Richard Garriott

Richard Garriott, circa 2000
Richard Garriott is the creator of Ultima Online, and of the series of preceding single-player games beginning in the early 1980's upon which Ultima Online was eventually based. Garriott founded Origin Systems, Incorporated (commonly abbreviated as OSI) in 1983.

In Ultima Online, Garriott's in-game character was Lord British, the King of Britannia. He gained this moniker from his high school days when fellow students thought he spoke with a British accent.

Origin Systems was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1992, but Garriott left shortly after the completion of Ultima IX when Electronic Arts intended that Origin only produce online games thereafter.

After his no-compete agreement with Electronic Arts expired, Garriott founded Destination Games in April 2000 with his brother Robert Garriott and former Ultima Online Producer Starr Long. He also announced development of a game that would once again redefine online gaming, known as Tablua Rasa.

At the E3 convention in May 2001, Garriott announced a partnership with Destination Games and NCSoft, makers of the popular Lineage series of online games.

Tabula Rasa was eventually released in 2007 after years of drastic redesigns and delays. It did not last long, however, and was dead as of the end of February 2009.

On a personal level, Garriott is known as somewhat of an adventurer, having hunted meteorites in Antarctica, visited deep-sea sulfur vents at the bottom of the ocean and even the Titanic wreck site. Most recently, he was visited the International Space Station, blasting off aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft on October 12, 2008. He has stated the $35 million dollar trip cost him a majority of his personal wealth. For Garriott, it's following in the foot steps of his father who was an astronaut that spent over 2 months in space flying in NASA's Skylab and Space Shuttle programs. Garriott safely returned to Earth in a Soyuz capsule along with two cosmonauts on October 24, 2008.

Garriott's primary residence in in Austin, Texas where he has an estate, Britannia Mansion, designed as a castle. This home has been site to many of his remarkable parties(especially Halloween) over the years and features trap doors, secret passages, tunnels, hidden rooms and a menagerie of strange objects in his collection.

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