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And here's the full announcement:
Last night at the Game Developers Choice Online Awards in Austin Texas, Electronic Arts' Ultima Online, the Origin-created game that is now the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history, was honored with the first ever Hall of Fame award for online games.All this fuss and still no single player entry since Ascension (what, 11 years ago?). Get on the ball, EA.
The persistent world installment for the seminal Ultima game franchise, which launched on September 25th, 1997, has now been operating for almost 14 years and was a key part of the wave of late 1990s subscription-based MMOs which brought the genre to much wider attention. Some of Ultima Online's most important features included in-game events affecting the entire lore of the world, progressive features for their time such as item crafting and persistent player housing. Continued upgrades of in-game content and even game engine have helped to keep the game fresh for players, some of which have subscribed continuously for over a decade including the most recently announced booster pack, High Seas.
In honor of the game's induction, the Hall of Fame award was accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, Launch Producer, Starr Long, Associate Producer, and Raph Koster, Lead Designer. Eugene Evans, GM of BioWare Mythic, the current home of Ultima Online within Electronic Arts, introduced the key team members from the game's development history.