BioWare launches free-to-play Ultima

Recognises "a fundamental shift underway in how gamers play and pay for games"

BioWare will launch a new PC and iPad title, Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar, using the free-to-play model.

"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 Bioware GM.

The game is due for release later this year

"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," added Eugene Evans, studio GM at BioWare Mythic.

Evans gave one of the keynote talks at this year's Develop conference, in which he emphasised the importance of free-to-play, and called it the "democratisation of game pricing."

"I know people have issues with it, but in my mind it's the best and most consumer-friendly [pricing]," Evans told attendees.

"Draw them in to a point where they want to say, I want to give you money, and they'll do it and enjoy it, and they'll pay you for it."

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Latest comments (7)

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 5 years ago
and Electronic Arts is a leader in providing new business models and new ways to consume content,
Stopped reading there.

Yes, I know it's a press release, and obviously they have to say something like this. But does anyone really believe this part of it? And, once credibility is undermined by what appears to be such an outlandish statement, why would anyone listen to the rest?

Yes, I do appear to be whining at something that is just business and should be ignored as such. What can I say? The weather is actually nice here, and I need something to complain about. :p
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Pier Castonguay Programmer 5 years ago
and iPad title
Stopped reading there.

This "fundamental shift" don't comes by itself, they try to push it, but me and all gamers I know won't agree with playing dumbed down lower-quality games. Too bad, Ultima games are classics to me.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
Ugh. read the whole thing. The remaining good Ultima memories I have are melting away. My brain fry came at this line:

"Draw them in to a point where they want to say, I want to give you money, and they'll do it and enjoy it, and they'll pay you for it."

Isn't that how drug dealers operate?

(Cue there from The Wire)...

Um, in the future, make good games that people want to PAY FOR RIGHT AWAY and maybe put some common sense back into things? Eh, whatever - I'm talking to a brick wall with all this "business" stuff that's just made to vampire up loot from the rubes as they tap and slide away into oblivion...
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Show all comments (7)
Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises5 years ago
I read the whole thing, but it never said what they meant exactly by "free to play".

If it's an extended demo to level 20 or whatever, I'll try it.

If it's the traditional meaning of "free to play" where they nickel and dime you constantly, and the game itself is terrible. Then I'll pass.
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David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers5 years ago
If there's any point of skepticism, it's that I'm not sure anyone affiliated with the old Ultimas are working on this (could be mistaken). It's an interesting idea, kind of a cross of typical single-player conventions with MMO elements like what The Old Republic is, but it's another case of wait and see, because they're talking about only very rudimentary stuff right now.
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Andrew Ihegbu Studying Bsc Commercial Music, University of Westminster5 years ago
It's EA, which means it will either be a 'Big Budget-we-cannot-fudge-this-up-or-its-over' title, or it will be most likely poor.

It's also Bioware though, which as much as I loathe it from leaving the 'single player-but-excellent-story' path, especially on the disappointment (for me) that was the ending of Mass Effect, it generally makes stellar games both on and offline.

It will be interesting to see who becomes the recessive gene in the DNA of this game. I for one will play it simply because its Bioware.
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Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven5 years ago
I'll probably give it a shot, since it's free. Have fun the first day for a couple of hours, learning a new world and getting the hang of the mechanics. Log out to sleep. Start it up again the next day and play for a bit. Realize it is really boring and uninteresting. Log out for the day. Play some other games the next days/weeks. Leaving this game on my to-play-later-list. Actually want to play again after a year or so and get confronted with tons of updates that take way too long. Lose interest and never play it again.

That is how I play my mmo's.
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