A symbolic cross-game cloak may be the start of something great.
Brad McQuaid and Richard "Lord British" Garriott.
When discussing the origin of the MMO, you'd be a fool to skip the two names above. Their role in establishing the genre through the EverQuest and Ultima series is firmly entrenched in lore bordering on mythic. Starting today, you'll hear their names together even more: Visionary Realms and Portalarium have begun to "collaborate".
So what exactly does this mean? Well, not much just yet. Their crowdfunded projects Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and Shroud of the Avatar will be the start of this collaboration. Below is the "core" of the press release, summarizing what we know about the mysterious partnership.
"Cross-game Cloak Symbolizes Community Between Players, Developers and Even Games"
"Visionary Realms, Inc. is proud to announce today its collaboration efforts with Portalarium, the development studio of Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar. As an opening endeavor both Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen and Shroud of the Avatar will offer a cross-game reward for those who back both projects. The pledge reward will provide these backers with a cross-game cloak that can be worn in either game to promote a growing community. Pantheon will feature the Shroud of the Avatar symbol (Lord British's Coat of Arms) emblazoned on a cloak in their game, while Shroud of the Avatar will have a cloak bearing the Pantheon symbol."
"The evolution of how MMOs are made is happening right now. We're getting back to having the gaming community deeply involved in how the games are not only funded, but designed. A collaboration like this one only makes sense to further strengthen that growing community that involves not just the players and backers, but the developers as well."
While it's not clear what the collaboration means long-term, it's a genuinely intriguing idea. Will they go beyond something simple like intertwining lore? We could really be seeing the start of...well, just about anything. Wherever this leads, it should be exciting to follow.
Today, a symbolic gesture. Tomorrow, UltimaQuest.
Colt "ShdwFlm" Casey