I can’t tell you much about my source for this; he (she?) used a dummy email address and submitted the message via the Ultima Aiera contact form. And the message he (?) sent was pretty short. In fact, it was just a link to the image above.
The only other thing the email said is: “online RPG”. Not a lot to go on, I realize.
But there’s at least two tantalizing details in the shot. Three, really. The first is that it’s quite obviously a map of Britannia, and the second is that there are a number of circled locations on the map which seem to be development notes concerning where different towns and landmarks are going to end up being placed.
Lord British’s castle, for example, is situated on some nice coastal real estate.
There’s also the captivating caption just above the image (which, by the way, appears to be a still from a video embedded in a website). Paul Barnett’s name is there, as is the codename (at least, I think it’s a codename…) Ultima4Ever. Clever ploy, that.
At the same time, this looks like a very “high level” view of Britannia; I would expect that any game which actually used it would also feature a much better-looking, zoomed-in view for its actual gameplay.
Thoughts, good Dragons and Dragonettes? Does this image comport with known rumours?
Revenge of the Update: And now NeoGaf has picked up the story. Sweet!
Updateodus: Apparently, this is a development map, and then a “rapid prototype” early version used primarily for testing purposes. What we’re seeing here is almost certainly not reflective of the finished product.