Richard Garriott's 'Ultimate RPG' closes with $1.9 million on Kickstarter

Shroud of the Avatar hits $1,919,275 through crowd-funding website; game targeted to launch October 2014.

Ultima creator Richard Garriott has traveled to space and to the Titanic wreckage. Now he can add a new achievement to his resume: Kickstarter success. The industry veteran's crowd-funding campaign for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues closed today at $1,919,275 from 22,322 backers.

"A sincere thank you goes out to all our backers for pledging your support to 'Shroud of the Avatar' and helping us raise almost double our Kickstarter goal," developer Portalarium wrote on its Kickstarter blog. "This game would not be possible without your dedication and feedback--what a fantastic experience it’s been to interact with all of you, learning what is most important and desired in our new world."

The game reached its $1 million target ten days into its campaign. Though Kickstarter funding has ended, those interested in pledging can do so through the Shroud of the Avatar website.

Shroud of the Avatar is due out for PC by October 2014, though an alpha version will be available to backers by the end of this year. Since the campaign began last month, Portalarium welcomed Dragonlance and Deathgate writer Tracy Hickman to the development team.

Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the first of a five-game series, referred to as episodes 1 through 5. After the initial launch of Forsaken Virtues in October 2014, subsequent episodes will release on a yearly basis.

For more on Shroud of the Avatar, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

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Discussion

139 comments
krasimir7
krasimir7

I trust that Garriott will want to spend the 1M on leaving a legacy. Ultima was great but hey that was 20 years ago (Ultima VII, my favorite).

farcorners
farcorners

saliva....dripping....from.....my.....hungry.....mouth!

EXODYS
EXODYS

Wonder what EA thinks about a game mentioning "avatar" and "virtues" - they still hold the license to the Ultima brand ye? Anyways, keeping my hopes up for this game, Richard Garriott and Tracy Hickman is bound to deliver :)

Baer
Baer

I bet he does have an Ego and so what, look at what he and before him his dad have done in life. I am so glad to see him putting this amazing team together and doing a story driven RPG again. I am really glad that I found out about the KS project early enough to take part.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

Looks great for a N64 game! OH WAIT- jk. Aside that, kinda sad that it got like 1.9m, because Richard Garriot is so visionary and over-the-top as a game designer that all the others can eat dust; Wonder why did he need that money for, bet that trip to space must've cost twice that and staight from his pocket. No, I feel no love for him. Yeah he did a great game like 30 years ago. Amazing. But no.

Auth
Auth

Always better to leverage other people's money. That's how you get and stay rich.

jmr1986
jmr1986

Don't understand how this project got funded, Garriot is a fucking multi-millionare that doesn't needs this amount of money to make a game that TBH looks like trash. It's like seeing Carmack asking for money to make the next DOOM while he's launching rockets and landing spacecrafts on the moon.

iknowthepiecesf
iknowthepiecesf

Garriot does not need any cent of this amount of money to make games. He's already a multi millionaire and he hit the kickstarter just to see if people will buy a probable game. 1.9 million is good but Garriot will f*ck this up, i'm so sure about it. He's out of his days, game industry has moved on so far, Garriot is an old man. Go an back this games; Wasteland 2, Project Eternity or Torment Tides of Numenera via PayPal. Those games will be a much better choice.

Tyson8earzz
Tyson8earzz

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar was my first ever real rpg experience and my first ever encounter with the term "all-niter" as I would stay up thru the night till wee morning hours as a 13 yr old in 1985. I was hooked so bad! I was so mesmerized by the packaging of the Ultima series, the cloth maps, the spell books and manuals. Back in those days, we got all kinds of goodies. Now we are lucky to get a PDF file of the game controls, if that...

Fembot_Eulogy
Fembot_Eulogy

I remember playing Ultima when I was just a wee laddy. My brothers introduced it to me. I'd really like to see where this goes. 1.9 million eh? That's a pretty good haul.

hampstergunit
hampstergunit

SO MUCH JELLY in these comments

gariott is the  man SOTA will be ballersauceeeeee

imsuperstoked kthxbye

Bjjallday
Bjjallday

Awsome! I think thats great. And here's to hoping we get another really good RPG series for us gamers to enjoy for many hours!

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Seems like a easy way to get money for projects especially gaming these days.

Lazy_Marine
Lazy_Marine

alot of people may think $2Million is alot of money, like the guy is now a rich man, that maybe true if he runs off with the money or produces a poor product. However developing a game is very expensive, 1 experienced programmer costs about $80,000 to hire that's only for 1 programmer, then you have your rent, equipment, engine license, and various staff expenses, it is very very expensive to develop major games.

00J
00J

ULTIMA WAS GOOD UNTIL U8 PAGAN. 

malec_1
malec_1

This kickstarter looked interesting until I watched the Spoony One's Ultima reviews. There are some batshit ideas that came out of Garriott. While he had some good design decisions it was apparent that through the Ultima series as a whole, he had a lot of ideas he thought were good that were just flat out stupid. Hopefully he has learned, or at least has people around him willing to speak up when an idea isn't that great. If the game turns out solid, I'll definitely pick it up post-release.

williebazerka
williebazerka

If someone wants to donate to Kickstarter it's their $.If they want to buy COD every  year same thing.Gamers need to stop taking other peoples opinions as personal insults when they are different from what you think.It's a very simple concept.Different people like/love/hate different things for different reasons.

tefird
tefird

Why would anyone think that he is committed to this title any more than he was to Tabula Rasa?

