Origin founder Richard Garriot de Cayeux has conducted a new interview with IndustryGamers. As usual, he has a lot of strong opinions about the evolution of the game industry, and he's got some high praise for Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts too. The article also explains Garriott's thoughts behind the emerging market for social/smartphone games and where the industry will go from here. In particular, his current philosophy is that the latest generation of mobile games represent a "third era" (with classic PC games filling the first era and MMO/online games being the second) of games, and smartphones will soon replace consoles as the dominant platform. You can check out the full article here. Thanks to Theo and Guilherme Mesquita.
Garriott's career spans the game industry from the Apple II days in 1979 to the present, where he is working at his newest company Portalarium on the next generation of gaming. Garriott created his first company, Origin Systems, along with his brother Robert, their father Owen and programmer Chuck Bueche. Origin Systems produced many notable games, industry luminaries (such as Warren Spector), and several important companies were created by Origin Systems alumni (including id Software and Digital Anvil). Origin Systems was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1992, and Garriott left to found Destination Games in 2000. Destination Games was acquired by Korean gaming company NCSoft less than a year later. Garriott left in 2008 and founded Portalarium, where today he's busy creating a new game to once again advance the state of the art.
RGC: That's right. As we've grown, we constantly try to find people to promote into leadership positions and form new teams - however, it rarely works. Much more commonly someone arrives on the scene or emerges as a super-talented individual. To make a top movie, you have to be super talented, to make a top game you have to be super talented, to write the best book ever written you have to be super talented. You can pick up skills on the job and you can refine your skills, clearly, but the very special talent that is required to truly be a top developer of any creative property type is not something that you can start life as B talent and a few years later emerge as an A talent. At least not commonly, it's sort of a lifestyle attitude that begins with people at a very young age. You can see they've got a top talent even before they have all the skills all they need. Those are very rare. For example, in the history of Origin, we really had 2, in 20 years, Richard Garriott, myself, who could develop Ultimas, we had Chris Roberts who could develop Wing Commanders, and those were the two triple-A hitmakers in our company. We had a couple of B+ guys, Warren Spector and Tony Zurovec [designer of Crusader: No Remorse] were sort of our B+ guys, and Warren went on to become an A player, but I don't even know what Tony's doing any more. But the same thing is true for almost any company, you go back over time with, people who are triple A talent, who have pretty good odds of making a hit, and then there's everybody else.