Garriott & EA Discussing Ultima Online 2 [Update]
Update: A spokesperson representing Garriott has clarified his comments to Industrygamers:
Richard is not CURRENTLY having conversations at high levels with Electronic Arts regarding the Ultima franchise. He never said that he is. I can assure you, however, that those conversations have taken place in the past.
What is taking place right now are conversations with EA as well as other companies regarding potential partnerships/distribution deals involving our other products including Ultimate Collector and our Casino games, Port Casino Poker and Port Casino Blackjack. These are normal and expected communications taking place as we move closer to launching Utlimate Collector sometime after the first of the year.
Original Story: Ultima Online was a pioneer in the MMORPG space, and although over time creator Richard Garriott has become more known for his spaceflight endeavors, he says that he'd love to do Ultima Online 2 with Electronic Arts.
Garriott is currently working on a PC/mobile/social title with his company Portalarium that he's calling Ultimate RPG. Whether this turns into Ultima Online 2 depends on EA's possible involvement since the company owns the rights to the Ultima franchise. "I would love to have access to the Ultima property," he said in an interview with Eurogamer. "We've had discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts about access to the property."
Despite his desire to resurrect the brand (EA shelved all things Ultima some time after it bought Garriott's Origin Systems in 1992), Garriott says not everyone at EA is as eager, and the whole thing is being negotiated. In what sounds like a passive aggressive dig at EA, he said, "I have a great fondness for Electronic Arts – I still think they're one of the best, most powerful and competent sales and marketing and distribution companies in the business."
But is their creative side willing to let Garriott back in control?
Check out the full interview with Garriott over at Eurogamer.