As most of you already know, Designer Dragon and a few other folks were transferred off the Ultima Online project. Since then, speculation has run rampant on what new, non-ultima project he was tasked with. OSI of course wasn’t telling, since, you know, they’re a large evil corporation and large evil corporations aren’t supposed to just give away information. It’s in the Large Evil Corporation Handbook.
Well, I put on my snoop hat and commenced a-snooping. Everyone’s first guess was Privateer Online, called by most “Wing Commander Online” (OSI, however, apparently has a better idea of how most folks will spend their time in that universe). However, Origin has a different team working on that project; speculation has it that it is now being lead by Andy Hollis, the Janes-Skunkworks programmer who was just pulled off the now-cancelled A-10 Warthog flight sim.
Plus, come on. Designer Dragon does Wing Commander? I don’t THINK so.
So I snooped around the InterNIC records that Origin filed recently and came up with this entry:
Scoot over to Altavista, favored search engine of geeks, snoops, and corporate spies everywhere, and the first entry was the background for a Call of Cthulhu campaign. Hmm. Don’t think that’s it.
Tried to find some other game connections. There’s a game company called Mythos Games which recently published a fairly rank X-Com fantasy knockoff, but they don’t seem to have any connection to Origin or EA. A closer connection may be Chaosium, which issued a “Mythos CCG” (collectible card game) based around… H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu stories. Seems to be a whole lot of Cthulhu going on.
My speculation is that this is simply just a completely new fantasy MMRPG, unfettered by the “Ultima” baggage of UO. We’ll see soon enough, I wager.