Yesterday, BioWare Mythic’s general manager, Eugene Evans, told Computer and Video Games (CVG) that his studio was set to announce a new free-to-play (F2P) title today. CVG went on to speculate that the to-be-announced title could be based on a “classic EA franchise”. This at time when Jeff Skalski, the studio’s Ultima franchise producer, is listing the Eight Virtues, one per day on Twitter. And a few hours later, BioWare Mythic overhauled, drastically, their Ultima Forever website.
Something, clearly, was up.
If you guessed — and someone did — that the game to be announced was an Ultima title of some sort, well…you’d be right. Today, as part of the BioWare presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), BioWare Mythic announced Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar with this press release:
EA AND BIOWARE RETURN TO THE LEGENDARY WORLD OF BRITANNIA IN NEW FREE-TO-PLAY RPG ULTIMA FOREVER: QUEST FOR THE AVATAR
Rediscover One of Gaming’s Most Beloved Franchises with Friends, Anytime, Anywhere on iPad and PC Later this Year
FAIRFAX, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), today announced Ultima™ Forever: Quest for the Avatar. Expanding the legendary Ultima™ franchise, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar combines accessible action RPG gameplay with trademark BioWare storytelling, immersing both longtime fans and new gamers into the deep and engaging world of Britannia. Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar will be available on both the iPad and PC later this year, with fully integrated, cross-platform play so gamers can experience all of the rich and deep RPG elements with friends, wherever and whenever they choose to play.
To sign up for a chance to participate in a future closed beta and to see the game’s first gameplay trailer, please visit the official web site at www.ultimaforever.com. Fans attending Comic-Con International 2012 in San Diego this weekend can stop by the EA booth (#5405) to learn more about Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, while also getting a chance to play some of EA’s latest free-to-play games, including Battlefield Heroes™, Command & Conquer™ Tiberium Alliances, Need for Speed™ World and Warhammer® Online: Wrath of Heroes™.
“There’s a fundamental shift underway in how gamers play and pay for games, and Electronic Arts is a leader in providing new business models and new ways to consume content,” said Dr. Ray Muzyka, General Manager of EA’s BioWare Label and Co-Founder of BioWare. “With Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, we’re excited to give gamers the opportunity to play a high quality game with their friends anytime, anywhere, on both iPad and PC.”
“As huge fans of the Ultima franchise, the team at BioWare Mythic is not only excited to be able to bring this reimagining of the original rich world to the fans of the classic RPGs, but also to introduce a new generation of gamers who have never had a chance to discover why this is one of our industry’s most beloved worlds,” said Eugene Evans, Studio GM at BioWare Mythic.
Spanning over three decades, the fantasy world of Ultima has entertained millions of players from around the world with dozens of award-winning titles. The passionate and loyal fans of Ultima have braved perilous dungeons, faced off against fearsome enemies and creatures, conquered expansive lands and seas, and saved worlds. It’s time to revisit this enchanting universe and step into the shoes of your very own Avatar to find out where your choices will take you.
For more information on Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, please follow the game on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UltimaForever or “Like” the game on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/UltimaForever.
Electronic Arts is committed to driving the industry with its digital transformation. Offering a diverse portfolio of premium games, EA’s Play4Free titles are developed by Easy studios in Stockholm, Sweden; Phenomic Studios in Ingelheim, Germany; and Quicklime Studios in Vancouver, Canada. With a low barrier to entry and over 33 million players around the globe, EA’s world-class Play4Free titles allow gamers to play in the universe of existing and new franchises. Play4Free games are distributed worldwide in a wide selection of languages. For more information, please visit www.twitter.com/bioware. To join the millions of fans already registered with the BioWare community, go to http://social.bioware.com.
About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and social networks. EA has more than 220 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.
In fiscal 2012, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.1 billion. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™ and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.
Ultima, EA SPORTS, Maxis, The Sims, Battleforge, and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB. Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Jade Empire and BioWare are trademarks of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks in the United States and/or in other countries of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. iPad is a trademark of Apple, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
This is exciting news, both technologically and Ultimately (as it were). A new Ultima game that isn’t just cribbing the name to push a totally unrelated experience on gamers, and then one that can be played both on a PC and “on the go” on an iPad, with in-game progress fully synchronized between devices?
That should hopefully have everyone’s rapt attention.