2010-08-13: Ultima Online to be Inducted to the GDC Online Hall of Fame

Ultima Online to be Inducted to the GDC Online Hall of Fame

Posted Aug 13, 2010 16:44:40 by James Nichols on the UO Herald.


For over a decade UO and its players have led the vanguard of the MMO genre and helped to ignite the world-wide phenomena of online games. Our peers in the industry have recognized the contributions UO and the team behind it have made to the gaming world.

From the Press Release:

Choice Online Awards organizers have also announced that Electronic Arts' Ultima Online, the Origin-created game that is now the longest continually running massively multiplayer online game in history, will be honored with the first ever Hall of Fame award for online games.

The persistent world installment for the seminal Ultima game franchise, which launched on September 25th, 1997, has now been operating for almost 14 years - and was a key part of the wave of late 1990s subscription-based MMOs which brought the genre to much wider attention.

Some of Ultima Online's most important features included in-game events affecting the entire lore of the world, and progressive features for their time such as item crafting and persistent player housing. Continued upgrades of in-game content and even the game engine have helped to keep the game fresh for players, some of which have subscribed continuously for over a decade.

In honor of the game's induction, the Hall of Fame award will be accepted on stage by key members of Ultima Online's original development team: Rich Vogel, Launch Producer, Starr Long, Director, and Raph Koster, Lead Designer. Joining them will be Eugene Evans, GM of BioWare Mythic, the current home of Ultima Onlinewithin Electronic Arts, who will introduce key team members from the game's development history.

In celebration GDC Online will present a special lecture, 'Then and Now: Ultima Online Over Time'. The lecture will be co-presented by Rich Vogel, currently at BioWare Austin and the original producer of Ultima Online, and Calvin Crowner, the currentUltima Online game producer. The duo will talk about the history of the title, contrast their work on the game throughout its history, and provide anecdotes and specific takeaway from many years of work.

We would also like to congratulate Richard Bartle, recipient of the first Online Legend award. Dr. Bartle was one of the first to create, maintain, and commercialize online games and was one of the first creators of the MMO’s ancestor – MUDs (Multi User Dungeons). Click here for the full press release.

Of course, UO would be nothing without its community and so we invite you to celebrate this award with us for its players are those that breathe, shape, and live life in Britannia every day.

Thank you for making it possible, - The Ultima Online Team