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Years after last Ultima game, Richard Garriott eyes a comeback

Garriott, who is also known as 'Lord British,' is using Kickstarter to raise funds for a new game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. 

By Matthew Shaer / March 8, 2013

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, the new game from Richard Garriott, a.k.a. Lord British, could launch in alpha mode by the end of 2013. Providing, of course, that Garriott can raise the necessary funds on Kickstarter.

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It's been more than 15 years since Richard Garriott, a.k.a. Lord British, launched Ultima Online, an massive online game produced by Origin Systems

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And now Garriott is back, with a new role-playing game entitled Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues. The game, which Garriott has called a "spiritual successor" to the Ultima franchise, will take place in a massive, magical realm peopled by warriors, magicians, and dragons. It looks cool. And it sounds like a whole lot of fun. Only hitch: In order to actually develop the game, Garriott needs some capital. 

So this week, Garriott took to Kickstarter, the venerable crowd-sourcing website, where he hopes to raise a million bucks. Interested in contributing? Pledges of $10,000 will earn you a guided tour of "Brittania Manor," Garriott's home in Texas, and a copy of Akalabeth, Garriott's first game. Pledges of $25 or more, on the other hand, will earn you access to "early-bird Alpha" and beta builds of the game. 

The Shroud of the Avatar's Kickstarter page has a whole lot of art, although it's clear that plenty of details still need to be worked out. Pricing, for instance. 

"It is neither what I'll call a standard retail boxed game where it'll have a retail price and that's the end of it; nor are we anticipating that it will be subscription-based MMO," Garriott told Gamespot today. "But at the other end of the extreme is also what we're not going to be; we are not doing a social game, we're not doing a game where it's free-to-play then it endlessly pesters you for money. That is also not what we are doing."

Garriott says the game will be playable offline or online, as an MMO; he estimated that the alpha version could be available as soon as the end of this year. 

Thinking about contributing to the Shroud of the Avatar's Kickstarter drive? Drop us a line in the comments section. And for more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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