Viva Ultima Online!

The game I work on, Ultima Online, recently put out its latest major exansion, Age of Shadows. The enthusiastic response to that package has put our subscriber numbers up to the highest point in UO’s history. It’s rather remarkable to see a nearly-six year old game still going strong, especially when there are other games in the same conceptual space that are (let’s be honest) a lot prettier to look at.

I think the key to UO’s enduring appeal is the richness of the gameplay. Though the visual advances with Age of Shadows (and the original production of a 3D client) are significant, there are lots of other games where you can get better eye candy. However, there are very few other games where you can make a viable career out of baking or mining, or which have an in-game plant breeding system complete with simulated mendelian genetics, or which have anything like the level of flexibility in building character housing that UO now sports. Some of my coworkers have been playing off and on for several years, and are still discovering new things about the game world.

Hooray for depth!