Shroud of the Avatar – Lord British Discovers Kickstarter

Wasn’t I  just talking about remakes?  Here comes another.

The Lord British countdown has completed, and his announcement has been made.


Technically not a remake I suppose, as Lord British sold all the rights to his Ultima work to Electronic Arts for a dump truck full of money.  So now, his fondness for EA aside, he has to do a remake under a new name, Shroud of the Avatar.

Of course, he will be up against another avatar.


EA’s remake of the Ultima games… or Ultima IV specifically I guess… is Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar.

EA has their budget battling with their inherent corporate limitations, while Lord British has his reputation which comes up hard against the “what have you done lately?” question that plagues so many early bloomers.

Still, I have no doubt that Lord British will meet his Kickstarter goal based on reputation alone.  He is asking for… say it all together now… ONE MILLION DOLLARS… in order to make his new game.  He doesn’t have any stretch goals yet, but for a $10,000 donation you can get a rare copy of Akalabeth and a visit to his home.

How this both multiplayer online AND offline single player game develops will be interesting to watch, which I plan to do from the sidelines.

It will also be interesting to compare how this plays out with what Mark Jacobs is up to with Camelot Unchained.

Lord British is going with the announcement and Kickstarter launch on the same day, while the wily Mr. Jacobs is building up slowly to a Kickstarter campaign by building a lot of ground work around his plans.  Lord British probably has more name recognition, so perhaps felt he didn’t need to get people ready in advance.  We shall see.

Will you be donating to either, or both, of these games?


A more detailed description, interview, and vanity post about the game and its history, where the word “innovation” is thrown around, is available on VentureBeat.

Maybe the best reaction I saw on Twitter… from Jeff Green of course.

13 thoughts on “Shroud of the Avatar – Lord British Discovers Kickstarter

  1. bhagpuss

    Isn’t he supposed to be extremely wealthy? I’d have thought if he had faith in this thing he could have paid for it upfront out of his own pocket.

    Since I never played any of his other games (bar a month or two of UO that I didn’t much enjoy) he has no nostalgia card to play on me so I’ll be hanging on to my money. I’d much rather give it to the folks behind The Missing Ink, although no until they clarify that Kickstarter’s for Android as well as iOS.


  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Bhagpuss – The first rule in the tech business is to never use your own money. It isn’t enough. See Curt Schilling.

    I am sure he has some money invested in starting things up. So how much this Kickstarter really means as a fundraising effort, as opposed to a measure of popularity, can be debated. I am sure he expects to get more than a million.


  3. NoAstronomer

    Oh, that was today? Um … well … super! Do you think he took the whole week to come up with the name?

    Personally speaking, Garriott’s reputation actively discourages me from donating to anything he’s involved with.



  4. kiantremayne

    @Bhagpuss – this is one of those “Kickstarter as a PR tool” kickstarters, rather than a “please fund us, you’re our only hope” kickstarters. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the people ponying up money understand that and are happy with the goodies they get in return for their thinly-veiled pre-purchase.

    I’m not throwing any money at either kickstarter because I have a large morgage and two small children, although I wish both projects well and intend to blog reasonably actively about the Camelot Unchained project – much good may my dozen or so page views per day do them :)


  5. Carson

    Will be interesting to see how the early flow of money is for this Shroud of the Avatar kickstarter compares to the Planescape: Torment sequel launched a couple of days ago.

    Torment raised a million bucks in something like six hours.


  6. valdin

    No, can’t say that it’s something that I’d back, as much as I liked the old Ultima series. I’d rather see something like the Torment KS make it.


  7. Aufero

    As far as I can tell from the Kickstarter description and the site he set up for the game, Garriott’s plan for “reinventing the fantasy RPG” consists of remaking Ultima again. I think that’s been done a few times. (I also have concerns about his ability to deliver a game on time with a limited budget, given the nature of the Tabula Rasa launch.)

    I donated to Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera – I won’t be donating for this.


  8. bhagpuss

    I get what he’s doing. I just had the idea he was *so* rich that $1m would be pocket change for him so it hardly seemed worth his time putting the proposal together. Still, no doubt he has people to do that for him.

    The Kickstarter hasn’t been up a day yet and he already made a third of a million dollars so I guess he knows his business, although really I think he’s just doing it to wind Tobold up.


  9. TheeNickster

    I’d like to announce my new kickstarter campaign, wherein if you give me a million dollars, I’ll get back to my RPG roots by:

    Becoming an Avatar: Forsaken Employment

    I’m still working on a few stretch goals, like “swanky new sports car”, and “giant mansion.” A donation of 10,000 or more scores a wild night on the town, drinking some rare champaign!


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