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UOSA Press Release

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18 replies to this topic

#1
Adam

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UOSA Press Release
Chrissay Zeeman
29 Apr 2009 11:27:05 EST

The official press release for the Stygian Abyss expansion can be found here:

EA Officially Announces Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss Coming Summer 2009

Beloved Online World of Britannia To Launch Eighth Expansion For One of Gaming’s Longest Running MMORPGs


FAIRFAX, Va.--Mythic Entertainment, an Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) studio, today officially announced Ultima Online™: Stygian Abyss™ the upcoming expansion to legendary MMORPG Ultima Online™. Slated for release this summer, Stygian Abysswill be the eighth expansion to one of the longest-running MMORPGs in the genre’s history. The expansion will introduce a flood of new content for the citizens of Britannia to explore and conquer.

Stygian Abyss revolves around the introduction of the playable Gargoyle race. Since taking center stage in the original Ultima series, Gargoyles have been a fascinating part of the Ultima story – now, Ultima Online players can enjoy Gargoyles firsthand, with a variety of unique skills, including Throwing, Imbuing and Mysticism.

Ultima Online has a unique place in the history of online games – it was the first truly successful MMORPG and it showed that there was a real market for these types of games,” said Mark Jacobs, vice president and general manager of Mythic
Entertainment. “UO is still going strong and we can’t wait to throw open the gates to the Stygian Abyss.”

Players will find expansive new areas to explore, including Ter Mur, the Gargoyle homeland, and the Stygian Abyss dungeon itself – the largest dungeon area ever introduced to Ultima Online. The dungeon will contain new boss monsters of unparalleled difficulty including the Medusa, Primeval Lich and the Stygian Dragon, as well as Player vs. Player zones where adventurers will be turned against each other.

Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss expansion requires the original Ultima Online game to play and will be available in the Summer of 2009 via digital distribution only. To find out more information about the Gargoyle race, skills and lands, please visit the Ultima Online: Stygian Abyss website:http://www.uoherald.com/stygianabyss

About Ultima Online

Released in September 1997, Ultima Online is one of the longest-running games in MMORPG history. The first widely successful graphical online role-playing game,
Ultima Online has thrived for over a decade, with legions of devoted followers around the world. Fans of the game continue to experience an epic storyline set in an ever-growing world of magic and fantasy. Ultima Online has spawned seven expansions and dozens of content updates, making it one of the deepest, largest MMORPGs ever created.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, the company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers, cellular handsets and the Internet. Electronic Arts
markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS™, EA™, EA SPORTS
Freestyle™ and POGO™. In fiscal 2008, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $3.67 billion and had 27 titles that sold more than one million copies. EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet athttp://info.ea.com.

EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS Freestyle, POGO, Ultima, Ultima Online and Stygian Abyss are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


#2
Tancred RedStar

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more screenshots!

#3
Silverfoot

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Interesting, no box, digital download only. That should get the folks undies in a bunch!

My only other comment is, can't wait to see the client.

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#4
Farsight

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Nice to see an announcement, but I want to know when beta testing begins!

#5
Belanos

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beta test began like a year ago
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#6
Corvak

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Welcome to Ultima 6.

:)

(I can't wait until we do Ultima 7, and all the mages go nuts unless they surround themselves with blackrock...)

#7
Adam

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Interesting, no box, digital download only. That should get the folks undies in a bunch!


I'd imagine they're working on a strictly limited budget with regards to advertising

Mark Jacobs himself claimed EA wanted to shut down UO, but he convinced them to keep it open, assuming that's true, then one can only assume that the MMOG charts are accurate and UO's subscription levels have indeed taken a nose dive post AOS

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last expansion for UO and if it doesn't bring in "fresh meat", then I do worry about UO's future, even if I don't play it anymore heh.

Can only hope they're going to do SOME advertising.

#8
buddy lee

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I'd imagine they're working on a strictly limited budget with regards to advertising

Mark Jacobs himself claimed EA wanted to shut down UO, but he convinced them to keep it open, assuming that's true, then one can only assume that the MMOG charts are accurate and UO's subscription levels have indeed taken a nose dive post AOS

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last expansion for UO and if it doesn't bring in "fresh meat", then I do worry about UO's future, even if I don't play it anymore heh.

Can only hope they're going to do SOME advertising.



pretty much the exact same way i feel about it

#9
Tancred RedStar

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A new client is pretty much a must at this point, unless global domination of the Windows 95-compatible MMO Market is what they're shooting for.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last expansion for UO and if it doesn't bring in "fresh meat", then I do worry about UO's future, even if I don't play it anymore heh.



#10
Adam

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From all the screenshots we've seen though, it seems to be UOKR, with a bit of spit and polish
Of course, it's still in closed beta, so we can only hope it's something better.

