped Google Earth and Pokémon Go.
Ultima IX: Ascension is the ninth and final part of the main series of the role-playing video game series Ultima. Developed by Origin Systems and published by Electronic Arts, Ultima IX was released in 1999 for Microsoft Windows after years in development hell. It was a critical and commercial failure.
Ultima Online: Kingdom Reborn was a client for the 1997 MMORPG Ultima Online, created in 2007 with updated graphics. Kingdom Reborn was not considered an expansion pack and could be downloaded for free.
The history of massively multiplayer online games spans over thirty years and hundreds of massively multiplayer online games (MMOG) titles. The origin and influence on MMO games stems from MUDs, Dungeons & Dragons and earlier social games.
Portalarium, Inc. is a video game developer based in Austin, Texas that was formed in September 2009 by Richard Garriott, together with his longtime game industry partners, Dallas Snell and Fred Schmidt. Portalarium marks Richard Garriott's first return to the video game industry since the release of his 2007 title Tabula Rasa. The name "Portalarium", as well as the company's motto, "We take you there," are intended as a continuity and reference to Garriott's prior two companies' names and respective mottoes; Origin Systems, "We Create Worlds," and Destination Games, "We have arrived."
Final Fantasy XIV is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed and published by Square Enix. Directed and produced by Naoki Yoshida, it was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 3 in August 2013, with clients for PlayStation 4 and macOS following later. The game, known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, is a replacement for the 2010 version of Final Fantasy XIV, which was shut down after negative reception at its launch. Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original release. At the conclusion of the original game, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods' blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. As Eorzea recovers and rebuilds, the player must deal with the impending threat of invasion by the Garlean Empire from the north.
Starr McAuley Long is an American game developer, a long time collaborator with "Lord British" at the companies Origin Systems (1992–2000), Destination Games (2000–2008), and Portalarium (2013–present). In 1997, Long was the original director of the early graphical multiplayer game Ultima Online, and from 2008–2013 he was executive producer at The Walt Disney Company, where he created and managed several educational games and apps for Club Penguin and the Disney Connected Learning platform. In early 2008, he was listed as one of the Top 20 Most Influential People in the MMO industry. As of 2013, he is again partnered with Garriott at Portalarium, where they are working on the new game Shroud of the Avatar.
DartMUD was influential on me, certainly—ought to have been for everyone.