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 get...new 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."