Today in Gaming History: 10/7/2013


1983: Origin Systems founded
30 years ago, the developer of the famed Ultima and Wing Commander series, Origin Systems, was founded in Austin, Texas. Over the course of its 20 year career, a number of notable industry heavies pass through its doors, including John Romero (id Software), Raph Koster (Sony Online Entertainment), and Tom Chilton (Blizzard). Headed by Garriott brothers Robert and Richard, Origin became known for it’s immersive games that included complex and well written stories and cutting edge graphics. The company was acquired by EA in the early 1992 and would release the fantasy game. Ultima Online several years later. Ultima Online was an early and incredibly successful MMORPG that’s still being played today. Origin was eventually folded by EA.

Ultima players out there, talk to us! Tell us about the game and what keep you playing in the comment section!

7 Comments Add yours

  1. iamspacegiraffe says:

    I know the legends of Ultima Online but sadly never got to experience any of the bacchanalian nightmare for myself.

    Every time Origin Systems released a game in the 90s, it meant it was time to upgrade your PC again. It was a true event.
    The game Bioforge is entirely responsible for blowing up my one of my parents’ computers!

    Apart from the Ultima games (Ultima III was my first experience with RPGs…) my fondest memory of Origin Systems was the Crusader series which I still really enjoy today!

    It was such an amazing company.
    Music fans! Spoon lead singer Britt Daniel got his start composing music for Origin Systems games! Seriously!

    Origin Systems’ ending is probably the worst tragedy to come out of EA’s aggressive buying/liquidating strategy in the late 90s. There hasn’t really been any current-gen popular game that wasn’t influenced in some way by one of their games (arguably Bioshock Infinite is the third spiritual sequel to the System Shock series, which was published by Origin originally) They were one of the most inventive companies in the industry.

    Happy Birthday Origin!
    May EA burn in the fires of a billion suns for what they did to you.


    1. cary says:

      Origin’s demise was hardly fitting for such a good company. Tis good that there are great memories to share of them though.

      P. S. I read that about Britt Daniel, and not a bad start did he get, surely — very cool!


  2. Say Simba says:

    I miss Ultima Online. Those were incredible memories, almost as if they were real…then again, they were.


    1. cary says:

      Ultima Online’s in what…it’s 16th year of release? And it’s still going strong. Sounds like you were once glad to be part of its universe. πŸ™‚


      1. Say Simba says:

        I was very glad.


  3. Say Simba says:

    I was never a gamer, per se. In 2001 I noticed my daughter playing the game Ultima Online. I decided to make a character, a minor and smith. It was probably a year that went by before I started actually working the guy in the game to build up his skills. I bought a house, which is what I really liked about the game, and staked out a little haven in the Felucca, or dangerous part of Ultima Online’s world. I would work by day, and on weekends spend more and more time early in the morning or late at night in the game digging for ore by anchoring my boat safely off a rocky shore, that way no “reds” could get to me and kill me. In time, I really came to like not only the character I created, but the world of Ultima Online, I think I spent that first year playing just sailing about and exploring. Though my play was mostly on the weekends, over a course of ten years playing I had accrued quite a bit of skills, a cast of different characters, and much more…such as some great friends in the game I would never meet in real life. Do I miss it. Yeah. It was a fantastic creative outlet. I might return one day, but, mostly to just dabble and put my toes in the water, and see and experience all the wonder I once beheld. To think, before Ultima and after, I still don’t play games. I think there was something special about that world that I just can’t put my finger on. Maybe someone else can.


    1. cary says:

      Thanks for sharing those memories. πŸ™‚ Sometimes gaming isn’t about being a “gamer,” it’s about having a deep and meaningful relationship with a world that you created. I know what you mean, that it’s hard to pinpoint the reason something like that takes hold,p. But when the time is right, we’re glad it does.


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