#11
SchezwanBeefy

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I'd imagine they're working on a strictly limited budget with regards to advertising

Mark Jacobs himself claimed EA wanted to shut down UO, but he convinced them to keep it open, assuming that's true, then one can only assume that the MMOG charts are accurate and UO's subscription levels have indeed taken a nose dive post AOS

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last expansion for UO and if it doesn't bring in "fresh meat", then I do worry about UO's future, even if I don't play it anymore heh.

Can only hope they're going to do SOME advertising.


Don't you think that if they released some boxed games it would get picked up more?

#12
sablestorm

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I think EA has some promotion out right now that targets players who left UO a long time ago. We've had a big influx of returning players who hadn't played in 6 or 7 years.

#13
Thorodin

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Don't you think that if they released some boxed games it would get picked up more?

That and some advertising on some nerdy sites. Most people don't even know about this game. Everybody knows about WOW due to the fact that you see ads everywhere on the web and tv. I feel that UO has a lot more to offer if people were to discover it.

#14
Tancred RedStar

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When you release a box and price it at $29.95 in the store, the store gets $29.95, but easily paid $20 for it to the wholesaler/distributor, who likely paid $10 for it. I'm not in retail so the margins may actually be tighter than that. If the game company wants their product displayed prominently, such as being on that first shelf you see when you walk in the store, there is an even larger cut. There are also costs associated with disc burning, printing the boxes and packaging the discs, shipping them, etc.

If you don't release the box and just let people click on a link, download the software and pay for a code through an entirely automated process(website registration), you get the full $29.95 all for yourself!(or technically, close to it)

Where it gets tricky is weighing diminished returns on a box(unit) in a store vs. having random people see it on a shelf and decide to give it a shot. Given how old UO is and with so many more MMO's out there, it's a steep hill to climb to say the least. UO is almost to the point where it's a cult classic, a fan favorite, well know to MMO players who have been around since day one but not people who casually play the latest and greatest games for 1.5-3 months before picking up another one. Fanboy/Cult status can be a mixed blessing. Sure your fans LOVE you, all 10 of them, but as the old saying goes, love don't pay the bills. Same goes for <insertTVshowHere>.

Don't you think that if they released some boxed games it would get picked up more?



#15
JCtheBuilder

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Plus forcing people to buy a box is a complete waste as they've done in the past. I had like 5 boxes of Age of Shadows that I just threw all but 1 in the trash can. You just needed the code.

When the expansion happens all you need is the upgrade code if you plan to stick with the current 2D client. If you need the Stygian Abyss client you can download it for free. If you are still on dialup you will be able to purchase a disk for $5 or something as was the case with Mondain's Legacy.


If this expansion is going to work they will have to release the Stygian Abyss client for open beta before the new content. I would hope they do it no later than the first week of July otherwise things will most likely end in tragedy again.

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#16
Adrianna Danere

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Hot poop, and here's me in my new job which means I'm gonna be working all summer with no vacation whatsoever. Gonna be hard pressed to find time to play SA along with work and getting spectacularly drunk out in the sun.

Anyhoo, would be nice to have a box but my main concern is with the SA client - I used to use 3D, then moved to 2D when KR wouldn't run on my machine. Then later I upgraded some parts on the old piece of junk and KR now runs, but I can't stand some things about it. Mainly items and backpacks. All I'd really want is a client with KR graphics using the legacy art for items, the nifty KR hotbar system, the neat item properties displays and generally the bells and whistles, but keeping the basic functionality of 2D. Especially inventories - backpacks and other containers!

Generally it's annoying when something familiar gets completely changed, but it's nice when that familiar thing gets extra add-ons to it. That's kinda how I feel about the client.

Oh and holy red-necked Lucifer, Avatar! GARGOYLES! =)

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#17
NANOC_DWxC

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I think EA has some promotion out right now that targets players who left UO a long time ago. We've had a big influx of returning players who hadn't played in 6 or 7 years.


As we have had on Chessy in the last couple of months Sable.
Woot! Lets get it on.

Met a Lady in New Haven and exchanged pleasentries, she had been running around for about a month trying to get used to the game again, before the night was over, she, her daugheter, her son and husband all got accounts and brought a few chars on.
Then her 81 year old mother who had been playing on a free shard gets a account and brings on 5 chars. That was about a month ago now and they are all having a great time. Wait till they see SA, WOOT!!

#18
CheesePlant

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Uo will never get a massive advertising budget as Warhammer online must cost them a fortune.

Its worrying that they are not doing retail distribution which must mean they expect copy sales to be very low (compared to other games).

The new expansion does not interest me unfortunately. But hey we'll see what happens :)

#19
Hayden S

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You would think EA having a MMORPG as old as UO would be proud of it's life span. Focusing on Improving the game and boosting adverstising....Personally if things got really rough for EA I would think consolidating some shards should be the first step. All I can say I would be devastated if something I had played for so long, got shut down. Bah. I say Boycott EA if they shut it down. :P jk.