Ultima Forever Doesn't Live Up to Its Name, Shuts Down After Only a Year

The top-down free-to-play RPG from Mythic will not be playable at the end of August.

In May, publisher Electronic Arts announced that it was closing developer Mythic Entertainment, effectively ending the studio's projects. Mythic was responsible for Warhammer Online, Dark Age of Camelot, and Dungeon Keeper on mobile.

This week, Mythic stated that one of its last projects, Ultima Forever, will be shut down at the end of August. Its online services will cease to operate, rendering the top-down, free-to-play RPG for iOS and PC unplayable. This comes only a year after its August 2013 release.

"This was a very difficult decision for us to make," a developer on the Ultima Forever forums said. "We've seen the game through ups and downs, and hope that you've enjoyed playing it every bit as much as we had making it! Through it all, it's been players like you who've made it all worthwhile."

To mark the last month of the game, the developer is implementing several gameplay changes that include:

  • Significantly boosted Virtue and Reputation rewards
  • Equipment degradation to be disabled (no damage to worn/equipped items)
  • Increased drop rate of Gold keys
  • The in-game store will no longer sell premium currency (Silver and Gold keys)

Ultima Forever was the most recent addition to the storied and popular Ultima series that began in the 1980s. The creator of the original Ultima series, Richard Garriott, has been working on other projects such as an RPG called Shroud of the Avatar which passed $3.5 million in crowdfunding in March.

You can still play Ultima Forever until August 29. Did you ever try the game? Let us know in the comments.

Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

69 comments
graigsmith
graigsmith

The game was not really that fun.  It was grindy, and boring. And I got very tired of playing it after a few hours.  You're not missing anything.   I don't know why they can't get a game like ultima correct.  It's a game with a clearly defined format in the eyes of gamers.  It's an RPG.   And really should be easy to put together a game that can live up to it's name.  If they can't hire people who are interested enough in the game to create a real game with a sense of wonder and exploration,  Then they should just port Ultima Underworld to the iPad.   i would play that. 

izvarzone
izvarzone

This is first time I hear about the game.

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

I don't understand this contradictory. I've seen so much bashing of EA the last 4 years and yet its sales are growing and they publish great games. I got sad when Mass Effect was published by EA because people kept saying ME is destroyed, although I had no idea what they were going to do with the series. ME is still great.

Boddicker
Boddicker

I had no idea this game even existed...........

Klyern
Klyern

Guess only batman is forever....

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

And people still argue that EA should not have been the Worst Company in America.  This right here is the perfect example of why they deserve it - what company shows such utter disdain for their paying customers?

Nepti
Nepti

Whether you like this game or not you should take careful note. If you're for concepts such as 'games as a service' which EA would love to achieve, then this is what you'll get over and over again. The online only Ultima Forever will shut down in a month. But I can still pull out games from 10 years ago and play them because they require no servers or service. The name 'Ultima Forever' is very ironic.


Should have been called:

'Ultima For A Little While.'

-Stingray


Source: http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25091

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Never heard of it.
It sounds lame.

I'm glad it's gone I guess.

WolfGrey
WolfGrey

" Dungeon Keeper on mobile."

Thats why right there. It was a source of a lot of controversy so naturally EA does what it always does.....takes the source to the back yard empties both barrels.


EA you make me sick. This won't be the last studio you do this to im sure. Plenty more to come.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

~sigh~  I miss the old style Ultima games.  Some of my favorites along with Wizardry and Might & Magic.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

If anyone remembers when this game came out - it truly epitomizes everything that is wrong with EA and EA culture that has earned it - worst company in American and the ire of so many customers who have been burnt by EA products. I am a long time fan of Ultima in the late 80's and 90s also Ultima online was a blast, but without Garriot at the helm the series quickly lost all of its magic. Then EA help put out this steaming heap, while there is little to nothing wrong with the story, presentation, mechanics. The game greedily punishes the buyer with terrible Pay-to play devices that suck all of the fun out of the game. Also they dumb the combat down on touch to where there is little to no challenge even though all of the mechanics are there, and you can tell a richer and more vibrant battle system wants out- they decide to make it appeal to the dumbest of mobile users. 

