What the hell is Lord British thinking with this?
Iron and Magic NFTs

Back in April of 2022, Richard Garriott announced a new MMO that would be full of NFTs. At the time, the project did not have a name and not much of anything besides the promise of NFTs. This week, Massively Overpowered found that Garriott's MMO has been named Iron and Magic and now also has a website.

This new game is in development following the largely failed Shroud of the Avatar, another MMO by Garriott. Shroud of the Avatar had several periods of funding, first through a 2013 Kickstarter, then through stunts like cutting his hair and selling blood, and donation telethons. There was also some package offers up for sale including a near $7,000 package that included a deed to a castle, a studio tour, dinner with the devs, and more.

Shroud of the Avatar finally released after studio layoffs, several delays, design issues, and a small player base. Shroud of the Avatar's initial developer, Portalarium, eventually shut down their offices and transferred the rights to Shroud of the Avatar to Catnip Games, another studio founded by Garriott.

Catnip Games took to the criticism about the game and the studio by insulting members of the press, avoiding answering questions by the press and what remained of the Shroud of the Avatar community, dodging legally filed SEC filings, and trying to dodge any accountability to investors at SeedInvest.

The new website really doesn't share much about the new MMO, Iron and Magic. We see nothing about any sort of game systems, the setting where the game takes place, or even a release date. What the site does show is a store section that asks you to buy virtual land in a virtual world.

The push for these NFT plots of land are really front and center here. You don't even need to click away from the game's homepage as they show up by half of a scroll down. In order to get any information about the actual game, you have to go to the game's Twitter account. It's there where you see that the game is being billed as a "Web 3.0 sandbox" while also teasing things like different biomes, cooking minigames, party finders, shops, magic, and the sort.

Massively Overpowered notes some of the key members of the development team. Richard Garriott we already know about. The wealthy, space travelling Garriott brought us all the much-loved Ultima series where he took on the persona of Lord British. Joining him are Chris Spears from Catnip Games. They are joined by both Todd Porter and Shane Zhu. Porter and Zhu hail from a company named DeHorizon. This was a company that "had multiple rounds of investor funding for attempting to build a metaverse gaming platform."

In April, when Iron and Magic (then still unnamed) was announced, PC Gamer conducted an interview with Garriott and Porter. The duo really pushed forth their not at all original plans for the inclusion of NFTs into the upcoming MMO. The two said that players would totally "own" their own digital assets and be able to make money off of them!

Garriott, in that interview unironically said the following:

"We're certainly doing more for players than just, when they put their money down, they play the game and all they're getting out of it is 60 hours of fun."
Yeah, what a novel idea: Playing a game for fun.

As for NFTs, they continue on their downward spiral. Several NFT focused "games" have already come and gone by the wayside. The market for NFTs has crashed hard and will continue to crash, with a more than 85% decline in value just through this spring. Several studios have flatly said that they will never incorporate NFTs into their games or platforms, nor will they allow NFTs to be added by the community.