News broke this morning of a brand new BioWare developed Ultima game named Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar. Early rumors claimed the game was a free-to-play MMO, but that has proven only half true. In an interview with Massively, BioWare creative director Paul Barnett confirmed the title was not an MMO. Rather, it would be, "very tribal," and small-group focused. "It's very much a classic RPG adventure. It's more in Dragon Age's territory than that of an MMO."
The big story behind this is that BioWare is trying to reboot the Ultima brand, but is understandably wary about doing that with a high-profile, expensive blockbuster. Ultima Forever will be testing the waters to see if this sort of game is still even viable -- and what better way to do that than putting it out on iPad in addition to PC.
"You would put it on a mass media console -- that's what the iPad is. You would make it free-to-play and allow people from any age group to play it. You wouldn't need to be an RPG-head or remember 27 different combat controls, and we've made those adjustments."
Rightly so, Massively asked the big question on Ultima fans' minds. Can we expect Ultima Forever to maintain the themes and plot-lines of the old titles? Are we still in Britannia?
"The answer to all these questions is yes. We look at it like how Peter Jackson had to re-imagine Lord of the Rings for the screen, or how Christopher Nolan had to imagine Batman. We're not going to please everyone, but hopefully when players finish kicking the tires, they'll come back and go, 'OK, that's pretty cool.' "
Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar is currently in alpha, but you can register now for the upcoming closed beta.