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EA issuing DCMA notifications over Ultima IV

Crackdown on fan remakes sparks speculation over secret Mythic project

Electronic Arts has been tracking down many of the fan remakes of classic RPG Ultima IV and requesting their immediate removal, despite a thriving fan modding and remake distribution scene having existed uninterrupted for several years.

DCMA notifications, which call for removal of copyrighted material online, have reportedly been issued to a number of sites hosting remakes of the game.

A posting on Ultima fan blog Ultima Aiera originally alerted press to the issue, although a second article has since been posted to establish clarification of some misreported angles of the story.

Whilst many flash-based versions of the game and more recent remakes have been taken down, not all versions of the game have been affected. EA has always retained the legal distribution rights to the title, but granted limited re-release rights to a fan group known as the 'Ultima Dragons'.

That group has retained the privileges outlined in the agreement, but many other sources have been ordered to cease redistribution.

The change of heart has led some to speculate that Ultima IV could be the basis for a 'secret' project currently underway at Mythic, referred to online by Paul Barnett. Whether that would be a full-scale remake of the title is unclear, but it seems unlikely that EA would be investing in another large MMO concurrently with Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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Dan Pearson