Richard Garriott Leaves NCsoft to Pursue 'New Interests'

By Blake Ellison, Nov 11, 2008 11:53am PST Game industry veteran and Tabula Rasa designer Richard "Lord British" Garriott has announced his departure from publisher NCsoft in order to pursue "new interests" after his return from space.

"Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space," wrote Garriott--now going by "General British"--in an open letter on the Tabula Rasa site.

"Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests."

"It has been quite an unforgettable journey, one that I will treasure for the rest of my life," wrote Garriott, in reference to Tabula Rasa. The MMO was announced in 2001 and finally launched in 2007 to, in the designer's words, "what I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch."

The son of an astronaut, Garriott went to space as a tourist earlier this year, taking with him the encoded DNA of a number of gaming celebrities and others.

Garriott did not specify what his new interests are in his farewell letter, although the possibility exists that those interests may lay outside the video games industry. His full letter is reproduced below:

Fellow Soldiers of the AFS,

I am happy to finally be able to write the players and community of Tabula Rasa. We've been on quite a journey together. First in creating a game unlike any other on the MMO market, then growing a loyal community and finally launching the game and its players into space with Operation Immortality. It has been quite an unforgettable journey, one that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I am very grateful to you loyal players for sticking around through what I think we can all honestly say was a rough launch. I thank the development team for pushing hard to get polish, updates and new content out every month since launch...a feat that I think is unusual in MMO development. They have a lot to be proud of.

Many of you probably wonder what my plans are, now that I have achieved the lifelong dream of going to space. Well, that unforgettable experience has sparked some new interests that I would like to devote my time and resources to. As such, I am leaving NCsoft to pursue those interests.

This news is difficult for me to deliver. I am honored to have worked with the team I've had and I'm grateful to the community who makes this game so unique and fun.

Thank you and farewell.

Richard "General British" Garriott

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