|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Ultima VIII - The Lost Vale & Arthurian Interview

Default Ultima VIII - The Lost Vale & Arthurian Interview

March 4th, 2013, 15:33
Gamebanshee has an interview with Origin Systems' Sheri Graner Ray about the cancelled games The Lost Vale and Arthurian.
GB: What circumstances led to Ultima VIII: The Lost Vale being cancelled despite the fact that the expansion pack had actually gone gold? While Ultima VIII hadn't met sales expectations, couldn't it have been packaged in the eventual Gold Edition to make that bundle pack more enticing?

Sheri: Honestly, it was directly due to a lack of sales. Back then you couldn't do anything as DLC, it had to have a box and go on a shelf with all the commensurate marketing dollars added to it. It came down to straight numbers. If the same percentage of U8 players bought the add-on as U7 and U7.5 players bought THOSE add-ons, it simply didn't justify the cost of manufacturing and distributing the U8 add on.

Also at that time Ultima 9 was beginning, as was "behind closed doors" discussions for Ultima Online. Crusader was in full production and so was Wing Commander 3 - complete with live action. On top of all that EA was starting to make noise about a cut back in headcount for ORIGIN.

So it's just safe to say the company's attention had already moved on from Ultima 8, which was seen as a less than successful chapter in Ultima history. Thus, there was no enthusiasm for Lost Vale.


GB: Beyond a purely sales-driven decision, do you feel that there was anything inherently wrong with the add-on that could have played a role in the cancellation decision? How was the expansion pack received internally prior to going gold?

Sheri: I don't think so. It fit within the theme of U8, added to the story, answered some questions and was met with approval from the QA team.
More information.

Computer n. A machine which flawlessly performs the instructions it is given, no matter how flawed those instructions may be.
Myrthos is offline

Myrthos

Myrthos's Avatar
Cave Canem
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4,121

Default 

March 4th, 2013, 15:33
Interesting she says she has the entire design document still. Would be fun to read that.

————————————————-

"Ya'll can go to HELL! I'm-a-goin' to TEXAS!"

- Davy Crockett
blatantninja is offline

blatantninja

blatantninja's Avatar
Resident Redneck Facist

#2

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,058

Default 

March 4th, 2013, 16:56
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
Interesting she says she has the entire design document still. Would be fun to read that.
Would be a good catch for the Origin Museum.
Bedwyr is offline

Bedwyr

Sentinel

#3

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 298

Default 

March 4th, 2013, 17:33
The conversation after the article focuses on retaining source or gold-master copies back in the day. I just don't think studios were really focused on that in the 90s. Software development then was kind of like how Architecture has been over most of human history where you just raze over the old and build the new 'cause that's how you roll.
Bedwyr is offline

Bedwyr

Sentinel

#4

Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 298

Default 

March 4th, 2013, 17:44
Hah - if they still find a copy they could sell it on GOG and make a pretty penny, I'm sure.
GhanBuriGhan is offline

GhanBuriGhan

GhanBuriGhan's Avatar
Wose extraordinaire

#5

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,473

Default 

March 4th, 2013, 18:12
I find it strange though that, as mentioned in the article, they already had a planned Gold edition of U8 coming out, but not finished, (which I believe included the speech packa s well as the patches), and no thought was given to tossing in the Lost Vail to make the package more appealing. Seems like a no brainer, with little to no cost.

————————————————-

"Ya'll can go to HELL! I'm-a-goin' to TEXAS!"

- Davy Crockett
blatantninja is offline

blatantninja

blatantninja's Avatar
Resident Redneck Facist

#6

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,058

Default 

March 5th, 2013, 12:04
You already get the "Lost Vale design documents" if you buy Ultima VIII on gog.com. They are 15mb big.
Hindukönig is offline

Hindukönig

Hindukönig's Avatar
Sentinel

#7

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Halle/Saale (Germany)
Posts: 262

Default 

March 5th, 2013, 13:29
I was referring to the Aurthian Legends design docs.

————————————————-

"Ya'll can go to HELL! I'm-a-goin' to TEXAS!"

- Davy Crockett
blatantninja is offline

blatantninja

blatantninja's Avatar
Resident Redneck Facist

#8

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 4,058

Default 

March 5th, 2013, 13:32
Oh.
Sorry.
Hindukönig is offline

Hindukönig

Hindukönig's Avatar
Sentinel

#9

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Halle/Saale (Germany)
Posts: 262

Default 

March 5th, 2013, 15:07
I enjoy interviews like these, when the great game companies from the golden ages give the behind the scenes. That said, it would have sucked working those 12 hour days with no respite— not even time to feed your dogs.

Ultima 8 was one of the first PC CRPGs I played on my sweet Pentium 75. Despite the nostalgia, it remains one of the weaker Ultimas save for 9. I would have enjoyed a party based one using those graphics for Ultima 9. IIRC the preliminary screenshots of U9 looked similar before they made it all 3D.
EvilManagedCare is offline

EvilManagedCare

EvilManagedCare's Avatar
Sentinel

#10

Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 401
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Ultima VIII - The Lost Vale & Arthurian Interview
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 09:39.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch