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Richard Garriott gets more money… for social games

Portalarium, the social gaming company founded by Ultima creator Richard Garriott, has just announced the closing of its second successful round of funding. Garriott, better known to fans as Ultima's benevolent patriarch Lord British, has been an oft-unsung driving force behind several pivotal moments in gaming history – the Ultima series debuted both the MMO and first-person game as we know them – so what's his new venture cooking up? Um... so far, an online poker game.

The Austin, Texas-based studio Portalarium has been active for a year and a half, over which time they've produced the Port Casino Poker and Blackjack games for social networks and mobile devices. This second round of seeding sees the company receive funding from UK mobile-tech investor firm m8 Capital, as well as further funding from round one participant, San Francisco's Founder's Fund – which deals with companies connected to industry drivers such as Garriott.

Garriott, says m8 Capital's Richard Kim, “has been a driving force at each of the industry’s major turning points,” with a “vision for the future of mobile and social gaming [that] will result in a new generation of ground-breaking games.” As we know from Ultima IV, Garriott/British has access to the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, the most powerful book of prophecy the world has ever known, so you like to hope he's got something up his puffy pirate-sleeve.


Above: The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, which apparently contains a page on building funds with online card games


Above: Richard Garriott was also featured in GamesRadar’s definitive list of theTop 10 Sexy, Sexy Game Gurus

That vision, which will most likely manifest itself as what the company calls a “brand new and unique social media game,” may take the form of the game/TV show tie-in Ultimate Collector, or may be the later big title teased by the studio, code-named Lord British's Ultimate Britannia. In either case, don't you like to hope it might yield something slightly more interesting than “poker, on your computer”?

Jun 2, 2011


Above: The Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, which apparently contains a page on building funds with online card games


Above: Richard Garriott was also featured in GamesRadar’s definitive list of theTop 10 Sexy, Sexy Game Gurus

That vision, which will most likely manifest itself as what the company calls a “brand new and unique social media game,” may take the form of the game/TV show tie-in Ultimate Collector, or may be the later big title teased by the studio, code-named Lord British's Ultimate Britannia. In either case, don't you like to hope it might yield something slightly more interesting than “poker, on your computer”?

Jun 2, 2011