Garriott opens Portalarium
Ultima creator and space traveler reemerges as VP, creative director at open-source social-networking platform company.
In 2008, Ultima creator Richard Garriott's storied career in the game industry took an unexpected turn, when he abruptly left NCsoft. The departure, which is the subject of an ongoing $24 million lawsuit, came about shortly after Garriott returned from his 12-day, $30 million stay aboard the International Space Station and shortly before NCsoft took the designer's failed massively multiplayer online role-playing game Tabula Rasa offline.
Today, Garriott reemerged to announce his return to the gaming sector as vice president and creative director of Portalarium, a start-up aimed at creating open-source social-networking platforms. Garriott is joined in the venture by a trio of NCsoft defectors: Dallas Snell (chairman and development director), Fred Schmidt (CEO and publishing director), and Stephen Nichols (VP and technical director).
Portalarium's first project, called the Portalarium Player, is a Web browser plug-in that lets developers port games built on a number of different game engines and technologies to social networks, such as Facebook. The first product to make use of this technology is Sweet @$! Poker, which is currently available as a Windows PC app and Facebook game.
More information on Portalarium is available through the company's Web site.
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