Richard Garriott is one of the most famous developers around MMORPGs. He created the milestone Ultima Online. Now he is working on a new game based on blockchain and NFTs. He argues that players still sell goods and accounts on the Internet. NFTs make these transactions more secure and fairer.
What game is this supposed to be? Not much is known about the new MMORPG, it does not even have an official name. Garriott will work on the title with fellow director Todd Porter (Ultima IV) and Chris Spears (Shroud of the Avatar).
MMORPG aims to be a modern Ultima with an isometric perspective, fantasy content and custom shops and lands that players can own.
It will also rely on NFTs, which Garriot says will benefit players. Blockchain should help make trading more secure so players do not have to switch to black markets. However, he is dissatisfied with the previous implementations of NFT games.
It was also Richard Garriott who invented the concept of MMORPG in the first place, as you can see in this video:
A modern Ultima with NFTs and player funding
How should it work with the NFTs? Players can buy their own land for real money. There they can set up a shop or create a portal to a dungeon they have developed themselves. In return, players can then charge something as admission or take direct advantage of the sales in their store.
The NFTs and blockchain are designed to help make trading safer and more efficient. So players would not have to resort to eBay as they used to:
At Ultima Online, when people started buying and selling stores on eBay, we had to take the trouble to think about what we thought about it. Should we stop it because we can not guarantee that sales really hold? And we had none of that.
The only things we get from people who trade in goods are risks and complaints. [Die Blockchain] is a way of settling financial relationships in a very fair and consistent way between the players who buy, sell and trade these virtual goods.
Interview via PCGamesN
Players should also make real money through the NFT system, which ties them even closer to the game. Garriott explains that even though he himself likes investing in cryptocurrency, it is far too complicated and confusing.
Their new MMORPG is not designed to make players aware of cryptocurrencies, but to let all of these things happen in the background so players do not have to immerse themselves in the world at all.
Players are skeptical, also because of Garriott’s story
Who is Richard Garriott at all? Garriott is one of the most famous game developers in the world. Some know him by his ultimate name, Lord British. Because Garriott had programmed himself as the ruler of the world he had created.
With the Ultima series, he consolidated his reputation as a developer legend in the 80s. With Ultima Online, he developed one of the first MMORPGs in the world.
Then Garriott was still in space, living in a kind of castle in Texas and developing the online RPG Shroud of the Avatar.
YouTuber Josh Strife Hayes took a closer look at Shroud of the Avatar in 2020:
What’s the problem with the new MMORPG? In addition to the fact that many players are also skeptical because of the NFTs, Garriott has lost reputation through his latest project “Shroud of the Avatar”:
In the end, Shroud of the Avatar became a niche MMORPG that far from lived up to the expectations and success of Garriott’s previous products. The fact that Chris Spears, the current head of Shroud of the Avatar, is now also part of the new project and at the same time wants to continue operating the old MMORPG, beats something negative (via Twitter).
How do you see the idea of the new MMORPG? Does a modern Ultima Online appeal to you? And do you also see NFTs as a way to make trading more secure? Or do you generally stay away from black markets?
If you want to play a new MMORPG this year, you should keep an eye on this title:
New € 75M MMORPG Features Giant Boss Battles – Looks Great