Raph ‘Designer Dragon’ Koster reminisces on 25 years of Ultima Online


While our own Game Archaeologist columnist Justin offered a retrospective of Ultima Online (and its alt ruleset server New Legacy was delayed into next year), there’s still plenty to talk about, especially as the MMORPG marked its 25th anniversary this past weekend. This brings us to another retrospective about the game from none other than Raph Koster himself.

The post links back to a number of articles, GDC talks, and previous posts from Koster about the game and its impact on our genre, while Koster himself notes that UO’s systems and mechanics have more influence than many gamers realize, especially those being born well after the title’s release.

“Whether it’s Runescape, Minecraft, EVE, DayZ or Neopets, those younger folks probably played something that was inspired by UO in some fashion, and don’t realize how big a shift from prior games it represented. These days, when people say they are sick of crafting being in everything — it makes me want to apologize a little bit. Won’t apologize for games that let you sit, decorate a house, or go fishing, though.”

For fans of the game who are looking for a little more history and context about UO, there are few finer sources than one of the horse’s mouths.

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