Ultima's Richard Garriott: Social, mobile games are the 'future of games'

Richard Garriott
Richard Garriott

We knew it was for more than the buck all along. For big league game designers and (literal) space cadets, apparently, like Richard Garriott, their leap into social games is about more than money: It's the future, Marty! During the final keynote speech of GDC Europe, the creator of Ultima commonly known as Lord British said, "I'm a devout believer that this is the current and near-term future of games." What's "this," you ask?

Social and mobile games, and Garriott is certainly not alone in his new found faith. The founder of social games studio (and technology) Portalarium has been joined by veterans like Doom co-creator John Romero and Civilization maker Sid Meier. Even Sim City creator Will Wright is said to be digging Facebook games right now. (Though, there is certainly a ton of cashola to be made in this biz.)

However, Garriott has some specific ideas for how social games will continue to operate, according to Gamasutra. Namely, he seems to think that asynchronicity is here to stay. This means that how friends interact independently of one another a' la FarmVille will be the mode for Facebook and mobile games going forward. Of course, the burgeoning freemium model will also become a norm in mobile games as it has social games, according to Garriott, who is currently working on bringing his flagship character, Lord British, to social networks in a big way.

His answer to the naysayers still sitting in the Xbox and PlayStation camps? Just you watch, these things are evolving fast. Garriott reiterated on his points made earlier in the year that Facebook gamers are already more sophisticated at navigating video games than we've assumed, and they'll be ready when the technology catches up.

"My main message to the development community is don't get left behind," Garriott said. Don't worry, milord, I reckon the dollar signs alone will eventually attract almost everyone.

[Via Massively]

Do you agree with Garriott that mobile and social are the future of games? How do you think the rest of those in the games industry will react? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.