AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 17, 2010 – After a two-year hiatus to travel to the International Space Station, work on a film documentary, ignite a personal rapid transit initiative, and wrap up post-flight experiments and speaking engagements, veteran game designer, Richard Garriott, is returning to the video game industry where he has been a fixture for more than 30 years – this time with a broad-based new social media company called Portalarium™. Garriott is best known for his award-winning Ultima Series (ORIGIN/Electronic Arts) of fantasy role playing games and Ultima Online, the first commercially successful massively multiplayer online game released in 1997 and still operating today.
The inspiration for Portalarium comes from all four co-founders’ wide ranging personal and professional interests in entertainment, technology, learning, science, sociology, politics and community activism. As such, the company has been created on a core set of human principles and values that will not only make it a magnet for top talent to join in the fun, but also will see Portalarium building in a very purposeful social consciousness orientation to help reduce global suffering and make a difference in the world. Together with its player community, the company will be raising money and promoting real-world activities in support of enlightened social causes. More on that to come later in the year when details on its virtual world are released.
“The Portalarium mission is exactly what I want to be doing next in games,” says an invigorated and engaged Garriott. “This really takes me back to my roots in the game business – small development teams, low barriers to entry, affordable budgets for quality projects, and unlimited new interactive frontiers to explore together with our customers.”