When I first spoke to Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima, five years ago, I accused him of being weird. He had just told me he owned "a dungeon filled with macabre items" to be fair; five vampire-hunting kits, three shrunken heads, two mummies, three skeletons in coffins, human hearts and a human foetus. That's weird, isn't it? But he just laughed. "You might call it weird," he said. "I call it fascinating."
The prospect of Ultima Online creator Richard Garriott leading a well-funded MMO project for NCsoft was mouth watering. But Tabula Rasa lasted just 15 months before NCsoft pulled the plug and Garriott walked away.
Ultima Online and Tabula Rasa creator Richard Garriott has explained that his hit-to-miss ratio is about 50:50.
Tabula Rasa creator Richard Garriott claims that he was forced out by former employer NCsoft, and the publisher subsequently "re-characterised" the move as voluntary.
Ultima and Tabula Rasa creator Richard Garriott is suing his former employer NCsoft for fraud, to the tune of USD 24 million.
Ultima and Tabula Rasa creator Richard Garriott has told GameDaily that he's disappointed that NCsoft didn't stick with his science-fiction MMO longer.
NCsoft has decided to make doomed MMO Tabula Rasa free-to-play right now, up until servers shut down on 28th February 2009.
NCsoft has announced that it is to close down its struggling science-fiction MMO, Tabula Rasa.
Tabula Rasa creator Richard Garriott has resigned from Korean publishing company NCsoft.
Amazon US is selling copies of Tabula Rasa for less than a dollar, or 61 pence in good Queen Elizabeth's money. This doesn't bode well.
Yet more signs of life from NCsoft's sci-fi MMO Tabula Rasa: the game has a revamped camera system in the works, including an FPS-style view and a number of other first-person modes.
In the latest post on the Tabula Rasa website, lead designer Susan Kath has revealed that the next major update to the science-fiction MMO, Deployment 15, will take players to Earth for the first time.
Tabula Rasa's setting has humans fighting for survival on an alien world after Earth was invaded and presumed destroyed by the Bane race. However, the next update will see players return to a ravaged Caprica, sorry Earth, and fight alongside a resistance force formed by the humans left behind.
Screens show combat in a ruined urban landscape, apparently "one of the most iconic cities on Earth" (New York City, going by the skyline silhouette, and the label on the minimap which reads "New York City").
Tabula Rasa and Ultima creator Richard Garriott has finally done the decent thing and blasted himself into space.
Following yesterday's rumours of cancellations and job cuts at NCsoft's European office, the MMO company has announced that it is to merge its European and American operations under the name NC West.
Sources have told GamesIndustry.biz that NCsoft is preparing to trim staff at its European office in Brighton, and cancel the game in development there.
Rumours of the demise of NCsoft's Austin studio - home to Tabula Rasa and Dungeon Runners - have, it turns out, been exaggerated, as the Korean MMO giant announced 21 job cuts at the developer.
NCsoft is offering to take the digitised DNA of gamers into outer space, in a promotion it's calling Operation Immortality.
Tabula Rasa systems designer Mike Moore has laid out sweeping changes to the game's crafting system in a post on the official site.
NCsoft has told Eurogamer that Tabula Rasa has a growing player base and is not in as much trouble as recent financial reports seem to suggest.
Over the course of writing the first draft of this feature, we discovered something fairly pertinent - there's a fine line between a re-review and an autopsy. Eurogamer's recent re-appraisal of World of Warcraft (conclusion: still stealing our lives) was a re-review: the subject is most certainly still alive and well.
It's a busy time on the test servers at NCsoft and Sony Online Entertainment. Patches for the former's City of Heroes and Tabula Rasa and the latter's Pirates of the Burning Sea and Star Wars Galaxies are imminent (or in the case of SWG, just out).
Pirates developer Flying Lab has announced that the swashbuckling MMO's next patch, 1.3, will go live on the test server on April 8th. The patch will include a user interface overhaul, a duelling mode, revamped player-vs-player rewards, some new environments for on-foot combat missions, more group-focused seafaring missions, and the long-awaited, much-delayed completion of the French colonial capital, Pointe-a-Pitre.
Watch out for Eurogamer's equally long-awaited, much-delayed review of Pirates of the Burning Sea on the MMO channel later this week.
It may have had a rough ride in the press recently, but there's still a lot to love about Tabula Rasa. Of all of 2007's massively multiplayer launches, it's arguably the most interesting and ambitious - the science fiction setting, the emphasis on weapon switching and tactical positioning, and the brilliant "cloning" system which cuts much of the grind out of trying out new character classes are just a few of the ways in which Tabula Rasa sets itself well apart from the competition. In a market full of WOW-alikes (and, frankly, rather full of WOW itself), a bit of solid innovation is a definite short-cut to our hearts.
Starr Long, producer of science fiction MMO Tabula Rasa, has responded to recent speculation about the game's performance on the NCsoft website. Long admitted that "the game has not taken off as quickly as we had hoped", although he reassured players the company is committed to supporting it with new content.
Tablua Rasa creator Richard Garriott believes offering a large open beta so early on was a mistake, a bit like his haircut.
The problem lay with allowing legions of fans to "burn out" on an unfinished game, one crucially lacking the final fun polish, a bit like his haircut.
