Richard Garriott's Ultimate Collector will be published by Zynga

"They have millions of eyeballs."

Ultima creator Richard Garriott has done a deal with Zynga to publish his new Facebook game, Ultimate Collector.

It's a social game, and Zynga's the king of the social game hill, with some 300 million users.

"They have millions of eyeballs and are clearly the master of viral spreading and monetisation," Garriott explained to VentureBeat.

skeleton

"Oh, hey."

"We'd have to spend money on marketing to acquire users, either way. And there is less risk this way. The early analysis shows Zynga is a good platform."

Ultimate Collector's all about scouring garage sales and making collections; buying cheap and selling high. Richard Garriott's a bit of a nutty collector in real life.

"I don't have any, quote, aliens, because I'm not really sure they exist," he once told me. "But I do have a dungeon filled with macabre items. I have five vampire hunting kits, three shrunken heads, two mummies, two full-size - three actually now - skeletons in coffins. I have human hearts, a human foetus."

Ultimate Collector is currently playable in beta form on Facebook. Once it's launched, Garriott and his Portalarium team will turn their attention to the main event, Ultimate RPG - effectively a spiritual successor to Ultima Online.

That will be a social venture as well, and likely use some of the trading mechanics that are central to Ultimate Collector. Will it also be a Zynga game?

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