- SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Lord British is back, only this time he's wielding an energy cannon instead of a sword. Oh, and you can call him General British now.
Richard Garriott, the acclaimed game designer who pioneered the genre of massive multiplayer online games, has finished his latest work, "Tabula Rasa," a science fiction-themed title he reckons will alter the way such games are played.
Massively multiplayer online games, or MMOs, are so called because they allow thousands of players connected through the Internet to explore a virtual world at the same time.
Garriott's "Ultima Online," launched a decade ago, was one of the first MMOs to feature rich graphics and is credited with leading the way for popular games such as Sony Corp's "Everquest" and Blizzard's "World of Warcraft."
In fact, "World of Warcraft" has amazed the gaming industry with its ever-growing global legion of loyal fans -- 9 million active players and counting.
Yet Garriott was troubled by the dedication "Warcraft" and other online games demanded of players, who must devote dozens of hours to building their in-game characters.
"'Tabula Rasa' really is a fresh approach to MMOs," he said. "Some of the design changes we've put in 'TR' will set the standards for next 10 years."