But here is the kick in the pants- this game can easily be offline, as there is really no incentive or usefulness to group up. With lags, and drops, and restarts - might as well play alone - which of course you cannot due to wep/armor fatigue which must be repaired freq and much more then what bronze keys you could or ever would collect free. Meaning buy keys with real money. But again even now game could easily be played offline, why turn the game off for good? Just turn off online aspects and the gamer will take care of the rest. 

IT kills me how much influence a publisher has in destroying a game that was clearly made by some quality developers but was bastardized by accounts into this Frankenstein mess of a game it is now. 

EA - please do something decent for you customers, turn off online aspects of the game, leave the game playable. 



Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

Mobile game , EA, shuts down.....Nothing new here...

edant79
edant79

I feel bad for the people who invested in a game that only lasted a year. It's like EA just stole their money and now they have nothing to show for it.


Just more incentive to help us appreciate that 'F2P' and 'always online' should NOT be the future.

D1rty_Dawg
D1rty_Dawg

I tried it, played it for 10 minutes, then deleted it. That's about how long it took before the pay-wall kicked in. No point in wasting time on it, clearly it was going to be dropped, shame for anyone who wasted real money in it though.

blackace
blackace

Never played it and wouldn't have played it even if I knew about it. EA is always shutting down game servers. If it's not making any real money, they just close them.

xOmniCloudx
xOmniCloudx

Closed down and EA in the same article? And no one was surprised.

Barighm
Barighm

The real surprise is that people are surprised by EA being EA.

Kjranu
Kjranu

They should just make a WAR sequel. At least that game was halfway decent. 

RossRichard
RossRichard

And just think, EA is making big pushes into mandatory online titles. How many online games has EA shut down in the last few years?

xsonicchaos
xsonicchaos

Well, it's a risk. You base all of your trust in the free to play market and you end up realising that the free to play market isn't a reliable one. Oh, how I wish this would happen more often.

Unholy123
Unholy123

"Hey guys thanks for buying into our F2P game, but... we just feel as though we've made as much money as we can off this so were going to turn off the servers and get rid of it without giving you an offline patch cause screw you... thanks again! Suckers!"

And this is why F2P MMOs are usually not worth investing even a second of your time into... you don't even know if that games still going to be around the next month...


Still if this was the same team that brought us that pay 2 play atrocity known as Dungeon Keeper Mobile I can hazard a guess why this game was unpopular too (If you thought they probably put in abunch of timed/pay key gates and people didn't like that... your right)

PhoenixRush
PhoenixRush

So these guys made the hated Dungeon Keeper mobile? Better not teach them how to make better games, just axe them, right EA? Who has the time?

texasgoldrush
texasgoldrush

The truth is that EA never wanted this game, Mythic kept badgering them to make it.

It wasn't good, and the axe falls.

allever
allever

Seeing a microtransaction infested game going down in frames bring tears to my eyes (Think Al Bundy).  Sadly, this is EA.  If they think it will bring them tons money, they will try to milk it dry then dump it and move to the next one.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

From free to play to free to stop playing.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I never even knew the game released....you'd think they'd make a patch to allow people to play offline......

I was never a fan of the Ultima games but it's stupid that they make it then shut it down after only a year of activity....

and people still dig online only games? pfft.....also par for course with EA......

Banefire76
Banefire76

Good riddance to a perverted abomination of a once proud IP.

Suaron_x
Suaron_x

What a bleak future this game portents.  Streamed, always online and F2P games can be turned off and rendered useless by their publishers.  I'd rather have a game that I can continue to play long after the developer/publisher fade into history.  Plus something I could trade and sell for cash should I need it is cool as well.  Personally, I'd be really angry if I bought in game items on a F2P game that was then suddenly shutdown.  The publisher should a least publish a single player patch before pulling the plug...especially for the customers that invested money into the game.

