Richard Garriott’s upcoming project could eventually release under the Ultima moniker.
Garriott told Eurogamer that it’s not conceivable that his upcoming title, currently codenamed Ultimate RPG, could become an official Ultima title.
“We’ve actually talked to Electronic Arts about [it]. I would love to have access to the Ultima property,” he said.
“We’ve had discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts about access to the property. We’re in discussions with Electronic Arts even now about a possible marketing and distribution relationships and things of this nature.”
While the new title is in no way a direct sequel to the Ultima series he created – Garriott said he felt the series had stymied in the last few entires – the developer insist that whatever name it sports, it’s an Ultima game.
“What essentially makes an Ultima an Ultima is the principles of design. And I’m very confident that when players sit down with this new world they will very quickly recognise that, whether or not we end up doing any deal with Electronic Arts. This is clearly the spiritual successor of the Ultima series,” he said.
Garriott was full of praise for EA, which he holds “a great fondness” for, but said negotiations aren’t going smoothly.
“Electronic Arts is a big company. There are some parts of the organisation that would love and embrace and clearly understand the logic of ‘wouldn’t it be great to work together on an Ultima,’” he said.
“And then there are other parts of the organisation who – I’m actually not sure where the resistance comes from, but it must be people who either have their own ideas about where the product should go, or have their own ideas about whether or nor I should be involved in it. And I don’t know where the counter-forces come from. So far we’ve not put a deal together, but of course, yeah, I would be very open to it.”
As for what form the new game will take, Garriott said the setting will be fantasy – although not necessarily traditional high fantasy – and may retain an isometric perspective. He noted that it would be highly accessible, being free-to-play and available on a range of platforms including mobile devices.