A true veteran of the computer gaming industry, Richard Garriott is best known for creating and publishing the best-selling Ultima series, including the first commercially successful massively multiplayer online game, Ultima Online. In a career that spans more than two decades, Richard has received numerous awards including Computer Gaming World’s "15 Most Influential Industry Players," Next Generation’s "America’s Elite," PC Gamer’s "Game Gods," and PC Games’ "Designer of the Year." He and his brother, Robert, were also awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year" award by Inc. Magazine. In an industry that now rivals the movie industry in popularity, Richard Garriott is one of the few well-known "stars."
In 1983, Richard and his brother, Robert, established Origin Systems, Inc. The company, based in Austin, Texas, was recognized as one of the innovation leaders in the ever-changing world of entertainment software. In 1992, Origin was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA), a global leader in the entertainment software industry. At Origin, Richard continued to add to the ever popular Ultima series of games, making it one of the most successful and longest running series in entertainment software history.
In 1997, Richard and his team created a new genre with the technologically groundbreaking title, Ultima Online. Ultima Online’s continued success is measured by the hundreds of thousands of people who enjoy playing the game from all over the world, and by the explosion of online games that have followed since its release.
Richard retired from Origin in April of 2000 and formed Destination Games with his brother Robert. In 2001, Destination Games became part of NCsoft, where Richard continued to develop innovative new products including the sci-fi massively multiplayer game, Tabula Rasa.
In 2006, Richard was presented with two industry honors for his work in the games industry. In February, Richard was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame and in March he was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards.
In October of 2008, Richard realized his lifelong dream to travel to space when he launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station and became the sixth private citizen to fly in Earth’s orbit. In doing so, Richard became the first second-generation American in space, following the same path of his father Owen Garriott, who completed two space missions in his NASA career.
Today Richard is chairman of the board of Space Adventures, Ltd. and is the co-founder and creative director at Portalarium, an Austin-based game developer and publisher creating online games and virtual worlds for social networks and mobile platforms.