Lord British is Talking to the Press, Not EA, About His Ultimate RPG

“I’m not sure what Richard Garriott is referring to.  But no one at EA is discussing partnership or licensing opportunities related to the Ultima Online franchise…”

Jeff Brown, EA’s head of corporate communications, Industry Gamers interview

Just to keep all the Lord British Ultimate RPG story in one place, here we go with an update.

Who Loves You EA?

I saw over at Massively that EA was saying they hadn’t heard a thing from Lord British about the Ultima Franchise and his Ultimate RPG.  This despite EuroGamer having quoted Richard Garriott de Cayeux saying

“We’ve actually talked to Electronic Arts about [Garriott leading Ultima Online again]. I would love to have access to the Ultima property. We’ve had discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts about access to the property.”

Since the EA denial story broke, a spokesperson for Garriott de Cayeux offered this clarification:

“Richard is not CURRENTLY having conversations at high levels with Electronic Arts regarding the Ultima franchise. He never said that he is. I can assure you, however, that those conversations have taken place in the past.”

He added, “What is taking place right now are conversations with EA as well as other companies regarding potential partnerships/distribution deals involving our other products including Ultimate Collector and our Casino games, Port Casino Poker and Port Casino Blackjack. These are normal and expected communications taking place as we move closer to launching Utlimate Collector sometime after the first of the year.”

So we just have Lord British out there attempting to woo EA in the press by expressing his “great fondness” for the gaming giant… and then the next day complaining that their sports-game mind set ruined Ultima VIII… all without actually broaching the subject directly with EA.

Smooth.

As to how we got to this state of affairs, it is hard to tell.

Visionary people often project what they plan to do into sounding like it has been done already or connect unrelated things to sound like a single narrative.  I’ve lived that routine a few times.  This might just be Lord British in space… again.

And then there is the editorial reputation of EuroGamer.  They have certainly gotten confused by gaming honcho statements before.  Remember when they said that PlanetSide 2 would SHIP in Q1/Q2 of 2011?  Yeah, they’re good like that some times.

Anyway, this seems to be Lord British month.  Stay tuned for updates.

5 thoughts on “Lord British is Talking to the Press, Not EA, About His Ultimate RPG

  1. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    “Building a giant MMO, for example the Star Wars MMO – which I really have no idea how good, bad or otherwise that was going to be – has been an enormous amount of money and time,” Garriott said.

    “If I were the investors or the publishers, it’s just scary – it’s a lot of work and it’s really scary. And that’s definitely not the way that we are intending to go even if they have great success. I hope they’re very successful – I know they’ve put a ton of work into it and I hear very good things. But that’s not the route we’re choosing.”

    From one of his EuroGamer interviews.

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  2. Toldain

    There’s a hole in Jeff Brown’s comments big enough to drive a truck through. First, “I don’t know what he’s referring to..” is a dodge. He could be thinking, “Well, was it meeting A or meeting B, or that conversation at such and such conference?”

    Second, “No one at EA is discussing…” is present tense. Garriott’s remarks were past tense.

    Completely consistent.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Toldain – Sure thing on the first part… except for the whole Portalarium spokesperson coming out and pretty much confirming what Jeff Brown said.

    On the second part… how fine do you want to slice things? If they had a meeting that ended 10 minutes ago and have gone to lunch, technically “No one at EA is discussing…” in the present tense either.

    Garriott’s remarks were in the context of and in reference to his Ultimate RPG, something he’s just started talking about while publicly mooning over EA in hopes of them cooperating. If he hasn’t actually talked to EA about using the property recently for that specific purpose and project, I think he is the who needs to reign in his enthusiasm.

    I mean, this whole response from EA is journalists reading the Lord British line and then running off to EA to get their word on the subject. The response was pretty clear to me.

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