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.
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.