The Ultima News

Since I teased everyone with this in the GFW thread, since I thought Jeff might be referring to it, here’s some more information:

EA has been trying to relaunch the Ultima series as a non-MMO. Garriott is not involved, obviously, since he’s at NCSoft. EA doesn’t have an internal team to develop an RPG, so they were shopping around to the major RPG development houses (you know who they are). A deal was very close with one of the developers, but it died at the paper stage. EA officially denies comment.

So it was probably unrealistic to expect it to be the GFW announcement (x-com?), since I don’t think the project has progressed far enough (although the deal that fell apart was last Fall), and don’t know if a developer is actively working on the project yet. Still, it’s good news that EA is at least interested in getting a single player (or non-MMO multiplayer) Ultima game going again, since I think it’s one of gaming’s best franchises.

So what’s on the horizon for RPGs? I can’t seem to find anything to get excited about, and that’s a sad thing.

The Witcher

BioWare: Dragon’s Age, MMO for PC, Mass Effect for 360
Bethesda: Fallout 3
Obsidian: Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion, Aliens RPG
NCSoft: Guild Wars Eyes of the North
Reality Pumps: Two Worlds
CDProjekt: The Witcher
PBytes (Gothic): Working on a new RPG

lots of action/RPGs - here’s a couple big ones:

  • Flagship Studios – Hellgate London
  • Ascaron – Sacred 2

Thanks, I’ll look those up.

Desslock, did you ever finish Lazarus? If so, what was your take on it?

Oh. So it’s still a long shot.

Major bummer.

Man, I would so love to play another “real” Ultima game along the lines of U4 - U7. Gothic & Avernum just don’t quite cut it (for very different reasons).

I hope they realize that a new Ultima that would be truly in the spirit of IV-VII would now be a DS game, not a PC one. Heresy, I know!

Huh? Why?

I envision a perfect U10 as something like oblivion, with a smaller, richer world, storyline driven, tactical realtime combat, and a full party with extensive character interactions.

Any feeling on Two Worlds Desslock?

When I think “EA”, I DON’T think “quality RPGs”. Even if they get a good developer I’m profoundly skeptical of this. There’ve been far too many classic IPs (Shadowrun, Wing Commander, etc) pimped out for a quick buck with complete disregard to what MADE them classic IPs recently.

Agreed. Wasn’t it EA who killed the Ultima brand in the first place?

smaller? wtf? ultima requires an entire planet. I NEED to be able to sail around the world.

I’ve heard of most of those but not all of them , and plans for a party based RPG like the BG series where you have control over the entire party and NOT like one of the acton/rpg hybrids so popular right now?

One of the reasons they are DuH EvIl!

As long as they keep the project as far away from their Redwood Shores studio as possible, I have a glimmer of hope.

I think they finally did fire the last of the people responsible for that horrendous LOTR: The Third Age travesty they shat out (when Project Gray Company got the axe).

Still… please do not drag the already bloated and decomposing corpse of Ultima through that trash heap EA.

Why do I keep checking this thread, as if there won’t be some soul-destroying bad news or gut-clenching false hopes therein?

Definitely. Keeping with the 2D nature of the original Ultimas is part of the charm, so that they can keep the budget small and concentrate more on the game and less on the artwork.

Just found this today and it’s been a real joy to read:

This guy has taken the time to play just about every Ultima game out there in order and blog about his experience. Great stuff.