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

As good as an idea that kickstarter is, I just don't like the idea of paying for a game before it's even made. I feel like if I'm backing you, I should have some sort of say into how the game is made.

Dat-tsu
Dat-tsu

@jmr1986 You might as well ask why Steven Spielberg needs funding from a studio to get his movie made, since I'm sure he's got plenty to spare. 

The thing about Kickstarter is that it's not just a method of obtaining funds, but also a way of seeing if people are interested in product you want to make for them. He's not gonna bother making a game unless he's sure that people want to play it, and $2,000,000 worth of "Yes, please!" speaks pretty loudly.

Gooeykat
Gooeykat

@Tyson8earzz My first real RPG was Pool of Radiance GBS by SSI.  It came with a journal on paper that looked old parchment and print that looked handwriting.  Maps and code wheel that you needed to decipher messages in the game.  It was sooo cool, loved it.

Baer
Baer

@00J But is was UA that screwed up the later Ultima games. There are many of us that loved his story lines, that have waited decades for a new version of an Ultima game. The money does not go to him, it goes to pay the amazing team he has put together. I am just glad I found out about it early enough to take part.

Illbegotten
Illbegotten

@00J I loved Ultima 8 when I first played it. Having never played any of the earlier Ultimas, I had no idea what I was missing out on (until I eventually picked up Ultima 7). So it was only bad compared to the earlier Ultimas, not compared to other games of its time. And I still find the world of Pagan more compelling than Britannia.

Grayzer
Grayzer

@00J I enjoyed U8, it was a different change of pace.  Wasnt as good as the previous ones, but still enjoyed it.

Jacanuk
Jacanuk

@tefird Tabula Rasa was under Nsoft. 

And we all know how those big money cats like Nsoft and EA like to keep their  underlings in line.


selbie
selbie

@tefird because he doesn't have a tyrannical publisher breathing down his neck

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@RPG_Fan_I_Am In all fairness to Kickstarter - the system is entirely founded on the concept of supporting content creators because of your belief in them and their abilities to produce something. The system of financially backing content creators and then putting your fingers in the pie and having creative input, is how things have always operated. Sometimes that works - but sometimes we have entities like Sony Pictures insisting that Sam Raimi put Venom in Spiderman 3, instead of trusting him to make a more focused film about Sandman and The Green Goblin. 

Also how much creative input do you think you should earn with a $25 donation? 

Dat-tsu
Dat-tsu

@RPG_Fan_I_Am Well, all the kickstarter games that I've backed give you access to forums that the developers use to get player feedback on certain aspects of the game. Now, of course, this can only go so far, because we have to remember that people backing a certain project often do so because they have great interest in what's presented.

For instance, I backed Torment: Tides of Numenera because it was specifically conceived and advertised as a spiritual sequel to Planescape: Torment. So naturally, if people start requesting the kind of developments that would cause the project to deviate from that vision, then I'm afraid you backed the wrong project.

Basically, if you don't want or have no interest in what's being advertised, then yeah, you probably shouldn't bother backing. If you ARE interested, and you DO back them, then you'll be regularly shown tidbits on how the project is developing and given the opportunity to offer your two cents on it.

the_hunger
the_hunger

I would settle for just some basic guarantee that the game will eventually get made.  After the developer gets the money (and Kickstarter gets its 5%), there is absolutely no guarantee that donors will get anything in return.   

I guess I need to see a few quality KS-funded games before I can become a bit more optimistic about this funding model.

Reuwsaat
Reuwsaat

@hampstergunit @Reuwsaat Why would I be jealous? I despise people with inflated ego, that last statement from him dropped the last tear of respect I had about him, just like Cliff Bleszinski.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

@hampstergunit @Kayweg Garriott in disguise?  ;)

I'm glad he has millions, and a castle, and has been to space and all that.  Good on you, bro.  But when he interviews he comes off like a pompous ass.  A rich pompous ass asking _us_ to give him money to make a new video game.  I'm not jealous, and he can't have my money.  But he has your money now, so maybe he'll make you something fun.  Good luck.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

@grey_fox1984 I wasn't talking like I wanted to be a developer on the development team. I was more saying like if I had an idea for a skill or item, that I felt the game lacked. For instance if theirs daggers swords axes and bows. and it's an MMO game, why would it be wrong to suggest that there be spears too.

RPG_Fan_I_Am
RPG_Fan_I_Am

@Dat-tsu @RPG_Fan_I_Am This is true, I mean sure you get access to alpha's and stuff too, but I'm just saying that, that doesn't mean the publisher will even listen to your idea about the game. I still think it's agood idea, Just I feel like it's not for me. At least not yet.maybe once I see more finished projects I'll change my mind though.

hampstergunit
hampstergunit

@Reuwsaat @hampstergunit but dude its richard  gariott, not just some punk no namer newbie like you're making him out to be. n64? come on dawggie the guy invented the auto-map give me a break with these jealous tears of sadness. When a tiny bit of advertising gets a guy and his crew 2 mills to play with on their ideas, as if you don't get jealous when you already ''despise'' them for having a bit of crass in their ego. for shame on your 'go with the flow' post someday you'll regret it when you see the new l33t tewls gariott delivers with this game 

kthxbye