Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ultima Online - Who's Making the Move?

This week the answers finally came about the upcoming transfer of the Ultima Online team to EA Mythic's Fairfax, Virginia studios. Before we get to the names, let me present this:

Publicallly-known team members that are making the move include my good friend Patrick Malott, known as Leurocian, as well as Tim "Draconi" Cotten, lead artist GrimmOmen, and according to community coordinator Jeremy (who has said neither way whether or not she's staying), SupreemEA the Master of Code and Prince of UI, Mesanna the Infinitely Wise, Stormwind the Ancient and Undying, and Serado, Lord of the Bugs.

I assume that the legendary Jason "Stormwind" Spangler is still being allowed to work remotely from Austin, as Jeremy apparently does. This is a good portion of the current team and the best talent that is making the move, so this is good news. But there are losses.

John "Wilki" Wilkinson is not making the move, which is understandable since I remember him being from the bay area there in California. I got to meet him in person at the 2004 Community Day event there in Redwood Shores, when he was Binky's assistant community coordinator. In fact, he was there to meet us at the airport and shuttle us to the hotel. Since then he rose through the ranks and became a designer. He plans to return to college and complete his degree, and you can tell from his farewell that this was a very tough decision for him.

CatHat is one of three members of the art team that are leaving. Known for his high level of communication with the players and his message board posts where he and everyone else would post funny cat pictures, his loss is also a tough one. In fact losing three artists puts some more doubt on the release of the Stygian Abyss expansion, the fate of which remains in limbo.

While it's always sad to see the UO team lose good people, it seems that most of them are making the move, and hopefully after they get settled in January we'll start to see some overall direction take place for the game.

Oh, and Jeremy, if you're reading this, please hire me. I'm willing to make the move, too, since it's not that far from Ohio and I have family in the Fairfaz area. I'd be a great assistant community coordinator, PR guy, or visionary designer.

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