“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.
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.
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.