Daily Archives: December 9, 2011

Games I Mentioned Once and then Totally Forgot About – Playboy Manager Edition

Back in May of 2009 I posted about a press release for Playboy Manager, Playboy’s attempt at an MMO, which they christened a  “Massively Casual Online Game.”

They might have actually been a bit ahead of their time on that one.

And, after that, despite my signing up for the mailing list, I never heard a single thing about the game.

I mentioned it a year later in my month in review post  (so I guess I mentioned it twice) where I said:

And a year ago Playboy’s “Massively Casual Online Game” Playboy Manager was announced.  The game was supposed to launch in the summer of 2009 according to the press release.  The site for the game is still there (go Google it) but it still mentions signing up for beta invites.  Casual might refer to the development plan I guess.

The game looked to be on the same trajectory that Planet Michael is now; all talk, no rock.

However, the game did eventually launch.  Or so I hear.

In an astonishingly bad use of captured email addresses, Jolt Online Gaming and/or Playboy apparently failed to alert those who expressed an interest in the game that it had actually gone live.  You would think after all that work, they might have put some effort into publicizing it.

Seriously, I would have logged in just to experience it, had I but known.

Their effort went live as a Facebook game, under the name Playboy Party, back in November 2010.  Of course, since it went to Facebook, it was probably flagged as Beta like every other Facebook game, so maybe they felt it wasn’t time yet to go to the public.

However, time was of the essence, as the game closed on September 12th of this year.

In the middle of that, in March 2011, things go so messed up that the game had to be reset and everybody had to start again from scratch.


And so the game has come and gone, having garnered all of 400 actual players during its short life span.  It may now aspire to be a footnote in the appendix of an unpublished volume of esoteric video game history.

Thanks to UnSubject over at Vicarious Existence whose post on the subject, which has more detail and actual screen shots from the game,  reminded me again that the Playboy Manager/Playboy Party even existed.  Plus there is a bonus mention of another failed Playboy online game project, Poisonville!

Lord British and The Ultimate RPG in a Land Which Cannot Yet be Named

Lord British’s Ultimate Role Playing Game, which may be called “Akalabeth” or may be called “New Britannia” or may be called “a name I cannot yet say as it describes the setting I am considering and think I should keep secret at least until I know if it’s likely true,” will be an Ultimate RPG.

Dr. Richard A. Garriott de Cayeux on The Ultimate RPG

I don’t think we’re out of the woods quite yet when it comes to the Madness of Lord British, but at least we have some more details.

In an interview over at EuroGamer, Garriott de Cayeux gushes about Portalarium’s first non-casino related game, Ultimate Collector: Garage Sale, a Facebook game expected to be available some time in 2012 and which seems to be somewhat inspired by Garriott de Cayeux’s own collecting mania.  The game boasts the following bullet points:

  • A collecting and shopping social media game
  • From hall of fame designer Richard Garriott
  • Decorate your own house and show off your collections
  • Shop and collect from garage sales, markets and auctions
  • Go shopping in-game at nationally known retailers
  • Playable on a PC and available on Facebook in first quarter of 2012

This, as with the previous casino games, is Portalarium’s way of financing the development of the technology they will need to create the Ultimate RPG.  We will have to wait to see how it fares.

This all comes with a serious, professional upgrade to the Portalarium web site, including a new logo and motto.

We Take You There

And, thankfully, they removed that 20+ year old picture of Garriott de Cayeux.  That was influencing how seriously anybody could take this venture.

The Ultimate RPG is still out in the distant future, but Garriott de Cayeux offers these inspirational words.

So when traditional gamers look at all the “Ville” clones out there in the world, take heart! See not what is popular now, but rather what is happening in this new era that also would benefit them! A great game, like a great movie, need not be inaccessible to the masses. Great story and depth need not come at the cost of up front effort, pain and cost. Free to play does not mean the game has to be riddled with advertising and calls to spam your friends.

But, for those unwilling or unable to pay fairly for what they now play, asking them to work for the developer and find us players is not unfair. Great games can and will be made in this new era, to the benefit of all, traditional and new players. We intend to be a leading maker of such games.

Dr. Richard A. Garriott de Cayeux, again on The Ultimate RPG

There, does that make everybody feel better?