Veteran MMO developer Starr Long has joined the Shroud of the Avatar development team at Portalarium.
Long rejoins Richard Garriott, who he last worked with on Ultima Online in 1997, to work on the crowdfunded multiplayer fantasy RPG, which is described as the spiritual successor to Garriott’s previous works in the genre.
Long takes up the position of executive producer on the project.
“I am thrilled to be moving back to Austin to partner with Richard on his next fantasy role playing game,” said Long.
“Richard’s ideas for remaking the genre are well aligned with where the industry is today in terms of technology and design. It is really exciting to know that we are creating Shroud of the Avatar with the idea of bringing back the concepts and principles that Richard used successfully in making his Ultima series. With all of that said, what I most look forward to is working directly with the community to make the product they want, which is the real power of crowd funding.”
The announcement was made during RTX 2013, which is currently taking place in Austin, Texas.
Garriott added: “If people enjoyed the leadership that was in place when we were creating Ultima Online, they’ll be very happy with the team we’ve put in place for Shroud of the Avatar. Starr Long is a long-time colleague of mine, and he is absolutely one of the visionaries in this space and his track record shows it. I know he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and jump right in to help us make the next epic RPG. This news sends a clear signal to our fans that the game they’ve been waiting 15 years to play is that much closer to reality.”
Long is a 20-year veteran of the gaming industry. He started his career at Austin’s Origin Systems studio where he worked directly with Garriott to produce and create Ultima Online, which holds its position as the longest-running MMO ever.
Long later helped co-found Destination Games with Richard and Robert Garriott (the company was soon acquired by NCsoft) and as producer he again collaborated with Richard Garriott on the futuristic MMO game, Tabula Rasa.
Starr’s move to Portalarium comes after spending the last four years as executive producer at The Walt Disney Company, where he oversaw the Disney Interactive studio responsible for Pirates of the Caribbean Online, Pixie Hollow and Toontown.