Richard Garriott and Todd Porter are teaming up again to create a Web 3.0 MMORPG called Iron & Magic. The duo had already worked together on the fan-favorite Ultima Online.
The game already received mixed feedback from the community even before its release, as some gamers expressed concern about the game being a “cash grab” or worse. The website going online without any content about the game itself didn’t help the situation.
There is no information about the game’s story, setting, gameplay, or graphics engine. The only details are that the creators of Ultima are developing the game and that you can “Buy land in the realm of Lord British.”
Garriott had a high reputation in the online gaming community back when Ultima had reached a lot of success. Bad decisions and failed investments followed one after another for the game industry legend as he went on to create two major titles that were blatant failures.
Tabula Rasa, a sci-fi MMORPG, didn’t gain enough revenue as investors, the studio, and Garriott thought it would and financially collapsed. The second failure came in 2018 with another MMORPG, Shroud of the Avatar. The crowdfunded game didn’t reach the expected audience and received average reviews from gamers and critics alike. Garriott sold the game’s rights and left the project in 2019.
Iron & Magic is coming with the promise of real ownership of digital goods. Veteran gamers would remember a massive market for Ultima items, castles, and even full accounts on eBay, so this is not the first time digital goods are sold in online gaming.
In an interview with mmorpg.com, Todd Porter explained the idea of real ownership with these words:
“It might be interesting if we could imagine what it would have been like if you could have owned land in Ultima and buildings in Ultima, and really own them and really have a vested interest in the game.”
The community is exercising caution on Web 3 and NFT MMORPG projects at the moment, as veteran fans of the genre are looking for more of a fresh and straightforward take on the concept of MMORPG rather than complexity.