Tabula Rasa - a blank slate - has been Richard Garriott's megaproject ever since he got back into doing games. Mr Garriott is better known as Lord British, and his résumé is pretty impressive: the Ultima series is a remarkable pile of very influential RPG titles from the early years of computer games, and Ultima Online was the game that def 212e ined the early MMOs. Sure, Meridian 59 together with some of the early AOL online games, were there as well, but Ultima Online was the first true MMO hit - and it's still around, ten years later. Tabula Rasa isn't another Ultima game though - it's a completely different beast of a game.
Since the days of Ultimas, Garriott has promoted himself to General British, moved to head his own development studio, Destination Games and aimed very high - to reinvent the whole MMO genre with Tabula Rasa. Development started back in 2001, and the original Tabula Rasa actually has very little to do with the game that we see today. Originally Tabula Rasa was very much aimed to please both Western and Asian audiences, and the team had developers both in Korea and the US.
Things didn't exactly work out as planned, and after two years of development, most of the code and all of the art were scrapped and the development started over with a completely US-based team, aiming the game only for the Western market. It's not entirely clear how much of the original design is still in the game today, but the final product borrows liberally from the existing MMOs and in that regard it's not exactly the reinvention of the genre - more like a fair SciFi-style MMO with plenty in common with Everquest 2, World of Warcraft and numerous other contemporary games.
Games: Tabula Rasa
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