EA denies Ultima Online talks with series creator Richard Garriott

Though Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima franchise, said he and EA were in talks regarding the fate of the franchise earlier this week, EA denies any conversations have occurred.

5

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.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 14, 2011 5:15 PM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, EA denies Ultima Online talks with series creator Richard Garriott.

    Though Richard Garriott, creator of the Ultima franchise, said he and EA were in talks regarding the fate of the franchise earlier this week, EA denies any conversations have occurred.

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 5:18 PM

      That guy needs to host an Austin shackmeet. I want to drink beer and play board games with that guy.

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 5:26 PM

      Well, I guess we found out "where the counter-forces come from". Either that, or Jeff Brown has no idea what his subordinates do all day, or is covering up the negotiations.

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 6:31 PM

      This could get interesting :)

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 6:49 PM

      I would [insert something gross involving testicles, a Japanese person and a hammer] for another UO game that stuck to the spirit of the original.

      Unfortunately, I don't remember Garriott being all too pleased at how the game's mechanics wound up operating, so I have rather limited faith in his ability to extend the original's legacy.

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 7:42 PM

      hahaha oh man, deniiieeedd

    • reply
      December 14, 2011 8:54 PM

      WHOOPS!

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 12:34 AM

      I love how EA doesn't refer to Ultima but to the "Ultima Online franchise", sort of defines how they see Ultima only in the online part...

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 2:58 AM

      Uh, wasn't Richard Garriott badly burned by the Tabula Rasa MMORPG and NCSoft? What about Electronic Arts? Why isn't Activision Blizzard utilizing his skills for their "Titan" project?

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 3:17 AM

      Ultima IX probably ensured they'll never work with him again. He's made some legendary games but, also, fucking crazy.

      • reply
        December 15, 2011 5:03 AM

        I still love all the direct digs at EA in Ultima 7.

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 5:19 AM

      They talked, but they did not converse. That man should run for office.

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 5:43 AM

      UO2: Rebirth.

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 5:51 AM

      Good. I mean oh dear...

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 5:51 AM

      Half the fun of UO was that there were essentially no rules of conduct at the outset. I doubt we'll experience that magic again.

      Still, Ultima has always been one of my favorite series of all time. If he could get his hands on it, and do it justice, I'd be in.

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 5:59 AM

      Has there been an RPG like Ultima IX (since Ultima IX?) Ignoring the deviations from Ultima canon and the many bugs, has there been an RPG with that kind of interactivity and hugeness (with no loading screens!) and puzzle-solving and dungeon crawling?

      Check out this run through of the dungeon "Shame":
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMnuE_1nXE0

      Now that's what I call puzzle solving and dungeon crawling.

      I played like an hour of "The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind" on the original XBOX, probably played it a year or so after release in 2002-2003, got stuck in some dungeon cave wall near the very beginning of the game, and haven't touched an RPG since.

      But every year I get a longing to go back and replay Ultima IX.

      Just don't feel like I have the free time to invest in an RPG anymore though I dearly miss playing them.

      • reply
        December 15, 2011 6:12 AM

        That game had it's moments but jesus fuck it's buggy. Like fall through the ground randomly, walk through walls buggy. It also has little to do with Ultima

    • reply
      December 15, 2011 6:42 AM

      Diablo Online is more likely than Ultima Online at this point. I'd kill for an iso game from Blizzard. Really, I'd prefer the tight gameplay of Diablo wedded to the interactive world of Ultima.