Richard Garriott, better known by many as Lord British (or more properly Richard Garriott de Cayeux), has a post on Facebook
titled "What is a Lord British 'Ultimate' Role Playing Game." This provides a lengthy retrospective on his work on RPGs, dating back to the pre-Ultima days and looking ahead to the work his new company, Portalarium, is doing in the realm of social and mobile gaming. Here's a bit on that:
There are staggeringly important new features unearthed by some of the early movers in this space. Powerful new asynchronous tools allow friends in the real world to aid each other and “play” together without being forced to play online at the same time every day or risk falling out of the leveling curve and ultimately losing the ability to play with friends. Instead of paying huge upfront costs, it is better to let players try before they buy, and for those who wish to play for free, it’s fair to ask them to help you bring others to the game in return for continued free play. Proper social tools are compatible with the Ultimate RPG.
So when traditional gamers look at all the “Ville” clones out there in the world, take heart! See not what is popular now, but rather what is happening in this new era that also would benefit them! A great game, like a great movie, need not be inaccessible to the masses. Great story and depth need not come at the cost of up front effort, pain and cost. Free to play does not mean the game has to be riddled with advertising and calls to spam your friends. But, for those unwilling or unable to pay fairly for what they now play, asking them to work for the developer and find us players is not unfair. Great games can and will be made in this new era, to the benefit of all, traditional and new players. We intend to be a leading maker of such games.