EA Publishing Big Huge RPG 'Project Mercury'

Having saved Rise of Nations developer Big Huge Game from closure, owner 38 Studios today announced that Electronic Arts will be publishing Big Huge's "epic single-player role-playing game" Project Mercury through its EA Partners initiative.

Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion designer Ken Rolston is leading development of Project Mercury, suggesting that it may be based upon or incorporate elements from Big Huge's reportedly cancelled action-RPG Ascendant.

Big Huge's unreleased RPG Ascendant and Copernicus concept art

Upon acquiring Big Huge, 38 Studios noted the developer would be crafting an RPG set in the company's cross-media fantasy property Copernicus--designed with contributions from Spawn creator Todd McFarlane and fantasy author R. A. Salvatore, intended to be realized in many forms including an MMO built on the Unreal 3 engine.

Though Copernicus was not specifically mentioned in today's announcement, Project Mercury appears to be that RPG, as the various details in the press release--talent, cross-media aspirations, etc.--all line up with what was previously known.

"We are creating an enormous world, with heroes and villains and a rich back story from the brilliant minds of R. A., Todd and Ken at its heart, and I can think of no finer partner than the global powerhouse that is EA Partners," said 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling.

As for when Project Mercury will arrive, it wasn't said--all we know is that it's coming to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and will be the first 38 Studio product on the market.