BioWare Is Making A New Ultima RPG. I'm Serious.

Not content with digging up the corpse of classic RPG series Ultima once, EA - who now hold the rights to the franchise - are doing it all over again.

The publisher has tonight announced Ultima Forever, a cross-platform, free-to-play RPG that's being developed by BioWare and which will be published under EA's Play 4 Free label, the same place you find games like Battlefield Heroes.

Boasting a cartoon aesthetic, having you control the "Avatar" and mentioning "Lady British", it's at least closer to the source material than the ill-advised Lord of Ultima. Whether or not EA's claim that "the first great Western RPG has been lovingly restored in Ultima Forever" rings true or not, we'll have to actually play it to find out.

You can sign up for the game's beta at the link below.

Ultima Forever [EA]


    I would sign up for beta if it didn't require signing into origin.

    I'm good thanks, I'm on an EA and Activision boycott.

      You're not the only one.

        Me three

          me four! Although I'm more of a BW and EA boycott, Activision wait 12 months before buying

    ...and then I saw the words "free-to-play". The End.

    No, Bioware is not making Ultima. EA are putting Bioware's branding on a new free to play casual Ultima game. I.e. EA are resurrecting a beloved franchise so they can ruin it. Again.

      They're the Michael Bay's of the gaming world - selfless hacks that destroy all that was great in the name of money...

      I hate to tell you this, EA ruined Ultima with Ultima 8 and 9 already. Maybe you should go back and play them. Ultima 8 retconned EVERYTHING about the series and 9 did far worse. It was a broken, terrible mess of a game. Bioware can only make a better game than those two turds... 1-7 were magnificent. 8 and 9 were turds.

        As he pointed out, Bioware won't be doing much of anything.

          My favourite was seven. Didn't mind the underworld spin offs either.

            Indeed, 7 was magnificent and a classic in its own right. I remember sitting down to the isometric 8 and thinking 'Alright........I'll give it a go....' and thinking it a horrible horrible turd of a game.

    And again thanks to the kotaku readers who are more informed and more intelligent than the kotaku authors.

    On the other hand, if anyone wants an actual Ultima-esqe experience, I recommend having a look at Dragon's Dogma if you haven't already; playing through that gave me the feeling of freedom, exploration and adventure that I haven't felt for many moons with RPGs.

    I'm so hesitant to trust the Bioware brand now that EA have practically renamed all of their studios as Bioware East or whatever. The quality in the name has gone.

      Bioware Edmonton (and most of Bioware Austin) still has a lot of the developers who made KOTOR and BG/NWN, and Edmonton in particular are the ones handling the flagship stuff like Mass Effect or Dragon Age.

      I agree that there are a lot of dubious projects that are being published by other studios with the Bioware brand slapped on them, but the core studios are still making generally great content. I think EA renaming everything Bioware (even when the games aren't RPGs) because of some bullcrap "similar spiritual commitment to story" is hugely cynical, but I think it's easy to just check where something's being made before trusting that it's actually 'Bioware' making it.

      Though in this case I can't tell which studio is making it, it's not Edmonton or Austin so more than likely it's one of the smaller social game studios that did stuff like Dragon Age Legends.

        based on the name of the guy involved, I would actually guess Bioware Mythic

    The first three comment summed up my exact reaction.
    Thank you xWisp, Matt and Courtney for reading my mind.

    Is it the actual bioware or some other studio using the name?

    regardless, I'm sure it will be filled with sex scenes and plot holes and short on game.

    So everyone gets to be 'the Avatar'? In what reality does this sound like a good idea?

    Lords of Ultima was a blasphemous aberration that should have been killed at birth. If EA do the same thing...

    jesus christ how horrifying

    Are we talking "real" Bioware" or another crappy studio where EA have slapped the Bioware sticker over the old name.

      real BW died a long time ago, most of their good people have left already. We're left with watered down BW and other studios slapped with the BW name

    Desecrating the memory of Origin Systems by slapping the name on a feeble download platform just wasn't enough, eh?

    And EA thinks stuff like this is awesome, but putting games on Steam cheapens the IP... they sure have a bent worldview.

    God, this makes me sick. I am now at the point of boycotting all big studios, Indie games are so much better these days. Instead of this, pay the free, community developed Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. A far better game than EA has ever put its name on.

    Ultima 8 was a bad direction to go in.
    I waited years for ultima 9 and it was full of holes and weak on story .

    If this fails i will burn my copy of ultima 1

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