A new editorial on Examiner points out the differences between Ultima Online and World of Warcraft in an attempt to figure out why no other development studio has created their own Ultima-style MMORPG.
While there are few UO appropriate MMOs that lack any influence from World of Warcraft, this is for a good reason. WoW has essentially shaped a generational progression of MMOs from previous games making anything prior to it seem foreign and anything after it come off as a clone. World of Warcraft set the bar. Hating to admit that, it is nonetheless a simple fact of life. In the meantime, there are always going to be more games for people to play online. Star Trek Online is relatively up and coming with a large enough initial base of fans to carry it well moving forward. Conversely, Star Wars will have it's own, new MMO focusing on the Knights of the Old Republic universe, which will also doubtlessly garner a distinct following all its own. I loved Ultima Online and EverQuest back in the day, but as pointed out above, nearly every developer since has chased the EQ-style MMO. We're definitely long overdue for a modern isometric-style classless MMO, so hopefully there's a developer out there listening.
Suffice to say, Ultima Online isn't the beast it once was and is slowly falling to the wayside as far as developers are concerned, if the current release outlook of games is taken into consideration. The site is still active and I'm sure people still play, but it is nothing that could topple the empire Blizzard has established around WoW. It's an MMO juggernaut that can suck the life out of people. But despite this, UO still has a small, dedicated following and that in and of itself is laudable. Seemingly, what it comes down to is a game's ability to continue offering new and exciting content while keeping the things that made it viably great. Perhaps, UO is just that kind of one-trick pony, but then again so is WoW.