Should FarmVille maker Zynga watch out for Richard Garriott?

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The legendary creator of Ultima known to many fans as Lord British has founded a social game development company called Portalarium and is after Zynga's runaway success in the industry. Richard Garriott, who was right in the middle of the MMO movement back in the early 1990s with Ultima Online, hopes to catch up with the rest of the social gaming world through Portalarium, according to VentureBeat. In fact, Garriott has a detailed plan on how to do just that, which he teases in the video above.

It's interesting and entirely expected that Garriott would have his eyes fixated on Zynga immediately out the gate. If his previous endeavors in both game creation and space travel (yes, it's true) say anything, it's that Lord British aims astronomically high. In his talk with VentureBeat, the Ultima mastermind chronicles three major eras in video gaming: the single-player age, the massively multiplayer age and the social gaming age. According to Garriott, social games will take another three years to mature into something similar to MMO or single-player games.

Of course, this is a gamble just like his previous launch, Tabula Rasa, was. Not even Playfish, a studio backed by the ubiquitous EA, has been able to topple Zynga and its 250 million plus players. But if anyone can come into the game during the third quarter and come out on top, it's someone who has helped spurred two of gaming's major eras. Portalarium will launch its first game within a month's time, which according to Garriott will not be an act of "plagiarism"--an allusion to Zynga's oft-criticized practices.

After that, he plans to return the studio to his roots and release a Facebook game that is "Lord British's brave new world, or a spiritual successor to my previous work," VentureBeat reports. "This is a particularly exciting period for the game industry," he said. "We are about to begin a new time of invention."

Are you excited to see what Lord British can produce for social games? What do you think "Lord British's brave new world" will look like on Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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