Ultima creator Richard Garriott runs social game studio with ... a robot?

Richard Garriott
Richard Garriott

At this point, with a guy who flew into space and once ran the craziest haunted house in the nation within his house, I guess you should expect these things. The Huffington Post reports that Richard Garriott, creator of the famed Ultima PC game series and co-founder of social game studio Portalarium, manages his Austin, Texas-based studio remotely ... with a robot. Seriously.

Since July of this year, Garriott has conversed with Portalarium's 25 employees in meetings and casually (the robot is a mobile, remote-controlled machine equipped with cameras and microphones) from his New York home. According to The Huffington Post, all he needs is a broadband connection, his laptop, a microphone and two cameras to make it work.

"When I'm up north, I log in in the morning and can meander over to anyone's desk and really be a part of the casual conversations that are so essential to our work," Garriott told The Huffington Post. "Sometimes I feel like a spy, but fundamentally it feels like I am really there." But the game industry veteran didn't buy the $15,000 Anybot QB solely for this job.

When Garriott married his wife earlier this year in the spring, he purchased the robot to ensure that his mother could participate in the ceremony and reception, which took place in Paris. The game designer strapped a cardboard cut-out of his elderly mother to the robot, gave her the controls from her Las Vegas home and it was as if she was there. Hey, at least we now know how dedicated Garriott is to Portalarium's upcoming crown jewel, Lord British's New Britannia (and his mum).

[Via Kotaku]

[Image Credit: Beef and Pie Productions]

What do you expect will come of Garriott's reportedly ambitious social game? Do you think the designer can strike gold here like he did back in the '80s and '90s on PCs? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.