Update: Ultima Online Producer has released a letter outlining UO’s future.
The Status of Ultima Online – April, 2013
My first UO-related post back should be about the status of Ultima Online here in April of 2013. The most important UO-related development since January concerns Michael ” Phoenix, formerly known as Vex” Moore, Lead Designer and the lead person responsible for UO’s future plans and content addition, being laid off:
“Today was my last day at Mythic. For the past three and a half years or so, I’ve had the great fortune to come to a job with a team of wonderful people, always working to improve on what is still one of the best damn MMOs ever built. We truly are a different breed, always having to deal with flak coming from all directions, but always loving our jobs even though the job is like a bucking bronco and we’re just along for the crazy, crazy ride.
Unfortunately, harsh economic realities and the nature of the video games business mean layoffs happen.
My immediate plans are to get soused (probably for much of the weekend), then after that it’s time to see what new adventures might lie in my future!”
I thought he was a nice guy from my interaction with him, and he had an extensive knowledge of UO going back to his days as a designer on Samurai Empire. If you would like to pay your respects, there is a thread on Stratics. I hope that he’s able to find employment quickly.
The Known Ultima Online Development Team of April 2013
- Software Engineer – Stephen “Bleak” Brown, Yvette “MrsTroubleMaker” Aarons
- Lead Artist – James “Onifrk” Crawly
- Associate Designer – Greg “Kyronix” Havlusch
- Quality Assurance Lead – Michael “Misk” Armstrong
- Producer – Bonnie “Mesanna” Armstrong
- EA Community Rep – Dropixel
- EMs to run the events (still under contract as far as I know)
- GMs to police the game and help players
If you’re not doing the math, that’s two developers, one designer, one artist, one doing quality assurance, and one person trying to keep everything together. If you know of any corrections, please post them below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m finally starting to rejoin the Ultima/UO community after several months of dealing with a newborn child (he’s finally letting us sleep through the night), some job opportunities, and a move cross-town to start the year off, all of which left me no time for UO. I apologize to those that I temporarily dropped contact with and will be rejoining the various communities in the next week or two.
Background image, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.