Defender1978
Defender1978

I HATE when games are shut down.  I got burned on Star Wars Galaxies.  That is why I don't care for MMOs and games like Titanfall.  

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

EA shut  down Ultima Online that game was fun.

OrgeLambart
OrgeLambart

@fgjnfgh People hate EA because of their business practices, namely their introduction of online passes, their often shady DLC releases.  Also their lack of innovation in their sports games is seen as bothersome to some people.  Most of the sports games get major retooling s after 2 - 3 years, but that doesn't stop them from re-leasing nearly the same game the next year, with just an updated roster.


Although I personally understand why they do it, I can also see why others would have issues with it.

OrgeLambart
OrgeLambart

@Thanatos2k the game was F2P, you should never expect a F2P game to last, their whole premise is based upon a broken model which could see that game getting zero revenue.  This game was very likely getting little to no revenue at all, which spells why it was shut down.  If it was raking in cash hand over foot it would still be going strong.

OrgeLambart
OrgeLambart

@Nepti  this sounds like an MMO, which obviously wouldn't work no matter how it was delivered.  On top of  it being an MMO, it was a F2P game, which people need to realize can and will shut down if they aren't turning profits.  

Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@Nepti  isn't that some kind of f2p online mmo game? if so please name me one which you can still play after the servers have been taken offline.

OrgeLambart
OrgeLambart

@WolfGrey If I own a business and a certain sector of that business isn't turning a profit, I'll either shut that sector down, or retool it so it will turn a profit.  You can't blame them for shutting down under preforming studios.  They aren't making games for charity, they make them to turn a profit.  You as a consumer have the right to not buy EA products. 


Unfortunately for you, one lost costumer isn't any sweat for EA, they have 20 million more people lining up to purchase everything they sell.... and probably 15 million of them buying any and all DLC they put out.

Nepti
Nepti

@jenovaschilld  This is what gamers can expect more of if they fall for the trappings of digital and online conveniences. Gamers were smart to call out MS when they tried to institute a bunch of draconian policies with Xbox One. But a lot of gamers waggle a defiant finger at EA but still buy their games. If you want EA to change, the only way it's going to happen is gamers in mass will have to say no to EA games, even games they might really want to play. The only thing that motivates a company like EA is $$$. Everything else is just lip service and a green light to EA to keep doing what they try doing. 

allever
allever

@jenovaschilld  As you have said, this is EA.  The world worse company. Greed is their Motto.  The junkyard is their best ever achievement.

Barighm
Barighm

@Kjranu "They" no longer exist.

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

@RossRichard That's because it completely kills used game sales AND forces you to buy the next game or move on. It's a win/win for EAware.

Barighm
Barighm

@PhoenixRush Well, if they were responsible for Dark Age of Camelot, then they do know how to make a better game, so the fact that they do know, yet made DKm anyway, is more damning than if they didn't know how to make it. Or you could just assume there is no one left at that studio from its earlier days.

StarsiderSajun
StarsiderSajun

@Defender1978 Same here, although it is good when the players love a game enough to get it going again in some way, as is the case with SWG.

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

@Barighm If you mean Mythic, they do still exist. They changed their name to Broadsword Online Games and now completely run UO and DAoC with EAware only providing customer support.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@Barighm @PhoenixRush  That's what has me confused.  The guys that made Dark Age of Camelot - the first MMO to show up in a playable state on day 1 - made that Dungeon Keeper travesty!?  Can't be.

ps3gamer1234
ps3gamer1234

@therealzorvan @ps3gamer1234 I meant Lord of Ultima Free to Play MMORTS game. They shut it down on May 12, 2014 at 07:00 UTC. I forgot the name of the game so I guess Ultima Online. 

razimus
razimus

@ps3gamer1234 @therealzorvan lol, you mistook a 1997 mmo "Ultima Online" with a 2010 web-based ripoff of Evony? Evony the original game that "Lord of Ultima" ripped off is still online! I don't play it, just as I never played the ripoff but google it.