Yes its an old image of a canceled attempt by EA to make a sequel to the original mmo as we know it. However recent rumours floating around suggest EA may be once again setting up to create a new generation of Ultima Online fans if recent job listings on Gamasutra are any indication. With the description “We are currently looking for MMO expertise for an unannounced game at our Electronic Arts headquarters location in Redwood City, CA.” speculation has begun on what that could mean.

Firstly we know EA Redwood shores  is home to the current base of Ultima Online developers who continue to update, patch and generally keep the first game running. Secondly we know according to Paul Barnett the creative director of Bioware-Mythic, which runs Ultima Online has been doing that tweet thing and has dropped a few comments about dialogue trees and npc’s on a “secret project”.  So there is a good chance whatever is going down is Ultima and mmo related.

Sadly I missed Ultima by a few years, it was around back when I hadn’t yet discovered the internet…mostly due to a bandwidth usage fee charged by the hour on top of two separate bills for having an ISP and a phone company provide you with access. It’s available to try for 14days free now, but I still haven’t found the time or perhaps the inclination to sit down and give it a go yet.  I suppose I am nervous about playing a game that could be a huge disappointment compared to how veterans remember it.

I’m not sure the gaming world needs another fantasy mmo anytime soon, but I suppose you can’t really ignore a sequel to the grandfather of modern mmo’s. The only question left to ask is if EA will really go through with it, they have tried I think twice now to make a sequel and both times ended up canceling the project, fans and hopefuls should be wary of getting too invested again.