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Lord British is coming to Facebook

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Richard Garriott - Getty Images

There hasn't been a lot of news from the world of Britannia lately, but design guru Richard Garriott is ready to change that.

The godfather of role-playing games has announced plans to bring his famous alter-ego to the world of social gaming. Lord British's New
Britannia (a working title) is in the early stages of development at Portalarium, his new company.

Details on the titles were light, since a) the project is still nascent and b) the South by Southwest presentation where he made the announcement was primarily an appeal to investors (the company is seeking $3.8 million in financing). However, Garriott did note "the virtual world game is not just an ultra-light MMO shopped on social media. I think that would be a failure."

Portalarium, to date, has released a pair of casino games,
both of which were made by other developers. In the second quarter, the
company's first original game -- Ultimate Collector -- will come out.

Rather than most Facebook titles (and other social network
games), which are released into the void without much marketing support,
Ultimate Collector will be a full transmedia play. Garriott and a production
company have shot the pilot to a companion television show, co-hosted by Garriot
himself.

Once Ultimate Collector is out, though, the focus falls on
Britannia. While Garriott no longer owns the rights to the groundbreaking Ultima
series (those belong to Electronic Arts), he did retain ownership of the Lord
British character as well as the game's familiar logo. Britannia, he explains,
is a public domain word -- as are many of the other elements in the game.

So while this won't technically be a new Ultima game, it's
about as close as you can get. And with 21 titles in that franchise under his
belt, Garriott has a large, loyal following of role-playing fans. That's a lot
of potential Facebook friends.

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