Oh, sorry, I actually wasn’t referring to any commentary made in the article, just expressing my own opinion on the game. The word I want to use it is “flawed” but that kinda undersells how clunky and crappy a lot of it is. I liked it despite all that, though.
I think it’s more like making sure the game survives when the company gets liquidated. Portalarium sounds like it’s done.
That wouldn’t work - it would be a Fraudulent Conveyance (transferring assets when insolvent, which is broadly defined) that would be reversed.
They never struck me as all that bright, on the business side. Anyway the story will come out sooner or later.
My guess would be that Portalarium is kaput but Spears still wanted to continue working on the game, so they sold it to him for pennies (that’s about all it’s worth, I’d imagine).
They have a core population purchasing houses and other cosmetics, so it must be worth something, but clearly not a whole heck of a lot.
This is my take - Chris Spears wanted to keep going and probably gets enough income to keep working on it as a one man show plus some contractors, while Lord British and Starr Long were ready to get out. Whether they wasn’t enough likelihood of enough profit for those two, they were just tired of it, or want to move to a new entity to limit future legal issues (doubtful if any would happen, but who knows), only time will tell.
The announcement says Richard will still be involved, but Spears has contorted himself a bit in his forum posts and twitch streams to “not say anything that my attorneys haven’t cleared”, but has said Richard and Starr are not employees of the new company. So like, maybe they show up in game for events once in a while, but Richard seems to be officially out from an ownership and employment perspective.
Oh, and the day after this announcement, the company announced that a key missing kickstarter reward, a signed copy of a SotA book written by Tracy Hickman and Richard, will not be fulfilled. Backers will get a lame in game item instead. Portalarium had been dodging commenting on the status of the book for well over a year; awfully convenient to be able to come to a resolution only a day after SotA was sold; no legal CYA at all here folks, nope :)
That’s just wrong.
That’s just unfair! Maybe the book was so atrociously bad they did it as one last mercy to their fanbase? :)
In all honesty, I don’t recall any lore from Shroud of the Avatar. Humans hate elves or something, maybe? That’s about it. I have no idea how you’d make a book out of it.
Ha! The book was released by Tor as “The Sword of Midras”, so it actually exists. The culling of the KS reward announcement says Portalarium “couldn’t reach an agreement with the publisher”. In other words, Tor probably was going to make them pay full price for each copy of the book (around 4,000 people are owed them). Add that in to logistics to get them all signed by Tracy and Garriott, plus shipping (that mentioned up thread, Port is really bad at), and likely it is a case of “this will cost us $50,000-$100,000, so just back out of it. The people still playing won’t care if so long as they get an in game shiny, and really, who cares about keeping our word to all of the other backers who left us? Oh, and transfer the assets of the company to a new entity before disclosing this…”
This reward, you had to be above the $200 pledge level to get, btw.
File my experience on this one as “never dive into something coming from a childhood hero” - should have kept those fond Ultima memories pure, as Richard Garriott’s activity (or lack of it) in this one are pretty awful.
Hah, I didn’t realize the book existed. Jokes aside, that really is pretty shitty. Probably didn’t have a choice at this point, but still.