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Garriott: MMOs Are Too Big Of A Hassle

Richard Garriott, whose new developer Portalarium is working on an "Ultima Online-like" social MMO, says he's stopped playing games in the genre in favor of iPhone titles due to accessibility issues.
Richard Garriott, whose new developer Portalarium is working on an "Ultima Online-like" social MMO, says he's stopped playing games in the genre in favor of iPhone titles due to accessibility issues, he tells Gamasutra in a new feature interview. "Even the kinds of games that you might think I would make, I don't generally play, because they're often just too much of a hassle to get into them. And so comfortably introducing people into your depth is a lesson all games should learn," says Garriott. "I find them overwhelming -- you get dropped in the middle of this gigantic world, you have no idea what to do, you have no idea where to start, you're going like, 'Oh my God, it's going to take me so long to even know whether I like this game, that I'm daunted to start!', if you know what I mean. I go, 'Yep, looks beautiful! Okay, I'm done.' [laughs]" Garriott currently has plans to release a new title, entitled Lord British’s New Britannia, as a social MMO for multiple platforms, including Facebook, web, and smartphones. "The reason why I play so many games on this platform is because it's so easy, and two to five bucks is an impulse purchase. I don't even think of a price that I'm paying to play these games, even though in total, in a month, I pay a lot more for iPhone games than I ever did in PC games because I just buy a lot more of them. And so that's fine," he says. The full feature interview is full of insights and observations about the current state of the game market and includes discussions of plans for Portalarium's games -- and it's live now on Gamasutra.

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