Shroud of the Avatar, Richard Garriott's upcoming spiritual successor to the Ultima series, has raised an impressive $2,049,849.
It seems that Ultima fans were completely unfazed by Richard "Lord British" Garriott's comments that "most game designers really just suck", as they have thrown over 2 million dollars towards his upcoming RPG Shroud of the Avatar. The Kickstarter closed at $1,919,275, and a further $130,000 of non-Kickstarter pledges were gained from the Shroud of the Avatar official website, bringing the total up to $2,049,849 and doubling the initial Kickstarter goal of $1 million.
Stretch goals reached during the drive include new shipping and naval exploration areas, a serialized Tracy Hickman novel, a pet system, a new island and castles and keeps for players to take and fight over in PVP. "This game would not be possible without your dedication and feedback - what a fantastic experience it's been to interact with all of you, learning what is most important and desired in our new world," states an announcement from the Shroud of the Avatar, informing those who missed out on the Kickstarter that they can still pledge a donation via the official website.
Richard Garriott previously stated that he didn't really need the money from the Kickstarter at all, and was simply using it as a "self-selection process" to bring dedicated fans into the development process. He says that he wants his fans to guide the direction of the game, rather than profit-focused publishers. Nonetheless, he says the money will be put to good use for the game's development.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtue will be the first game in a five game series, and should launch in October, 2014, with the other four installments releasing annually afterwards. While the game will have "mmo-like features," it will be on a buy-to-play model, meaning after purchasing the game you won't have to pay any kind of subscription fees.