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(As I reflect on my own career, each of the times that we have forged a deep relationship with another publisher, those very next games are the games that have shipped the least well, shall we say?)
Instead, Garriott would like players to take the place of publishers in the development process.
(You become slaves to your publisher as opposed to slaves to the audience and we're trying to make sure that the task master we are listening to - starting them early and getting them into these alphas and betas is the player, and not the publisher,) he told us.
That said, as TIME Techland points out, there are good reasons to be skeptical and not put down your money for the project:
I don't mean to sound like a curmudgeon, except yes I do: Being Richard Garriott isn't enough to persuade me to hand someone cash to make a game. Garriott's track record and I think I'm being generous here has been pretty spotty since the early 1990s. I don't believe in patronizing celebrity designers for nostalgia's sake, or that someone who knew how to design something 20 years ago necessarily understands what it takes to break the mold today and simultaneously dot the i's and cross the t's.
Don't get me wrong: I loved Garriott's Ultima games up to Pagan (and I recall mostly liking Pagan in spite of the platforming criticisms). And I love the idea of a guy like Richard Garriott rising from the ashes to school lazy designers like a video game version of Robert Smigel's X-Presidents, e.g. (Ultima: Quest of the Trendsetter!) But I worry about whether Garriott's up to the task. RPGs hardly ossified after Serpent Isle. The mid-1990s dry spell the last few Ultima games contributed to notwithstanding, RPGs actually blossomed, and with recent fare like Xenoblade Chronicles, Dragon's Dogma, The Last Story, Guild Wars 2 and Ni No Kuni to say nothing of all the other Kickstarter RPG-related projects on the books, including at least two promising to ricochet design-wise off fan-favorite Planescape: Torment it's hard to argue RPGs need a messiah game at this point.