"I actually think the biggest mistake was made not by the marketing department, but by the development team," Richard Garriott told Gamasutra. "We invited too many people into the beta when the game was still too broken; we burned out some quantity of our beta-testers when the game wasn't yet fun."
Aliens, a fairly sincere voice-over informs us, have invaded Earth and made a right bloody mess. But it's okay, because now we're bringing the fight to them, and kicking their scaly, leathery, vaguely insectoid backsides across exotic plants around the galaxy. Would you like to know more?
Right down to the hints of influence from propaganda film-making in its presentation, Richard Garriott's return to the massively multiplayer genre is a dead ringer for Starship Troopers. It's unapologetically militaristic, ultra-violent and filled with intense action scenes, yet below the surface there's a keen intelligence at work that's easy to miss at the first glance. No naked shower scenes, granted; but yes, we'd like to know more.
Join the Mobile Infantry and save the world
Stop clowning around; it really is bastardly cold out there. Still, it's good for one thing: keeping my PC from overheating. All I have to do is wrap up warm and open my window, then pop in one of these festively fantastic frolics and laugh away merrily - probably with a vat of mulled wine close-by to ensure I am well and truly smashed. I'm only giving it serious consideration because there are some games worth seriously considering.
Producer Starr Long has revealed that Tabula Rasa has been delayed and will now launch across Europe and North America on 2nd November.
NCsoft has announced that Tabula Rasa will be available to play on 19th October in North America and Europe. Those of you pre-ordering the game will get a three-day head start.
If you missed out at the beginning of August when we threw keys at several thousand people to unlock the door to the closed beta test of Tabula Rasa then don't panic - we've got thousands more.
Four thousand, if you're asking, thanks to the generosity of publisher NCsoft. And all you have to do snap your pincers around one is head over to our Eurogamers community site and say, "yes, I'll have one". But also actually click on the bit saying, "Claim your freebie!", taking note of the little check boxes above.
You'll have to register for Eurogamers if you aren't already a member, and we can't think why you wouldn't be: it's absolutely free, we won't sell your underpants when you aren't looking, and it has lots of nifty toys - like Xbox Live integration, friends lists, groups, messaging, fighting, and motorbikes.
Time stands still for those of you playing massively-multiplayer online games, but we get dizzy and fall over when trying to keep up with what's going on. So, in an effort to catch the news before it runs away from us, we've cobbled together some recent genre-specific announcements for you.
Vanguard: Saga of Heroes
Sony Online Entertainment has released the second game update for Vanguard, ahead of the big server merge starting next Tuesday morning. Full notes and details of which servers are merging and when can be found on the official site.
Call us cynics, but when a game designer takes the podium to lambast all the other games in his chosen genre for being stale, stagnant and un-innovative, our first response tends to be somewhat uncharitable. Eurogamer writers stand around in front of mirrors perfecting the Roger Moore arched eyebrow and the innocently purred "so, what are you doing about this?" - so yes, call us cynics. We'll shake your hand.
Would you like to play NCsoft's Tabula Rasa? I know what you're thinking: "Oh if only I could play NCsoft's Tabula Rasa! How heartless of Eurogamer to dangle that prospect in front of me when the possibility of it being so is so minimal!" To that we say: relax! Because we've teamed up with NCsoft to let you play Tabula Rasa.
We are in fact giving away several thousand keys for the Tabula Rasa closed beta test over on Eurogamers right this second! Just register for Eurogamers and then visit the Tabula Rasa beta key giveaway page and you too could be playing the next MMORPG from Richard Garriott - him of Ultima fame.
And while you wait to find out if you're lucky enough to have made it onto the beta, why not creep around our Tabula Rasa gamepage, where you can find an interview with the man himself, as well as news, trailers and screenshots in abundance? There really is no reason not to do that, and we're sure you will. Enjoy the beta.
NCSoft MMO dev legend Richard Garriott keynoted Brighton's Develop Conference this morning, talking loosely about upcoming sci-fi title Tabula Rasa, but failing to add detail to the E3 announcement that the publisher is to create PS3-exclusive online games.
NCsoft wants to fly you out to Richard Garriott's massive Texas mansion for a big old party.
NCsoft has revealed that a closed beta test for Tabula Rasa is under way.
NCsoft has confirmed to Eurogamer this morning that Richard Garriott will be taking people through a demo of Tabula Rasa at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week.
Richard Garriott's been spouting off about his new online project Tabula Rasa, which he thinks will sell at least one million when it's released towards the end of the year.
Destination Games' upcoming NCsoft-published MMORPG, Tabula Rasa, is on track for release during 2007 according to founder and developer Richard Garriott.
As you've probably spotted, we've got a brand new Tabula Rasa trailer up on Eurogamer TV at the moment, giving you an idea of what to expect from NCsoft's latest MMORPG. Not content with that, we've also got hold of a quick Q&A with Destination Games head and Ultima legend Richard Garriott. We didn't get to ask the questions, sadly, but nevertheless it's an interesting update - giving you an idea of what's changed since last year's build, how the game compares to rival MMOs, and what we can expect to see in this year's E3 demo.
While Korean giant NCsoft's existing massively-multiplayer titles continue to perform strongly, anticipation is building for Tabula Rasa, the latest online project from MMO legend Richard Garriott.