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Ultima Online: EA Announces UO Expansion, Closes Austin

KoltraneKoltrane Member UncommonPosts: 1,049

In a press release issued Wednesday, Electronic Arts announced plans for a new Ultima Online expansion.  The as yet unnamed expansion is set in an Asian-themed world and is currently scheduled for a Fall 2004 release.  The press release is available by clicking here.

On a sadder note, EA also issued an announcement that the Austin, Texas studio will close down by the end of April.  Rumors of the close had been circulating on Wing Commander and Ultima fansites for some time, but this release makes it official. This studio was the home of Origin Systems, Richard Garriott's company that created the Ultima franchise.  It was also the home of Ultima Online.  The UO team is being relocated to EA's Redwood City, California facilities.  This move should not effect the existing game or the development of the new expansion. 

The shut down of the Austin facility closes the final chapter on Origin Systems, an event which should give any veteran gamer pause.  Follow this link to read the press release regarding the relocation.


Old timer.


  • SatansDiscipleSatansDisciple Member Posts: 2,782

    ea is supposed to be closing maxis as of yesterday as well, which doesnt really matter except for sims online. im guessing there just cutting costs by moving all developement in house.



  • KarahaKaraha Member Posts: 29

    origin was dead since 2001 and this is only the step with must come.. like the poster over me said they just want to spare money..

  • TaramTaram Member CommonPosts: 1,700

    No big surprise here. They were bound to close Austin eventually. I think it's a mistake for them to add yet another expansion to UO. This is one of the cases where they should just start patching new content into the game and maybe adding 'expansions' that just add new 'things' to the already existing continents. There's SOOOOO much space in the game already that it's sick ;)

    Owell... at least with recall and runes we dont have to worry about travel much :) The one thing UO has gotten right every time: Downtime is minimal. Death doesn't penalize the player except to have to go back and get his stuff. Pure skill game. Pure fun game. No downsides.


    "A ship-of-war is the best ambassador." - Oliver Cromwell

  • KarahaKaraha Member Posts: 29

    you're right.. ;)

    in most games there are often downtimes.. in uo that is almost never..

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