Ultima Online Celebrates 25 Years Online

With Ultima Online celebrating the 25th anniversary since its original launch, PC Gamer brings us this article highlighting some commemorative items you'll get if you have a 25-year-old Ultima account. And beyond that, it directs us to this retrospective blog post by the game's designer Raph Koster.

Here's the intro for the latter, and you take things from there:

Well, twenty-five years is a long time. Half a life, in fact!

Given that I actually started work on UO on September 1st 1995, it’s actually more than half. The fact that the game is still running is a testament to the devoted community and the ongoing maintenance over the years from countless people.

I note a lack of thinkpieces and articles, this time around. The fact of the matter is that the most frequently targeted gamer audience wasn’t born when UO came out. A lot of the folks streaming about games weren’t born yet either.

I saw a post on Reddit yesterday that asked “how come no other MMOs have done open world housing, besides ArcheAge?” Ah well….

In many ways the influence of UO is so pervasive that it isn’t visible. Whether it’s Runescape, Minecraft, Eve, DayZ or Neopets, those younger folks probably played something that was inspired by UO in some fashion, and don’t realize how big a shift from prior games it represented. These days, when people say they are sick of crafting being in everything — it makes me want to apologize a little bit. Won’t apologize for games that let you sit, decorate a house, or go fishing, though.

I’m running low on specific stories about UO and its development, so instead, I’ll just point back at older ones[...]