Richard Garriott addresses 'Third Grand Era of Games' at the 2011 LOGIN Conference

Richard Garriott: game developer, private astronaut, beard aficionado -- and now keynote speaker.

The former developer of the Ultima series, Ultima Online, and Tabula Rasa will provide the main speech at the 2011 LOGIN Conference. Garriott will be talking about the Third Grand Era of Games that he sees us moving into, following the single-player titles of the '80s and '90s and the MMORPGs of the 2000s. It's his belief that the market for online gaming is poised to expand tenfold with the rise of casual-led, virally spread, free-to-play titles.

Garriott gave a teaser for his upcoming message: "The gaming industry is dawning on - at long last - a truly global audience of both genders and all ages. What lessons of history are useful? What truly new challenges await us? What will casual online games look like in five years?"

The LOGIN Conference is a convention of game and software developers who discuss advances in technology, business, design and community. It will take place from May 16-18th in Bellevue, Washington, and Garriott will deliver his keynote speech on the 17th.
This article was originally published on Massively.