In a quick letter to the community, Ultima franchise producer Jeff Skalski talks a bit about Ultima Online's forthcoming 15th anniversary before addressing concerns that BioWare is focusing too much of its time on Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar rather than UO or a potential UO sequel. If only the people in charge would realize that what many of us long-time Ultima fans really want is another single player RPG:
I wanted to take a few minutes, clear up some things I've been reading, and post my thoughts on Ultima, UO and our recently announced new title, Ultima Forever. I'm sure for many it was exciting to see we have more things in store for Ultima beyond just rereleasing the classics through GoG, setting up a history site for all things Ultima, and continuing to support UO as it hits a major milestone next month --its 15th anniversary. I'm sure for others though, questions were raised. Why is BioWare not putting more development effort into UO instead of wasting time on U4E? Why are they doing U4E instead of UO2?
Well, let me do my best to explain and assure you UO has exciting things to come with a passionate team behind it. First, it's important to know that U4E was never built to compete with UO. In fact, they are two very different projects run by two different teams. We have a phrase here in the office that every generation deserves an Ultima game. It's been far too long, and when we looked at the gaming landscape of today, and more importantly tomorrow, we birthed the concept behind Ultima Forever -- an online RPG adventure game you play with friends as you quest to save Britannia and uphold the eight virtues to prove your Avatarhood. Just as the classic Ultima titles of the past differ from UO, so is the same for U4E. This doesn't mean either title distracts attention from the other. Mesanna and her crew of henchmen are driving towards some fun things for the upcoming 15 year anniversary. We have some new merchandise anniversary items in the works.
Lastly, for those interested in seeing a UO2. No surprise announcements on that today, but what I will say by everyone continuing to support UO and Ultima Forever this is the kind of ammunition I need to convince the high level execs that the market is ready for more Ultima. So keep playing UO, follow us on Facebook, and show support for all things Ultima. If you get a chance, sign up for U4E at ultimaforever.com.