Gamasutra - Richard Garriott on the Evolution of Games
The "save the kingdom" story of the original games in the series is no longer enough, though it still has traction in the industry, he said. "The first Ultimas were very simple stories... And if you look at most games today they still are. Personally, I don't know about you, after I told that story a few times I was done with it." "That story has no value in the future. It's the antithesis of what I try to do and what we as a development community need to do," said Garriott.
A quote about Ultima Online
When he launched the Ultima Online project, EA's "faith in the team and faith in the project was so low," he said, that "projected sales were 30k lifetime."
"Sales and marketing were not in favor of us working with the game," he said. "It wasn't until we put up a prototype and put up a web page... 50,000 people signed up to be beta testers in the first couple of weeks. When it finally did ship it was the fastest selling PC game in origin and EA history at the time. Within about two years had outsold all of the other previous Ultimas combined."
And here's Garriott's take on the future in games.
The key points of this era, according to Garriott, are:
- Games are free or very cheap to acquire
- Simple to use without instructions
- The people who you meet at first are the people you know really well in the real world
- The ability to engage your friends asynchronously