Multi-player Ultima

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Multi-player Ultima was a cancelled, unnamed project that was being worked on by Richard Garriott and Origin Systems during 1987 and 1988. It was scheduled to be released on the summer of 1988.[1] It was Origin's first attempt at a remote multiplayer game.

By July 1987, James Van Artsdalen (who was in charge at the time of porting the games to the IBM-PC and the Macintosh), was working on a program to allow for multiple players to work in the same game over modem connections, or other forms of networking. The game would be playable as a standalone game, but up to eight to sixteen players could join the same game.[2]

By April 1988, the project had progressed further, though it still was in its formative stage. The game would be more of a "conquest" game, without much of a plot, more alike to a strategy game. Each player would be a feudal lord trying to rule their subjects through oppression or benevolence, and to control as much territory as possible.[1]

Nothing more was heard from the project after this, which was probably due to its cancellation. This project eventually evolved into the first Ultima multiplayer game released by Origin, Ultima Online. However, this game is an RPG in the line of the classical Ultimas, rather than a strategy game as the original project was.


  • Though unrelated, the game Lord of Ultima follows some of the premises stated in this cancelled project.


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Conference Transcript". The Gamers' Forum on CompuServe. 1988-04-14. Retrieved 2010-10-17.
  2.  "Interview: Richard Garriott, Part II". Questbusters. July 1987. Page 4.