Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 24, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 24, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Richard Garriott Departs NCsoft Following Return To Earth
Richard Garriott Departs NCsoft Following Return To Earth
November 12, 2008 | By Chris Remo

November 12, 2008 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC

In an open letter to fans, game designer Richard Garriott stated he will be leaving publisher NCsoft, where he headed up development on the sci-fi MMO Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa.

The announcement was released on the game's official site. Garriott said that the decision was made following his highly-publicized expedition into outer space.

"That unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to," Garriott wrote. "As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests."

The veteran designer, best known for the influential Ultima series of RPGs, gave no indication as to how his departure will affect the fate of Tabula Rasa. He acknowledged the rocky path the game has taken, making reference to "what I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch" but applauding the development team for "pushing hard to content out every month."

It is unclear whether, going forward, NCsoft will remain as resolute in enforcing the game's full official title, half of which is dedicated to the space tourist, at times known as "Lord British" and more recently "General British."

"This news is difficult for me to deliver," continued Garriott. "I am honored to have worked with the team I've had and I'm grateful to the community who makes this game so unique and fun. Thank you and farewell."

Related Jobs

Activision Publishing
Activision Publishing — Santa Monica, California, United States

Tools Programmer-Central Team
Crystal Dynamics
Crystal Dynamics — Redwood City, California, United States

Senior/Lead VFX Artist
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand

Level Designer
Magic Leap, Inc.
Magic Leap, Inc. — Wellington, New Zealand

Lead Game Designer


Matt Weaver
profile image
I could imagine being in space having an impact on what you want to do in life so this isn't a shock. Hopefully he will create an Ultima 3D (real 3D) style space world without the Trammel segregation, and preferrably nothing like TR. Not saying it's a bad game, I respect all games and fellow developers, but I disliked it personally.

John Kwag
profile image
I thank Matt for the unintended laugh I got from his comment.

er..Matt...that's still thinking too small. He is a major investor in the space tourism company that facilitated his trip to space. I am thinking he is looking more along those lines

Robert Farr
profile image
The departure of his development experience would be a loss to the industry, but he wouldn't be the first developer to move on to other things, nor the last.

Ultimately, time will tell what his interests turn out to be.

Isn't NASA supposed to be considering some form of space online game (Not necessarily MMO) where players go to space stations, perform experiments for scientific research and so on?

F. Taloots Marghezeeeele
profile image
i flatly disagree that richard garriott leaving the video game business is somehow bad for the industry as a whole. i think it would be a clear positive.

richard garriott had success at Origin and with Ultima Online, but since then he's done nothing but squander resources that could have been shepherded by other talented individuals in the video games business. he has cost money and not delivered. TR was consistently flawed even after a virtual restart.

good riddance!

ignace saenen
profile image
Wo TF is Richard Garriot?

I think he was extremely iconic to the games industry in the early 90ies, but the industry moved on, the gamers moved on and the games themselves moved on. It's sort of a normal evolution for him to move on, too.

Lo Pan
profile image
Hopefully he has some money saved...after spending $30 million to go into space!

Byron Tauser
profile image
@ saenen and Marghezeeeele:

You're both right.

I have a certain respect for Garriot, but his time has passed (ex:TR)

Long live his great old games and bring in the new guard!

Tom Kammerer
profile image
Everything about TR i have heard is a complete disgust to me. I loved that game from the first moment i started playing. It had a great story, combat and biggest potential to be the best sci fi shooter. The whole vision Garriot had for the game was phenomenal, real actors playing NPC's, combat cover system, twitch gameplay.

30 million spent at a space flight instead of bettering that game was awful to me. The mechanics in that game were somewhat revolutionary to MMO's. All they had to do was build on them but they have not done squat.

All of those mechanics were Garriot's doing. I think NCsoft was to blame for the poorly integrated design documents whether it was not enough resources or pushing the game out to early.

RIP Tabula Rasa