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Quality MMORPG

A Developer's Reference

Author: sempiternal

EA Drops the Warhammer on Ultima: The Ongoing Saga to Stifle Innovation

Posted by sempiternal Tuesday October 21 2008 at 9:18AM
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Originally posted at where within minutes it was quickly hidden in the Den of Iniquity here:

A long time ago, Electronic Arts was a Tesla of gaming, as it became a player it was bought out by JP Morgans. Rather than innovate, over the past decade EA has 'secretly' been focused on maintaining dominance in retail, through buying up innovative competitors and slyly allowing them to wither away. WoW was a lightning bolt through the heart of EA executive management, but rather than energize the company, it paralyzed them into their stubborn resolve. They've actually convinced themselves that WoW is a temporary trend, and the real innovation will not occur until another decade. Rather than charge into online gaming, the goal for now is still to buy up innovators and half-heartedly replicate competitors to diminish their energy, while at the same time grinding ahead with the old business model.

As for this latest Warhammer 'offer' via Mythic, even a simple Google fight is representative of the misdirection, while a proven online market and franchise is allowed to dwindle to nothing:

Ultima game franchise versus warhammer game franchise

Ultima Game franchise versus Warhammer Game franchise

The Warhammer trend will eventually follow the Ultmia trend:

Will EA continue to be known as the evil corporation stubbornly set on crushing innovation and competition while heading towards a needed bailout, rather than getting back into the game? Morgan has his uses, but the government will never be convinced to bailout a game company on the backs of Americans.



Olscholgamer writes:

I see what you are saying. EA was an innovator back when the company first start to release games. Now it sits like a bloated Nurgle gobbling up talent for its own nefarious ends. I think they are riding EA sports on consoles but that will only carry them so far.

Tue Oct 21 2008 9:27AM Report
gavek writes:

First let it be said that EA has been takeing steps to be innovateive lately. They have relaxed the reigns on their development studios and have some pretty awsome titles in the works (battle field heros, mirrors edge, dead space..ect). Secondly A bailout package? are you fucking retarded.

Tue Oct 21 2008 9:45AM Report
sempiternal writes:

Exactly, I'm so thankful there are still some intelligent people left here, I was considering not even posting this on a gaming site.

Just look at EA's stock going nowhere for the past decade, yet they continue down the same old path of selling retail boxes and buying out innovative companies to deceptively destroy them, rather than really gettting into the game.

Tue Oct 21 2008 9:47AM Report
sempiternal writes:

gavek, did you get lost in the irony?

Tue Oct 21 2008 9:49AM Report
dgarroyo writes:

So so what innovation had been stifled by EA?

You don't know, do you?

It's okay to use EA as a punching bag like this. It's not like it will have an effect or anything. There will never be an end to the snot nosed punks lining up to get their quixotic gratification on the establishment.

Tue Oct 21 2008 1:06PM Report
UncertaintyP writes:

If EA makes a innovative game it's because they bought out someone and graciously allowed them to continue.

Tue Oct 21 2008 1:52PM Report
zymurgeist writes:

EA is a publisher and management company. They don't make anything. Haven't for years.

Tue Oct 21 2008 3:50PM Report
Xzen writes:

Actually Ultima Online was first released by a company called Origin that was latere purchased by EA. I believe it was shortly after the purchase some major changes occured that angered the majority of the UO community.

Tue Oct 21 2008 4:29PM Report
redcap036 writes:

EA games = Eat All games!

Tue Oct 21 2008 8:23PM Report
Sinent writes:

im still pissed about earth and beyond and motorcity online!

Tue Oct 21 2008 9:12PM Report
LordWyv writes:

Xzen u r exactly right, to add to it when EA bought Origin- Owned and created by Richard Garriott (aka Lord British) He was told that he could Nevef work on UO again or any Games within 3 or 5 yrs after the buy out.. after that period of time is when Tabula Rasa went into development.


Tue Oct 21 2008 9:16PM Report
LordWyv writes:

Oh yeah and the major changes were trying to go 3d with AOS= Age Of S#!+

Tue Oct 21 2008 9:18PM Report
Corpoces writes:

I don't really care if 1 company controlls it all, long as that 1 company makes good games.

Tue Oct 21 2008 10:20PM Report
rounner writes:

Your basic premise of EA prophecising the need to wait it out a few more years until the next gen is interesting. Wouldn't they then have a secret project in the making? 

Wed Oct 22 2008 2:17AM Report
Smikis writes:

for all we care ea could die right now..

Wed Oct 22 2008 2:20AM Report
crzybrtndr writes:


Actually EA owned Origin BEFORE Ultima Online was even in production.  Check your facts before making statements.  This would also make LordWyv's timeline a bit off as well.  EA acquired Origin in September of 1992.  UO went into development in 1995 with a 1997 release.

I am not a huge supporter of EA, but all this "EA is the devil" crap is largely overblown.

Wed Oct 22 2008 4:28PM Report
sempiternal writes:

EA did own Origin Systems Inc. (OSI) before UO, but OSI had complete control over UO, aside from funding, and did until Richard "Lord British" Garriott and team left. It was then that EA appointed it's own guys to take over, and the game was dramatically changed - see my last blog.

Wed Oct 22 2008 9:08PM Report
megafluxmega writes:

when did ea ever innovate? shit the only companies i have seen innovate AT ALL are nintendo (yawn) and sega, and we saw what happened to sega.

im not for or against ea but really people are still buying crap games.

Thu Oct 23 2008 3:58AM Report
Alteri writes:

Yawn.  Try flashing power point after War has been out as long as Ultima. 

Thu Oct 23 2008 7:23AM Report
sempiternal writes:

Alteri, thanks. I probably should have pointed out that this Electronic Arts versus Activision NASDAQ chart is live!

So, keep checking back!


Thu Oct 23 2008 8:22AM Report
Xzen writes:

My mistake. The EA brand logo wasn't anywhere on the packaging when I purchased the game. It didn't show up until they got total control.

Thu Oct 23 2008 9:39AM Report
ramzith writes:

You guys are not the target audience for EA games.

They produce games for people who will buy anything that is hyped.

The only studios experianced games purchasing customers buy from are the following (and possibly some that i have forgotten)

Blizzard, Sierra,Lionhead,Bethesda Soft and so forth.


to EA's credit, they have left Bioware relativly alone even though they own them. Which has lead to good developments.



Thu Oct 23 2008 2:53PM Report
MacroPlanet writes: Great read semp. I find this very interesting about EA. Maybe, we will see some changes......doubtfl though Tue Mar 09 2010 6:29AM Report
sempiternal writes:

Thanks. Just look at that live NASDAQ.

Nothing has changed in the year and a half since I wrote this, except that it's gotten worse.

Thu Mar 11 2010 4:46AM Report
sempiternal writes: That chart was updated with the live 10 year NASDAQ. Mon Apr 14 2014 8:56AM Report writes:
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