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January 13th, 2011, 03:59
Okay, goofing around aside, here's where my glimmer of hope is coming from:

There's precedent. Not from EA, but there's precedent:

Monkey Island.

The "remakes" were excellent. They were literally the same games, running on the same scripts, but with new graphics, sound, and voice-overs. And commentaries, even, from some of the original developers.

But - more importantly - while development was pretty much in tandem, the Monkey Island 1 Special Addition was followed up by Tales of Monkey Island, a brand new series in a "dead" franchise by Telltale Games. And of course, MI2E. From what I've heard, Tales sold really well and they are planning another series.

Could this happen with Ultima?

Maybe. If people had the same level of care and dedication to the source material as has been reported for the folks who have worked on the Lazarus and the Ultima 6 Project (My copy of DS is buried somewhere and I haven't dug it out to reinstall it to play these games yet… so my opinion is second hand). This would be a good thing.

As I joked above, I'm trying not to get my hopes up. Chances are against it, and the likelihood that that Barnett was talking about something else entirely (the "8 gods" reference notwithstanding) is still high. And even if they do go this direction, with a chance at reviving the franchise, my trust in Bioware isn't what it once was. And even if they DID do a fantastic job of it, there's the chance that the suits at EA would still shoot it down or corrupt it… though I think they are still giving Bioware a pretty long leash on these kinds of things. But the Lords of EA screwed up Ultima before, I'm sure they can do it again.

Anyway - that's my thought process. A lot of 'ifs' blocking the glimmer of hope. I won't even say I'm cautiously optimistic, especially after the Lords of Ultima BS. (Whoever thought that was a good idea should be sent back to their former job marketing off-brand breakfast cereals). But I won't assume it's doom & gloom, either.
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