Ultima IV, an oldie-but-goodie role-playing game from one of the PC's most revered franchises, has been available for free since 1997. And nobody gave a hoot. Then, yesterday, EA suddenly gives a hoot.
A number of sites hosting free (or flash) copies of the game - first released in 1985 - have been ordered by EA to remove it. Why now, after all this time?
It may be because BioWare-Mythic creative director Paul Barnett - an RPG man - has been talking about "secret projects". And that EA is currently working on an all-new MMO title.
If you put one and two together, you could quickly come up with a guess that Electronic Arts has dusted off the Ultima brand (properly this time) and is working on a new Ultima MMO.
The last Ultima MMO - which incredibly is actually still the current Ultima MMO - is Ultima Online, a game launched in 1997 that is still being played today. Being fourteen years old, though, means it's long overdue for an update, and with EA's last attempts in the MMO space not making much of a dent in World of Warcraft's userbase, they may as well give Ultima another shot.
The other possibility, of course, is that EA has some of the slowest copyright hunters in the business.
EA making a new Ultima Online? [Eurogamer]