Electronic Arts announced early today that they will be reviving the classic RPG franchise Ultima for the second time, this iteration developed by Bioware. To be published under EA’s Play 4 Free brand, the F2P RPG Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar will carry a more cartoon-ish design than in previous installments. Playing as either a fighter or mage, the player is tasked by Lady British (a gender swap of series creator Richard Garriott’s “Lord British” persona character) to save Britannia, and in doing so becoming the new Avatar.
Ultima was a foundational series during the role-playing game’s ascent to modernity, casting players as the Avatar, upholder of the game world’s central set of Virtues and doing everything from combating a race of gargoyles to going into space. Electronic Arts began distributing entries in the series with Ultima VIII: Pagan and its follow-up Ultima IX: Ascension, after acquiring the studio behind the franchise – Origin Systems – in 1992.