Why does Richard ‘Space’ Garriott need a Kickstarter project, anyway? | PCGamesN

Epic's hosting an Unreal Engine game jam this weekend, so get tinkering

Putting on the deerstalker and becoming Sherlock Holmes in Crimes and Punishments

Topic of the Week: What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Shroud of the Avatar

Why does Richard ‘Space’ Garriott need a Kickstarter project, anyway?

Shroud of the Avatar

In 2008, Richard ‘Lord British’ Garriott paid $30 million to become the world’s sixth ever space tourist. This is a matter of, if not public record, then commonly-cited gaming legend. Why, then, does Garriott and new outfit Portalarium need to source $1m from Ultima fans to fund new online RPG Shroud of the Avatar? Here’s a clue: it’s more about the developer-backer relationship than the money.

Garriott told us that his personal fortune has allowed him to do “all kinds of fun things - including leave the planet”, but noted that he himself had invested millions in his new company - by contrast, Portalarium are “only trying to raise about one million dollars through this crowdfunding campaign.”

At this stage, a younger Richard Garriott might have looked for a distribution partner to share in the cost of either developing or launching Shroud of the Avatar. But Garriott knows publishers. He sold Origin to EA in the ‘90s, and saw Ultima 8 suffer under pressure to ship.

“As I reflect on my own career, each of the times that we have forged a deep relationship with another publisher, those very next games are the games that have shipped the least well, shall we say?”

Instead, Garriott would like players to take the place of publishers in the development process.

“You become slaves to your publisher as opposed to slaves to the audience and we’re trying to make sure that the task master we are listening to - starting them early and getting them into these alphas and betas – is the player, and not the publisher,” he told us.

In fact, Garriott suggested that, “while the cash will be put to good use by all means”, the Kickstarter project’s primary function is as a “self-selection process”. “By embracing [the core audience] and bringing them into the development process, it lets us suss out a lot of problems”, he said.

It’s hard to predict what Shroud of the Avatar’s developmental problems might be at this stage. It’s a not-quite-MMO, with a persistent world and a focus on questing in small groups. It’s an Ultima game in everything but name, featuring dungeon crawling, crafting, farming or pet-fostering. And it’s already garnered more than $730,000.

Have you helped fund it?

Login or Register
0
+0
-0
avatar

Does this not seem wrong?

Is he really saying, to paraphrase "You select yourselves for our alpha by giving us money".

 

Also, "Slaves to the audience rather than publisher"... a publisher would have ownership and legal recourse.  The KS audience has neither?

 

By all means use kickstarter to fund an awesome game, but please spare us the rhetoric!

0
+0
-0
avatar
20

Richard "Space" Garriot is a much better nickname than "Lord British" any day of the week!

0
+0
-0
avatar
20

I'm not helping fund this, as I'm swearing off Kickstarter for a little while (I just gave money to a few projects, including Cryamore, Dreamfall Chapters, Project Awakened (which, unfortunately failed) and The Death of Superman Lives)... not to mention, I doubt I would ever play Shroud of the Avatar. But it's interesting and I'm going to follow it, so I hope it succeeds.

0
+0
-0
avatar

I think he is full of it. He could just as well host the download on his own dime and distribute it himself. He doesn't need 1M to offer a download and hire a bunch of goons to pack up soft cloth maps. Really? This isn't 1993 anymore... give up the Luna 2.

Sorry, I was a fan of Garriott... oh was I fan back in 1985 when I was playing Ultima ][ (still have the box) on an Apple ][+. I LOVED Origin Systems... Garriott was the reason I am an IT Director today and have a devout love for all things PC gaming... but it seems to me that greed won over and Garriott became a brat and unbelievably irresponsible with his money. His idea of subscription based gaming is what ruined the gaming industry today. It is my belief he USED to be the father of PC RGPs, but he is the downfall of PC Gaming and consumer rights. PERIOD.

0
+0
-0
avatar

I'm sorry... You have no idea... but, I was so passionate about Ultima... about Origin Systems and the unblievable quality products they put out... I can't even put it to words... and ultimately, he gave it to us all in the rear-end and said F-off. What did he do with his 28 Mil he made off of NC Soft? Did he buy a Ferrari? How about a personal jet? Not a cent... not even a THOUGHT about giving him a cent...

Alienware - Game VictoriousNvidia Shield - Titanfall
Putting on the deerstalker and becoming Sherlock Holmes in Crimes and Punishments

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

Putting on the deerstalker and becoming Sherlock Holmes in Crimes and Punishments

Epic's hosting an Unreal Engine game jam this weekend, so get tinkering

Epic's hosting an Unreal Engine game jam this weekend, so get tinkering

Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

It will never end: Assassin's Creed Chronicles will be a series

It will never end: Assassin's Creed Chronicles will be a series

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor free DLC lets you dress all in black and laugh in the face of poison

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor free DLC lets you dress all in black and laugh in the face of poison

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports team ALSEN accused of match fixing

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive eSports team ALSEN accused of match fixing

Topic of the Week: What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Topic of the Week

Topic of the Week: What games are you looking forward to in 2015?

Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond leaves to “pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities”

Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond leaves to “pursue my other ambitions and new opportunities”

Dark Souls' Games for Windows Live refugees can play on Steam from November

Dark Souls' Games for Windows Live refugees can play on Steam from November

Riot approve two third-party apps for League of Legends: Curse Voice and Razer Comms

Riot approve two third-party apps for League of Legends: Curse Voice and Razer Comms

Team Fortress 2 now lets players treat themselves to an early Halloween

Team Fortress 2 now lets players treat themselves to an early Halloween

Uber cancels its Human Resources Kickstarter:

Uber cancels its Human Resources Kickstarter: "We simply don’t have the human resources"

Rodina is No Man's Sky on a budget

Rodina

Rodina is No Man's Sky on a budget

Play Civilization V for free while you pre-load Beyond Earth

Play Civilization V for free while you pre-load Beyond Earth

In The Evil Within, even gods can be decapitated

In The Evil Within, even gods can be decapitated

Far Cry 4 will let you fight yetis, but only if you have the season pass

Far Cry 4 will let you fight yetis, but only if you have the season pass

Prepare for BlizzCon 2014 by joining a Hearthstone or StarCraft II fantasy league

Prepare for BlizzCon 2014 by joining a Hearthstone or StarCraft II fantasy league

Fighting the inevitable in Stardock's Sorcerer King

Sorcerer King™

Fighting the inevitable in Stardock's Sorcerer King

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Catching up with Cassandra

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Catching up with Cassandra

1m Space Engineers copies sold thanks to developer’s use of blood magic

1m Space Engineers copies sold thanks to developer’s use of blood magic

Clockwork Empire update means stew no longer requires eyes to boil

Clockwork Empire update means stew no longer requires eyes to boil

XCOM: Enemy Within Long War mod ramps up the difficulty till you cry

XCOM: Enemy Within Long War mod ramps up the difficulty till you cry

Minecraft has now sold 17 million copies on PC

Minecraft has now sold 17 million copies on PC