Ultima creator Richard Garriott and Doom creator John Carmack were on hand at this weekend's QuakeCon to talk about space travel, and while that doesn't necessarily have a whole lot to do with Ultima, I can't help but feel like many of us helped fund Garriott's endeavors over the years. From Wired.com:
Wired.com: Did those interests inspire you to work in games and inspire the setting of the games you made?
Carmack: It is a complete coincidence that we have made games involving Mars and rocket launchers, but it would be sort of interesting if somehow Armadillo Aerospace became the UAC.
Garriott: If you remember, Ultima one and two not only included swords and sorcery, but also spaceflight. So space was a part of the early Ultima series until medieval stuff kind of became the pattern.
Wired.com: The financial windfall of selling your respective companies seems to have been very helpful in financing these expensive efforts.
Garriott: My spaceflight was a $30 million event. That was the majority of my net worth at the time. I was so devoted to doing this that I was willing to give, basically, all the money I had in the world to it. Because it was that important to me. I'm still a wealthy person, but I'm much less wealthy than I was before doing that. And, no, I couldn't go on another orbital spaceflight without building and selling another company.
Carmack: I was very proud that Armadillo has been able to support itself for a while now with work for NASA and the Rocket Racing League, but being an aerospace contractor is really a dead end, and it would be easy to settle in as another largely irrelevant small engineering company. Pursuing our own designs for cost-effective reusable rockets is where I think the real impact can be made, and now that I have more financial resources at my disposal, I am able to prioritize internal R&D over continuing to chase contract work.