In a new Crowfall video Crowfall executive producer Gordon Walton has revealed new information on his involvement in the development of the sequel to the MMORPG game Ultima Online that released in 1997.
The new video is the second part in a series of videos in which Crowfall producer Gordon Walton discusses his time at various other development studios before ending up co-founding ArtCraft to working on Crowfall.
The most interesting stories from the second part in the series are related to Konami of America, where Walton was game development manager and PC sales manager, and Origin Systems, where he was the VP of Online Operations for Ultima Online.
According to Walton, sales of Konami titles went down when Nintendo launched its Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990.
As a result, Walton says that the Japanese Konami headquarters started to worry about declining game sales and brought in a Japanese banker to replace the manager that was running the American division.
Under leadership of the banker, game development and marketing at Konami of America changed, because developers and managers had to work with forms in which they had to declare how much revenue certain actions would generate or how much the company would loose.
Regarding his time working on Ultima Online at Origin Systems, Walton shares the story of how he was pulled into a meeting to devise a plan to close down Ultima Online's multiplayer servers so that players would be forced to move to the game's upcoming sequel Ultima Online 2.
Because the sequel of the game was not the same game as Ultima Online, it only featured a subset of the features that were available in the original title, Walton told higher management that he expected players would "come to kill them", because its developers were already being threatened in real life.
Ultima Online featured a unique sense of freedom and agency, which allowed players to act in a villainous role if they so desired. It wasn't until the game's second expansion Renaissance that it would see areas in which it was not possible to harm other players.
Ultimately, the sequel to Ultima Online was never released. The content that was made for the sequel was eventually used in the game's fourth expansion Lord Blackthorn's Revenge.
Walton is currently the executive producer of the MMORPG game Crowfall. The game aims to be a fusion of action MMORPGs and real-time strategy games. The game was first announced via a Kickstarter campaign, which ended on March 26th 2015 with a total funding of $1,766,205.