For those that don’t know, Ultima Online is celebrating 25 years of continuous online play this month! Our CEO Raph Koster (Lead Designer on Ultima Online) helped bring UO to life all those years ago, and continues to draw inspiration from that original vision.
And here we are, 25 years later, building new playable worlds – worlds that feel alive and dynamic – where you can play from any device, using modern cloud-native architecture.
We can now build the systems that couldn’t be built then, the simulations that weren’t able to be realized. Today we can make an even better game on a platform of infinite storage, deeper social media integration, far greater cloud compute power, better bandwidth, and more sophisticated security. Let’s look at three ways Ultima Online has influenced us to make better online worlds.
A game for everyone. No matter what your playstyle, there is a home for you in Ultima Online. You can be an expert crafter selling branded swords. A novice adventurer looking to explore vast, open landscapes. A roleplayer ready to take on the next chapter of their story. A swordsman looking for their next fight! A miner discovering a hoard of rare ore miles from home. All of these people (and more) help to create an evolving player ecosystem. Playable Worlds’ first game offers an even wider range of role options, personal freedom, and unimagined possibilities.
Worlds that feel alive. Ultima Online had a fully simulated ecology. Creatures you fight can actually steal your loot. NPCs move around and change (and can even die – permanently!) Almost everything in your house can be interacted with, and you can actually sit on furniture. Playable Worlds are developing a living world at least an order of magnitude more sophisticated and engrossing.
Community matters. Community was at the heart of everything in Ultima Online from the very beginning. There are social systems for players to enjoy like guilds as we know them today. Now Playable Worlds are taking it a step further with deep social connections through multiple types of permanent and temporary grouping and layered persistent social interactions.
Check out these other articles and join us in celebrating the 25th UO anniversary!