Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ultima Online - Huge Layoffs and Another Forced March Across the Country

I had a feeling another big shakeup was due for UO. I've seen them occur in regular cycles since the early days.

EA is doing the whole corporate restructuring thing due to some profit concerns, it seems, which means a lot of mid-level managers being pressured to bring down the axe on their departments.

Which means that a lot of the UO team has apparently been laid off already, and those that haven't have a choice to move to EA / Mythic's main studio in Fairfax, Virginia, or lose their jobs. It's been only three and a half years since the forced relocation from Austin to San Francisco decimated the team and killed Ultima X Odyssey.

Rumors and unconfirmed inside information are starting to fly around about a harsh and bitter layoff, and who is staying and going. And specuation about the future of Ultima Online is of course mostly bleak.

I have nothing to add to all of that at this point, other than to once again wish those men and women who have been pouring their hard work and passion into UO all the best of luck during these trying times. They are real people with real lives and real families, and should they stay or go they deserve better from me and the rest of the playbase than EA is giving them.

For the players, keep logging in and enjoy it while you can. Everything you know and love inside the game could very well be unaffected by this for many months or years to come. Time will tell.


Joshua said...

It's sad to see how much disinterest EA has in UO. I think it's part of the reason why turnover is high on the product. The people who stick with it have more or less sacrificed their careers for a labor of love.

Mythic hasn't done anything in the interest of UO and actually have gone the other way, doing things to sabotage it. I imagine that the mistreatment will only get worse after the move is finalized.

I'm glad to see that Leurocian is staying on UO, but sorry to see him move to the other coast in order to do so.

Ruffie said...

Agreed, and it's interesting and refreshing to hear a former team member speak so candidly on the topic.

Thanks for stopping by!