The Ultima series has been around since the early 1980s, and you’d be surprised how many modern games/developers attribute early influences to its fantasy-RPG environment. 1997 saw the release of Ultima Online, one of the earliest MMOs and a game that would be instrumental in the development of the genre’s popularity and mass appeal. 15 years later in 2012, its servers are still running. Now that EA owns the rights to the franchise, they’re apparently resurrecting it in the form of a free to play title developed by BioWare.
Ultima Forever, a cross-platform F2P RPG has not only been officially announced, there’s also a beta sign-up for it. The game’s official website boasts:
The first great Western RPG has been lovingly restored in Ultima Forever – return to the Ultima series in BioWare’s new cross-platform action RPG. Accept the challenge from Lady British and save the land of Britannia. Play as the Fighter or the Mage and travel alone or with friends, restore virtue and become the Avatar!
As of now, there are just two announced classes – a Mage:
With a staff in hand and a spell on their lips, Mages are ready to engage in battle from afar. Use your magical know how to vanquish enemies and assist your allies.
Fighters are one-man armies, trained to engage multiple opponents with a wide variety of attacks. Protect your allies and rain down a barrage of deadly attacks on enemies.
If you’ve been wanting to return to the original universe that initiated your addiction to MMORPGs, sign up for the beta here.