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Shroud of the Avatar early access adds multiplayer connections

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Backers of Shroud of the Avatar are able to interact with other players for the first time, following the release of a new version of the game's early access beta.

Social systems including chat and emotes have been introduced to the game, which came online for backers late last year. Players are able to add friends. The newest update also features a new village and expanded crafting capabilities.

"It's been almost a year since we first announced Shroud of the Avatar and started our Kickstarter launch," said creative director Richard Garriott. "In the last eight weeks we've asked our backers to enter the world so they can experience our progress first hand. The momentum is building and now we have a chance to see how our multiplayer functionality stands up to the test. These short three to four day tests allow us to see how we are doing and to close the loop with our fans so we can make the game they want and we want."

Shroud of the Avatar is a spiritual successor to Garriott's famous Ultima series. The Portalarium game seeks to merge traditional RPG and MMO elements with a social platform that favors play against friends or like-minded adventurers. Financed with over $3 million in backer funds, it is due to launch at the end of this year