EA denies Ultima Online talks with series creator Richard Garriott

On Monday, Richard Garriott said he had "discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts" about getting his hands on the Ultima franchise, his own original creation. According to Garriott, discussions with Electronic Arts are happening "even now about a possible marketing and distribution [relationship] and things of this nature."

For fans of the Ultima series, this news was outstanding, but EA says none of Garriott's claims are accurate.

"I'm not sure what Richard Garriott is referring to," EA's head of corporate communications, Jeff Brown, told IndustryGamers. "No one at EA is discussing partnership or licensing opportunities related to the Ultima Online franchise."

Garriott had earlier claimed that: "there are other parts of [Electronic Arts] who--I'm actually not sure where the resistance comes from, but it must be people who either have their own ideas about where the product should go, or have their own ideas about whether or nor I should be involved in it. And I don't know where the counter-forces come from."

Regardless of whether or not Garriot will ever be able to secure the Ultima name, his promises that his planned "Ultimate RPG" will be a spiritual successor to the franchise he first created in 1981.