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EA Taps Mythic For Ultima Online Aid

Just days after announcing the acquisition of MMO developer Mythic Entertainment, an official Ele...
Just days after announcing the acquisition of MMO developer Mythic Entertainment, an official Electronic Arts website has indicated that the newly acquired studio will be helping current EA staffers with the Ultima Online series. The short website message indicates that the existing Ultima Online team will be working together with Mythic, best known for their work on the Dark Age of Camelot MMO, to “forge Britannia’s future”. Though the statement may simply involve sharing expertise more passively, or some kind of staff integration into Mythic's offices, many observers are speculating that the company will eventually be helping on an all-new sequel or revamp of the series. Ultima Online was first launched in 1997, and which now seems obviously dated compared to other currently popular MMOs, in terms of graphics, at least. (Nonetheless, the original UO still has around 135,000 monthly subscribers, around 70,000 of which are based in Japan, according to unverified reports from the MMOGChart.com subscriber ranking website.) Electronic Arts has long been known to be interested in creating a rival to Blizzard’s World of WarCraft, with executives such as Larry Probst and Bing Gordon both speaking out in admiration of the game and its six million subscribers. As the first major MMO of the modern era, an update of Ultima Online seems an obvious way to try to re-enter the market. However, Mythic's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning title will be the first high-profile new release from the newly EA-acquired studio, and any new Ultima title would need at least two years of development to release, such is the complexity of current MMOs.

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