BioWare Making Free-to-Play Ultima RPG

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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BioWare Making Free-to-Play Ultima RPG


"The first great Western RPG has been lovingly restored in Ultima Forever."

EA just announced that BioWare is working on a cross-platform, modern take on Richard Garriott's ground-breaking Ultima series. It's not quite what you'd expect, at least from an Ultima title. Ultima Forever has a bright, cartoonish aesthetic, only two classes and it's being published under EA's Play 4 Free label.

"Accept the challenge from Lady British and save the land of Britannia. Play as the Fighter or the Mage and travel alone or with friends, restore virtue and become the Avatar!" shouts the game's announcement page.

Lord British appears to have either been replaced or undergone sex reassignment surgery, presumably because he (Richard Garriott) is unlikely to be involved with the project. EA obtained the rights to the Ultima series back in '92 when it bought Origin Systems. Garriot eventually left the company at the turn of the century, shortly after EA canceled all of the studio's projects in response to the poor performance of Ultima IX. EA finally shuttered the studio in 2004.

EA also released Lord of Ultima, a free-to-play, MMO strategy game earlier this year to a generally mixed reception.

You can take a look at Ultima Forever's artwork and sign up for the beta here. [http://ultimaforever.com/signup]

Source: Ultima Forever [http://ultimaforever.com/]

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CD-R

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Mar 1, 2009
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Well after the fiasco that was Ultima 8 and 9 I don't think there's any way EA could possibly fuck it up more.
 

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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Poor Spoony, first being Fired from TGWTG and now THIS^
Seriously someone should check-up on him.
 

PingoBlack

Searching for common sense ...
Aug 6, 2011
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Looks at Developer/Publisher combo ...
Walks away ... starts running ... sprints until breath holds.

Sorry, but seriously. EA/BioWare at this point are sure to miss any good ideas they could implement but instead provide only crap. They failed to succeed in modern MMOs so they decided to fall back to ancient MMOs?

Making remake of nostalgia-laced sandbox MMO -> Implement 2 classes. ???
 

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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Wow, it's impressive that all I know of Ultima is from Spoony's reviews, and yet I can instantly spot a ton of things wrong with this.

Like the fact that they're trying to revive a franchise they killed themselves through showing no respect for the source material....by making a game which blatantly disrespects the source material. I assume they're using "Lady British" because Garriott would sue their intestines out if they tried to use his gaming persona, which is understandable....but it's still stupid.

Then we have....two classes? You fricking serious bro? In an age where virtually any respectable MMORPG has *at least* three unique classes, usually closer to 6-8, you're really gonna try a two-class MMO? Has there ever been an Ultima game with that little selection in terms of your character class/build?

Oh, and then there's the death sentence placed on it already because it's being made by the same wonderful folks who decided to put out a modern age clone of WoW in the form of The Old Republic (better known as TORtanic) and claim that they made this revolutionary new RPG. At least they've learned from that mistake by making this Free To Play, but good god, man. You're clearly not cut out for the MMO genre at all, so why are you trying? Money? Most people loyal to the franchise gave up on you around Ultima 9, you aren't likely to bring that many back with a cartoonish two-class F2P MMO. I'm not sure I'm going to touch it with a ten foot pole, myself....an EA-created Ultima doesn't entice me in the slightest.
 

SachielOne

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Aug 10, 2009
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DVS BSTrD said:
Poor Spoony, first being Fired from TGWTG and now THIS^
Seriously someone should check-up on him.
From Spoony's twitter this morning after he found out about this: "Well, that about does it. I'm off to go start slamming my head in a car door, and I may never stop."
 

Fappy

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SachielOne said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Poor Spoony, first being Fired from TGWTG and now THIS^
Seriously someone should check-up on him.
From Spoony's twitter this morning after he found out about this: "Well, that about does it. I'm off to go start slamming my head in a car door, and I may never stop."
That sounds like a proper response from a fan. How many Ultima fans are actually excited about this?
 

Lectori Salutem

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Dammit EA, nobody asked for this. If you make an Ultima game, people want an Ultima game, not that strategy game or this. Also, I thought UO still went pretty well, considering it's age.
 

The Wooster

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SachielOne said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Poor Spoony, first being Fired from TGWTG and now THIS^
Seriously someone should check-up on him.
From Spoony's twitter this morning after he found out about this: "Well, that about does it. I'm off to go start slamming my head in a car door, and I may never stop."
I don't know if he and J.O. were close enough for him to go sending that tweet (Hell, I say sexist things to girls all the time, but they know I'm being silly) but he didn't deserve to lose his job because someone else dug it up to attack him with. Not saying I approve of how HE handled his response, but the whole thing should never have come up in the first place.
 

The Wooster

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Jul 15, 2008
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CD-R said:
Well after the fiasco that was Ultima 8 and 9 I don't think there's any way EA could possibly fuck it up more.
They will find a way. They always find a way.

Unless this is a complete Reboot (as in everything that happened between I and IX never existed), then there will be tons of story errors, stupid decisions and horrific gameplay.
 

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Fappy said:
SachielOne said:
DVS BSTrD said:
Poor Spoony, first being Fired from TGWTG and now THIS^
Seriously someone should check-up on him.
From Spoony's twitter this morning after he found out about this: "Well, that about does it. I'm off to go start slamming my head in a car door, and I may never stop."
That sounds like a proper response from a fan. How many Ultima fans are actually excited about this?
Not.

A.

One.
 

craddoke

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Mar 18, 2010
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Ultima IV-VII will always be awesome (VII being perhaps the greatest cRPG ever); I-III were great at the time; VIII was okay.

All other Ultima games are impostors - although this hardly even qualifies as an impostor.
 

Zaik

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Jul 20, 2009
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Wow, not the move I would have made. Going from shitting in everyone's face with ME3 to a series with a history of shitting in everyone's faces.

It's looking pretty grim for Bioware.
 

grigjd3

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So Bioware has gone from being the premier AAA western crpg maker to making a free to play throwback that will probably not make it to the same quality as most facebook games? Really?
 

burningdragoon

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Jul 27, 2009
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Is this BioWare BioWare making this or just another random studio that EA slapped the BioWare name onto (like for the C&C game)?

Not that it really matters, I'm just curious.
 

Nooners

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Interesting how I (and I imagine, many others like me born to late to experience Ultima's prime) hadn't heard of the series until Spoony's retrospective, and then it started popping up all over again with Lords of Ultima, all the rereleases on GOG, and now this. Wonder if Spoony's influence contributed to an Ultima resurrection? Incidentally, if an official Ultima X was ever made, Ultima: Resurrection sounds strangely appropriate...