"For us it's a stepping stone. It's an MMO-lite in my mind. Very lite, with more what I will call classical leveraging of casual game mechanics than you will probably see in the RPG, but compared to most casual games, to most social games, it is far deeper," Garriott explains.
He's also aware of the amount of skepticism that his turn toward social gaming generates among Ultima fans and MMORPG enthusiasts, but he thinks that's par for the course. "Newness is fraught with a certain kind of risk, distrust and lack of understanding," Garriott says. "I think what I'm building now is the spiritual successor of my previous work."