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‘Ultima’ creator Richard Garriott spills – and sells – his blood to promote upcoming game

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In recent years, it’s become increasingly common for collector’s edition video games to contain outlandish physical bonuses, like the working Pip-Boy that was bundled with certain copies of Fallout 4. Now, there’s a project that seeks to take this idea one step further, by offering customers the literal lifeblood of the game’s director.

Legendary video game designer Richard Garriott rose to prominence in the 1980s thanks to the groundbreaking Ultima series of RPGs. Now, he’s at the helm of a spiritual successor in the form of Shroud of the Avatar, and he’s selling his vital fluids on eBay to promote the game’s impending release.

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This might seem like a desperate measure, but it’s really not — Shroud of the Avatar raised nearly $2 million on Kickstarter back in 2013. The blood may have been sourced from the veins of Garriott, but it’s being sold as the ichor of his Ultima alter-ego, Lord British.

The superfan who wins the auction — which starts at $5,000, and has an unspecified reserve price — can secure a measure of blood encased in a handcrafted reliquary. Despite its gory contents, it’s a very nicely crafted piece — although it remains to be seen who would willingly introduce this ornament to their living room, as the first of six pieces is yet to be bid upon.

The reliquary itself isn’t the whole package. The winning bid will also receives early access to the first episode of Shroud of the Avatar, a virtual version of the vial to decorate their in-game dwelling, and a host of other digital items, according to a report from Eurogamer. There’s also the added bonus of a trip to visit the Portalarium offices in Austin, Texas, although travel costs aren’t included.

The auction runs until July 17, so there’s still time yet for a bidding war to emerge. Shroud of the Avatar is scheduled to release before the end of 2016.

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