Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima, is also getting in on the act, which is quite divisive in the gaming industry (as there is no unanimity on NFTs and blockchain).
Garriott and Todd Porter, a long-time producer, have formed a new studio called DeMeta. (Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg’s company, Meta, will have something to say about this name…) This team wants to create a new MMO that will use blockchain and NFT technology, so the Garriott’s are trying to keep up with the trend.
Garriott said, “In 1997, my team at Origin published the first true massively multiplayer online game. Ultima Online created something new and spawned a genre that has continued to evolve and grow for more than 25 years. We’re seeking to create that same magic to evolve and reinvigorate MMOs once again.”
That’s a bold statement from Lord British (the character in Ultima is him, while in Tabula Rasa, he goes by the name General British), who added in an interview with MMORPG.com that the as-yet-unnamed DeMeta project is inspired by more modern hit games (such as Roblox and Minecraft) in addition to classic MMOs. You can own parts of the big 1:1 hub world, but there will be instanced adventure zones where you can expect more traditional gameplay. Both Garriott and Porter say their game will not be pay-to-win, but spending cryptocurrency will undoubtedly be part of the experience.
Porter says, “The thing we bring to the table is that we built games. Many of the players you see out there now look like scams. They don’t even know what kind of game they’re building. […] But, we know how to build games. And so we’re bringing our credibility to the space, which we hope people understand that we care very much about our fan base. And we don’t want to get them involved in something that would be anywhere near a ‘bad actor’ type situation.”
Good luck to them, but we’re sure not many people will agree…