If you were a Star Wars Galaxies player, you might recognize the name Raph Koster. Because of him, Player Cities and Speeders didn’t make the SWG launch as the dev team just had to get a Swordsman profession perfect. But before he began SWG’s downward spiral to shutdown, he was in charge of the first major MMO; Ultima Online.
That game turns fifteen this year, and to celebrate; Koster has updated his site with a pretty awesome history lesson on the game. Aside from lots of cool scans of documents, he recalls a famous lawsuit that struck the game:
The lawsuit was, as I recall, over the fact that the game was advertised as being available 24/7. But it was crashing, and therefore not always available. So a lawyer who went by the game handle “Bunboy” sued us. And his lead plaintiff, amazingly enough, was someone that I already knew: a LegendMUD player who had been a administrative challenge for years. In short, a problem player from one game had followed us to another game!
If you ever bother to read the EULA you agree to every time you play a MMO, you’ll see a section where they don’t guarantee that the game will be up 24/7. In fact, in strict technical terms most EULAs don’t even guarantee the game actually has servers. The reason for those disclaimers comes from that problem player who sued EA over UO.