Well this stinks. Earlier this week it was being reported that Lord British himself (aka Richard Garriott) was having "discussions at very high levels with Electronics Arts" about access to the Ultima property. That tidbit popped up on Eurogamer, and if you're an Ultima fan, the thought of Garriott taking the reigns of Ultima Online would have been a sweet holiday surprise. The only problem is, no such discussions took place, at least not recently.
IndustryGamers followed up on the news and promptly cast a wet blanket over it.
"I'm not sure what Richard Garriott is referring to, but no one at EA is discussing partnership or licensing opportunities related to the Ultima Online franchise," Jeff Brown, EA's head of corporate communications, told IndustryGamers.
A spokesperson from Garriott's camp poured even more water on the blanket.
"Richard is not CURRENTLY having conversations at high levels with Electronic Arts regarding the Ultima franchise. He ever said that he is. I can assure you, however, that those conversations have taken place in the past," the spokesperson told IndustryGamers.
That's too bad, because anyone who grew up on or otherwise remembers playing the old Ultima games knows that the franchise would be better off in his hands. Unfortunately, it appears that's still a long-shot. That is, unless anyone can track down Iolo. If so, give him this message from us: Spam Spam Spam Humbug.