2, Issue 11
February 7, 2000
rigin Systems is one of the worlds leading software companies.
Going from hit title to hit title, they have been one of the market
leaders since the 1980s. In this article, Ill be taking
a look at what got the company where it is today, who got it there,
the main man behind it (Richard Garriot) and where the company
will be going in the future.
Systems Inc. (OSI) is based in Austin, Texas, founded in 1983
by Robert (now retired) and Richard Garriot (aka Lord British),
and spent many years publishing the Ultima series of games, with
the final installment of the Avatars quest (Ultima IX:
Ascension) being released last December.
OSI is made up of over 200 employees, with QA testers, programmers,
artists and an extensive customer support team, so it has clearly
come a long way from the small company it was in 1983.
was purchased by Electronic Arts in 1993, enabling it to have
much greater international support for its games, with Ultima
Online having customer support departments in England, Germany,
the United States and Japan.
OSI has published well over 50 games, and is currently concentrating
on what they see as the future of entertainment: online massive
multi-player games. Their first project, Ultima Online,
is still running strong at 135,000 players after two and a half
years, despite serious competition from Verants EverQuest,
and Turbines Asherons Call.
successful games published by OSI included Wing Commander,
Privateer, Crusader, System Shock, Bioforge,
and of course, the Ultima series, with Origins first
published title being Ultima III: Exodus.
Richard Garriot Vice President of Origin, and the Executive
Vice President, and General Manager
In charge of production
(aka Tyrant) Online Services and Operations
(aka LadyMoi) Player/Community Relations for Origin
there are many more people at Origin who arent mentioned
here, but these names would probably be among those best known
to the general public.
behind the company: Richard Garriot
name that would come to anyones mind when thinking of OSI
would have to be Richard Garriot, co-founder of Origin and the
man behind the longest running RPG series of all time, Ultima.
Operating under the alias of Lord British in all his games, and
naming the capital of his world Britain, you start to wonder what
is going on. Richard Garriot was born in Cambridge in England,
and less than two months later, moved to Texas where he lives
to this day, in his very own special house, which is made up like
a castle on the inside, but wouldnt appear too odd from
the outside. His monicker dates back to his days at college, where
all of the new students were given nicknames on the first day.
It was thought he had a British accent, and so he was given the
nickname British. And naturally, it stuck.