In 2018, Portalarium is mostly associated with Shroud of the Avatar, the controversial multi-million dollars crowdfunded MMO / Single Player computer RPG. With all the noise it has caused, it’s easy to assume this game was Garriott’s comeback project after his long post-Tabula-Rasa hiatus.
However, before diving into the first new millennium iteration of his “Ultimate RPG” dream, Richard was strong on taking his newly founded company, “Portalarium“, into something completely different: games in social networks, and their efforts ultimately led them to partner with one of the biggest names on the scene: Zynga.
As you might have guessed, the game is now long gone. It actually never managed to have a broad public launch (although a couple of videos in youtube about hacking the game indicate it might have been shortly available to the public). Portalarium removed all information about the game from their website and killed all of its presence in social media, and it seemingly never made it past the threshold to be included on Zynga’s social games portfolio.
Still, the history of the development of this game is intertwined with Richard plans for the “Ultimate RPG”, which makes it interesting to imagine what Shroud of the Avatar could have been.
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2 thoughts on “The history of “Ultimate Collector”, Garriott’s stab at social gaming”
I remember the old days. I remember playing on the old Great Lakes server, and I was there, on the game (though not on the server), when that fool killed Lord British. Ultima Online was my first real forray into online gaming. I still play on free shards every once and again to indulge in the nostalgia. SotA was a great disappointment, as I see the definition he gave of the “Ultimate” RPG as a good one, personally. You’d be an inadequate game historian if you didn’t mention this great man and his contributions. Thank you! Always love reading your content. 🙂