EA’s recent actions could point to a new (official) Ultima title.
Electronic Arts has owned the copyright to Ultima IV since 1992 when it bought up developer Origin Systems and fan remakes have been coming out since 1997. Now, however, the publisher has begun cracking down on the many direct downloads for the game. A blog entry on fan site Ultima Aiera explains that they had received a cease-and-desist letter to take down the download links to the Phi Psi Software and Master System 8 remakes from the mega publisher and that many other well-know websites with similar download links had also received this message.
Of course, EA has been ignoring these fan remakes for nearly 14 years, so it seems strange for them to start clamping down now unless they’re planning to do something with the license. That’s led to some speculation that an unannounced “secret project” currently in development at Mythic Entertainment might actually be a brand new Ultima MMO. Mythic’s Paul Barnett’s constant tweets only add fuel to the rumor, and – given Mythic’s development history – an Ultima MMO would make a certain amount of sense. At the moment, however, it’s still only speculation.