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November 3rd, 2011, 22:49
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
That's a bit misleading Sergorn. Yes, he sold Ultima to EA, and yes he did want to do a new Ultima game, but that new game proposal came years after a very, very bitter separation from EA. It's not like when they wrapped up Ultima IX he was clamoring EA to start on the next Ultima.
Like… he had any say in the matter?

After Ultima IX EA's only interest in Ultima was to make Ultima Online 2 and more online games. Period.

EA had already turned Origin into an online only company by the time U9 was released so there was not to be any new single player Ultima game ever. As a matter of fact we have it on good authority (ie. Andy Hollis) that there was a strong push amongst EA and even Origin to have Ultima IX cancelled so that the company could focus on UO2 and other onlines and that the only reason this did not happen (while this happened to basically every other SP game OSI had in development including Wing Commander stuff) is because EA felt that Ultima IX could potentially help bring new players to UO. That and Garriott had to fight bit and nails to be allowed to finish the game.

The thing is, Garriott had little decisional power at Origin by this time. Sure he was very excited about online games, but he didn't seem very pleased either to have the company not doing single player games anymore. And you gotta remember that he left the company a mere few month after U9's release. Sure he could have stayed and worked on more Ultima Online stuff (which is what EA wanted him to do), but that certainly wouldn't have changed anything as far as single player games do and I can certainly not blame it for wanting to leave to do a different thing elsewhere since EA didn't allowed him to do so.

So basically if there's someone to blame about the lack of a new single player Ultima after Ultima IX, that's EA because this was all out of Garriott's hands by then. And while he'd likely still have went to do his "X" online game at EA at OSI not turned into an online company, that would likely had not prevented more single players Ultima where he had a less hands-on roles, since it certainly happened before. But the ghist of it is that the fate of Ultima all bodes down to the fact that EA turned OSI into an "all online" company which completly wrecked the company in the end.

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