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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Rant: Why Ultima Forever is Doomed

Posted by Paragus1 Wednesday July 18 2012 at 3:33PM
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Rant: Why Ultima Forever Is Doomed

I know right away what some of you are thinking.   Is he really calling a game that was just announced doomed to fail?   Yes, I am.   Like a lot of people, when I heard the announcement that there was going to be a new Online Ultima game in developement, my ears perked up.   Finally after all this time one of the highest-held IPs in the MMO space is going to get some love and brought back.  Sweet!

Then I actually started reading specifics and realized that the devil was indeed in the details.  Let me walk you through how exactly I arrived here.

If you have been following EA / Mythic / Bioware the last few years, their presence in the MMO space has not been a very good one.  I've been chronicled the failings of Warhammer Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic for quite some time here.   Both of these games were based upon wildly successful IPs and it's safe to say at this point that both of them ended up as failures.  In the instance of the TOR many gamers and observers easily predicted that the several hundred million dollar MMO heavily banking on voice-acting and one-time story content was a recipe for disaster.  While many of us in the community here were scratching our heads dumbfounded how someone in EA did not see this coming, let me flashback to October of 2011.  Someone on the inside actually did see this coming as some may remember, under the guise of "EA Louse", he blogged about how the management and design of the project was a recipe for diaster...

"And Bioware? Don’t make me laugh. They’ve spent more money making the Old Republic than James Cameron spent on Avatar. Shit you not. More than $ 300 million! Can you believe that?

And you know what they’re most proud of? This is the kicker. They are most proud of the sound. No seriously. Something like a 20Gig installation, and most of it is voiceover work. That’s the best they have. The rest of the game is a joke. EA knows it and so does George Lucas,they’re panicking , and so most of Mythic has already been cannibalized to work in Austin on it because they can’t keep pushing back launch.

Old Republic will be one of the greatest failures in the history of MMOs from EA. Probably at the level of the Sims Online. We all know it too ……

During the blog in which these statements are made, EA Louse explains that he himself is slated to get layed-off shortly, and then goes on to explain various personell in the mangement who are failing, going all the way back to Warhammer Online before Mark Jacobs departed Mythic.  Ironically many of these managers to this day still have their jobs while the lower level people are getting axed.  While the entire read is very eye-opening, one of these names should jump out at you...

"Oh yeah, and he needed Paul Barnett. You know him as the crazy British dude that appears in random videos at EA to promote his latest bullshittery. We know him as the crazy British dude who we have no idea of how he still has a job. This man was supposed to be the savior of Warhammer’s vision and design. Now all he can do is promote his strange ideas about his little secret project web Ultima game that’s been almost universally criticized by all of us and focus groups. What’s that? You didn”t know Paul loves one of those old Ultima games sooooo much he’s making a literal copy of it for Facebook? Well, the cats outta the bag. Too bad it sucks ass."

So it looks like the same person with their fingerprints over the WAR diaster and the TOR debacle will be slithering off to Ultima to lay waste to yet another famous IP that MMO gamers hold in high regard.  Does anyone see a pattern here?   EA Louse layed it out exactly how all of this was going to play out and nailed it 100%.  Common sense does seem to exist inside the company, and yet somehow these are the type of people getting put out of a job while the people making the horrid design decisions get shuffled off to another project.

I reported in a previous blog post that EA's market value has lost upwards of 50% since the launch of the TOR.  These guys are in a market free fall and the people responsbile for screwing up all these big projects are still sitting in the driver's seat.  The powers that be at EA need to do a serious house cleaning of the decision makers instead of butchering the staff that actually works well.  The investors should be calling for their heads.  As for Ultima Forever, here's his vision...

Doomed I tell you, doomed.

Paragus Rants
Co-Leader of Inquisition

mo0rbid writes: Fuck EA in the ass Wed Jul 18 2012 5:34PM Report
MaouTsaou writes: Oh well. I had the feeling this might be the case after seeing Lord British promising everything to everyone. It will be a game that can be accessed by the casual gamer while catering to the hardcore gamer at its core. It with have a very strong story while focusing on sandbox interaction at its core. It's strong enough for a man but made for women. Sad to see another fantasy world and well loved game for childhood go the way of the dodo through being butchered by developers. Civilization is buggered up, Starcraft and Diablo are wrecked... seems like this generation of developers decided to piss on the torch passed to them. Wed Jul 18 2012 10:48PM Report
SuperXero89 writes:

This game is not supposed to be anything more than just a fun little time waster, yet people are getting so worked up over it.  I find this amusing.

Wed Jul 18 2012 11:55PM Report
stayontarget writes:

Gonna have to agree with Paragus.

Thu Jul 19 2012 11:32PM Report
Trionicus writes:

I was pretty sure EA Louse wasn't a fake. I think this confirms it for me, including the budget numbers on TOR.

Sat Jul 21 2012 2:06AM Report
MaxJac writes:

I don't think Barnett worked on TOR. He did have a large part in WAR though. Despite WAR failing in many areas, it is still one of my favorite MMO's. Just yesterday I had someone ask me, in a positive light, if GW2 was like WAR, and that means something.

Barnett hyped WAR to the high heavens. The hype didn't match the product and so I can understand the frustration. Despite this though, I woulden't discredit all of his future works from the word "go". Am I cautious? You bet. Am I resentful? No, just dissapointed.

While not related, I want to say that if WAR were to recieve more development and/or a switch to f2p, then I would still be playing it today.

Sun Jul 22 2012 6:05PM Report
Yamota writes:

Bloated cow of a company, EA.

Sun Jul 22 2012 6:31PM Report
alkarionlog writes:

well we know pretty well then a game made for single player some years back can't be used the same for a MMO, it will fail? pretty much will because ultima have more name with the older peeps, and myself I never feel like playing web games unless I don't have much time and it fast like a hour or 2.


but funny is the dude "louse EA" said things back there who hit the nail today, I read the comments there too saying he was bitter and bioware would never make a crap game. nice to bioware prove then wrong and prove the "bitter" guy right.

Mon Jul 23 2012 1:31PM Report
TruthXHurts writes:

No thanks I'll play Ultima 4 NES Rom on my smartphone instead.

Tue Jul 24 2012 1:26AM Report writes:
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