"Fundamentally, I'm a story guy," says Richard Garriott, Ultima creator, space traveler and now founder of social game company Portalarium.
At DICE, he took the stance of "correctly articulating what I thought the challenges to doing good story were, which is that it's almost never done well and it's rare that the marketplace has rewarded good story," as he explains in a new Gamasutra feature interview.
"That being said, I actually think what takes games out of being an irrelevant way to spend some time and puts it into literature and meaningful life experience is to put good story in it," he says. "And so for me personally, I think it's a really big deal, and I think it absolutely can be done on online interactive environments just like we barely are able to do it now in solo player gaming experiences."
"But it's definitely a big challenge," Garriott adds.
In today's feature, Garriott discusses how he hopes to tackle a wide range of social gaming issues, as he turns his attention from MMOs in the wake of short-lived Tabula Rasa, his last project with NCsoft.
He sees the social gaming space not just as a business opportunity, but as a place to aim his expertise and experience from the early days of gaming and the MMO revolution alike.
"I believe that my group, which helped start gaming back in the early days of Origin and Ultima that helped begin and grow the online gaming space, which has been the main motivator for the last 10 years, is perfectly suited to also jump in to contribute here with this new emergence," he says.
And many developers from that era feel the same, from Sid Meier and David Crane to Steve Boyd, who are entering the space, Garriott asserts, "Because we did it. And I think everybody else is still a little too egotistical to realize it.