The Last Prophecy Gaming, Inc. was founded in October of 1997 by original founder Maria Espino and her late husband Lucas Folino. After the sudden and unexpected death of her partner, Maria continued on with TLP and eventually grew it to be over 4,500 members across the world of gamers that really love to game together. Later, Maria met (through TLP coincidentally) Jacob Knoll and when they got together, he became the co-Founder of all the new business endeavors that TLP started to foster.
Born in Caracas, Venezuela Maria immigrated to the United States, born a citizen through her parents who had been naturalized before the time of her birth, at 6 years old to South Florida. Her family planted roots in the city of Plantation, FL after suffering the devastating loss of both her brothers. Diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at just 3 weeks, her parents decided to keep that information a secret for fear that their daughter would be treated differently. At the time of her diagnosis, Cystic Fibrosis (CF) was a terminal illness as most children did not survive into adulthood. They feared their daughter would be forever deemed too delicate to enjoy much of what other normal children would be involved in.
Her childhood was filled with the influence of her mother Reina’s cultural origin, who hailed from the Central American country of Panama. Dancing, music, and the arts were predominant in Maria’s young life. With Miami’s influential South Beach only 45 minutes south of their home, she was exposed to many of the world’s best in dance, music, and film. Her sister is a prominent singer-songwriter and she learned so much about music and the entertainment industry through her sister’s successes and failures. From her mother and sister, she gets her appreciation of dance and music.
Maria’s father, Flavio, was a fan of the Star Wars films even in her country, Venezuela. But the first time Maria ever stepped into a movie theatre, it was with her father to see Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. The influence of those films has stayed strong with Maria and for her, it’s very much tied to her father. Flavio was a financial genius and brought his business prowess from great successes in the chemical manufacturing, dairy processing, and oil drilling industries to the United States. From her father, she takes her business acumen and love of films and storytelling.
Now, after years of being involved in the video game development and community industries, she endeavors to create films that are made by the fans for the fans and to start to develop her own intellectual properties and stories so that she can leave behind a legacy of great storytelling.
|YouTube (contributor)||Maria Espino|
COO/Sr. Vice President
Frederick Jacob Knoll was born November 29, 1983, in Port Jefferson New York, and grew up not too far away in Stony Brook. Jake as his parents called him, enjoyed a pleasant childhood going to school, playing with friends, and going on weekly adventures with his family.
As Jake grew up, he found himself isolated from the world due to various challenges that can be attributed to his diagnosis with High Functioning Autism. But he longed for engagement with others, which is when he found comfort in multiplayer online video games. His love of video games brought him closer to making connections with other human beings that also enjoyed video gaming. It is there that he met his future wife, Maria. He found her to be so inviting and friendly and instantly began to get along with her. He found her fascinating and very deep in her emotional understanding of things he had only imagined about. When she moved for a job opportunity not far from where he lived, they finally began to spend time together outside of the virtual world Jake had become so comfortable living in. He realized that there might be others like him that could greatly benefit from real connections through the technology of video games. Not only did he fall in love with Maria, but he fell in love with video games too.
Throughout his life, he has studied several arts in the video gaming development field, taking single classes on the various technologies that are used to create them. And although that is still an interest for him, he has always preferred playing to building video games. The studies he embarked on were not left by the wayside, they have given him a great understanding of the inner workings of video games. So much so that his interests have shifted over time from the technology of video games to the story of video games. He loves rich, deeply developed characters and the worlds they live in. With TLP, he hopes to help inspire others to dive into the video gaming world to find connections with others and great stories.
|YouTube (contributor)||Jake Knoll|
In Loving Memory
Lucas Joseph Folino
April 10th, 1974 to April 8th, 2011
Lucas was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL on April 10th in 1974. At the tender age of 15, he met a girl that lived only a few houses down from where he lived with his father, Pete, and sister, Krystal. Her name was Maria, but she went by Mary. Mary was only 5 months younger than he, since they met during the summer of 1988, she was 14. They became inseparable and were each other’s first love. It would go on to become Lucas’ only love. Luke, as he was more commonly known, and Mary stayed together against many odds for the better part of 23 years. On April 8th, just two days before his 36th birthday, Luke was killed in a tragic automobile accident in I-75 in South Florida.
Luke was the original founder of The Last Prophecy Gaming, Inc. alongside Maria and together they built a franchise of gaming communities, originally called The Children of Darkness in Ultima Online, that would span decades and over 50 games together. The Children of Darkness would go on to officially become The Last Prophecy in the very popular MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot — the two properties were merged in 2001 with friends Jason’s Demonic and Huin’s Olorin as co-guildmasters to Maria’s Danitsia. Since those early beginnings, TLP has become a “home” to more than 4,500 gamers, nerds, and geeks throughout the entire glove. The Last Prophecy has official trademarks and copyrights to that name that to this day are co-owned by Maria and Lucas together as a symbolic legacy of young love that endured many challenges, proving that young love can and often does work out just fine.
Luke was an integral part of the foundation of this community and of this company, thus we wanted to include him on this page in memorium.
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