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November 4th, 2011, 21:14
Are you sure about that? Unfortunately the link that had the interview Sheri Graner Ray with (http://pcgtw.retro-net.de/index.php?id=games:alegends) seems to be dead, but I recall specifically saying that you were the Avatar in it. Makes sense though that they would move it to stand alone since WoU didn't sell real well.
Gah. I'm pretty sure the confirmation that this wasn't an Ultima game… came from PC Games that Weren't actually. I found the page on the web archive:

There's no mention of any Ultima relation so I would assume this was not an Ultima. Though I guess we'd need to ask someone who worked on it to be sure.

I wonder why that was though. I can understand why Serpent Isle didn't sell as well as Black Gate.
I haven't heard anything about Serpent Isle selling poorly actually. I could see it selling less, but it was still considered a core Ultima and was popular (unlike the WoUs), and with it based on UVII's technology it probably cost a lot more to produce. It was very much meant in the same spirit as the WoU, an easier to produce spin off with the existing engine while waiting for the next "core" Ultima. Except that rather than doing something unrelated like the WoUs, they decided to make it part of the core series instead and as far as I can tell it worked, so I don't think calling it Ultima VII Part II really was an issue. I actually liked Garriott's philosophy of having a new engine for each new numbered episodes.

I don't think they aimed to pick new fans with Serpent Isle, that was Ultima VIII's purpose

I remember reading that Ultima VIII actually started as a general concept for a WoU game centering around the Greek Gods.
I think I read that on Underworld Dragon's website, but I've never seen any sourse. It seems to me a lot of this stuff comes from an interview Garriott did after Ultima VII when he delt with more Ultima spin off and mentionned how having the Avatar stuck on Britannia could serve as a basis for more spin off with the Avatar experimenting on his Orb of the Moon and bam, here he was with the Arthurian Knights, or there here he was in anciennt Greece facing the gods. But it seemed more like random thoughts than actual games concepts.

I prefer to be careful about this kind of stuff, because fans tend to extrapolate a lot. Until I contacted Bill Armintrout to clear things up about Serpent Isle, a lot of people still were under the assumption that Ultima VII and Serpetn Isle were meant to be a single game that was cut in half due to time constraints. So I can see the Arthurian Legends as Ultima, and U8 as WoU in Greece ideas just being fans exprapolating too much from Garriott's comments.

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