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Garriott Launches New Social Gaming Firm

Richard Garriott, the game designer behind the Ultima fantasy role playing game, has started a new, Austin-based firm focused on social media, Portalarium. According to Garriott, the new firm--being co-founded by Dallas Snell and Fred Schmidt--will initially focus on a new, cross-platform web browser plug-in which will allow a variety of different game engines to run within social networks. The first title being beta tested by the firm is running on Windows PCs, from within Facebook. The founding team comes from NCsoft, and also has previously worked together at ORIGIN Systems and Electronic Arts.