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Origin Systems
Established1983
Closed2004
Founder(s)Richard Garriott, Robert Garriott (co-founders)
LocatedAustin, Texas, USA
Parent companyElectronic Arts
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Origin Systems, Inc. (sometimes abbreviated as OSI) was a computer game developer based in Austin, Texas that was active from 1983 to 2004. It is most famous for the Ultima and Wing Commander series, and the two Crusader games.

History[edit]

The company was founded in 1983 by brothers Robert and Richard Garriott, their father Owen and Chuck Bueche after Richard had terminated his contract with Sierra On-Line to publish the third part in Richard's Ultima series, Ultima III: Exodus.

In September 1992, Electronic Arts acquired the company.

In 1997, they released one of the earliest and most successful graphical MMORPGs, Ultima Online. After this title, Electronic Arts decided that Origin would become an online-only company after the completion of Ultima IX in 1999. However, within a year's time, EA canceled all of Origin's new development projects, including Ultima Online 2, Privateer Online, and Harry Potter Online. Richard Garriott left Origin shortly after and founded Destination Games in 2000.

In later years, Origin mainly existed to support and expand Ultima Online and to develop further online games based on the Ultima franchise such as Ultima X: Odyssey, originally to be released in 2004 but later canceled. In February of 2004, the studio was disbanded by Electronic Arts.

Characteristics[edit]

Origin's motto was "We Create Worlds" and its games were known for their well-realized plots and the amount of detail furnished. Origin was always ahead of the curve in terms of cutting edge graphics and game versatility.

The original Wing Commander, for instance, came with a booklet purporting to be a shipboard magazine named Claw Marks, written and published by the crew of the Tiger's Claw (ghost-written by Aaron Allston); it provided the player with a number of irrelevancies (such as an interview with the star of a popular televised wartime drama) as well as convenient statistics and user guides for ships, weapon systems, and information regarding pilots and tactics on both Terran and Kilrathi sides and also hints on a rich background history.

Game list[edit]

Title Year Genre Series Setting
The Ultima series
Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness 1981 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress 1982 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima III: Exodus 1983 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar 1985 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny 1988 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima VI: The False Prophet 1990 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima VII: The Black Gate
 · Forge of Virtue
1992 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle
 · The Silver Seed
1993 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima VIII: Pagan 1994 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Ultima IX: Ascension 1999 Role-playing Ultima Fantasy
Worlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire 1990 Role-playing Ultima (spin-off) Fantasy
Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams 1991 Role-playing Ultima (spin-off) Fantasy
Ultima: Runes of Virtue 1991 Action-adventure Ultima (spin-off) Fantasy
Ultima: Runes of Virtue II 1992 Action-adventure Ultima (spin-off) Fantasy
Ultima: The Black Gate (SNES) 1993 Action-adventure Ultima (remake) Fantasy
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss 1992 Role-playing Ultima (spin-off)
(devel. by Looking Glass Tech.)
Fantasy
Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds 1993 Role-playing Ultima (spin-off)
(devel. by Looking Glass Tech.)
Fantasy
Ultima Online 1997 MMORPG Ultima (spin-off) Fantasy
The Wing Commander series
Wing Commander I
 · The Secret Missions
 · The Secret Missions 2: Crusade
1990 Flight simulator Wing Commander
(referenced in Savage Empire)
Sci-fi
Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi
 · Speech Accessory Pack
 · Special Operations 1
 · Special Operations 2
1991 Flight simulator Wing Commander Sci-fi
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger 1994 Flight simulator Wing Commander Sci-fi
Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom 1996 Flight simulator Wing Commander Sci-fi
Wing Commander: Prophecy
 · Secret Ops
1997 Flight simulator Wing Commander Sci-fi
Wing Commander Academy 1993 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Sci-fi
Wing Commander: Privateer
 · Righteous Fire
1993 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Sci-fi
Wing Commander: Armada
 · Proving Grounds
1994 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Sci-fi
Privateer 2: The Darkening 1996 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Sci-fi
Strike Commander
 · Speech Accessory Pack
1993 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Realistic
Wings of Glory 1994 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Realistic
Pacific Strike 1994 Flight simulator Wing Commander (spin-off) Realistic
Titles with single sequel
The Quest 1983 Text adventure Gorn's Quest
(devel. by D. Snell before he joined Origin)
Fantasy
Ring Quest 1986 Text adventure Gorn's Quest Fantasy
Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony 1985 Role-playing Moebius Fantasy
Windwalker 1989 Role-playing Moebius (referenced in Ultima 6) Fantasy
Crusader: No Remorse 1995 Action Crusader Sci-fi
Crusader: No Regret 1996 Action Crusader Sci-fi
Jane's AH-64D Longbow 1996 Flight simulator Jane's Combat Simulator Realistic
Jane's Longbow 2 1997 Flight simulator Jane's Combat Simulator Realistic
Titles without sequel
The Caverns of Freitag 1982 Adventure - (devel. by Dr. Cat before he joined Origin)
(referenced in Ultima 6)
Fantasy
Caverns of Callisto 1983 Adventure - Sci-fi
Autoduel 1985 Boardgame adaptation - Sci-fi
Ogre 1986 Boardgame adaptation - Sci-fi
2400 A.D. 1987 Role-playing - Sci-fi
Times of Lore 1988 Action-adventure Times of Lore engine
(devel. by Imagitec)
(referenced in Ultima 5)
Fantasy
Knights of Legend 1989 Strategy/tactics - (referenced in Ultima 6) Fantasy
Omega 1989 Programming game - Sci-fi
Space Rogue 1989 Role-playing
& flight simulator
- Sci-fi
Tangled Tales:
The Misadventures of a Wizard's Apprentice
1989 Role-playing - (referenced in Ultima 6) Fantasy
Bad Blood 1990 Action-adventure Times of Lore engine
(referenced in Savage Empire)
Sci-fi
Shadowcaster 1993 Action - (devel. by Raven Software) Fantasy
Metal Morph 1994 Action - Sci-fi
System Shock 1994 Role-playing - (devel. by Looking Glass Tech.) Sci-fi
BioForge 1995 Adventure - Sci-fi
CyberMage: Darklight Awakening 1995 Action - Sci-fi
Abuse 1996 Action - Sci-fi
Transland 1996 Action - (unfinished freeware) Fantasy

External links[edit]