Ultima Online New Legacy
The 'big' pandemic era announcement for Ultima Online was not that it was turning 23 and 24 years old. Rather, it was that they were investing most of their development resources into a completely stand alone (i.e. you cannot use existing characters; move between servers etc..), season based (i.e. things reset at a certain interval) version of Ultima Online with a mistaken idea that was what veteran players wanted. After months of observing the community and listening to comments, it is clear to us that not only is New Legacy of very light interest to The Syndicate but it seems to be similarly received to most of the paying customers of UO. That means either that the developers believe large numbers of new paying customers will come to UO, to offset the ones they lose by a lack of significant new content in the core game or that they are misguided in their view that there is large support for this approach from their loyal, long term customers.
The fatal flaw in the New Legacy design is the 'seasons' concept. Never, in 24 years of UO, have we observed players saying: You know.. I would love it if you wiped my character and deleted all of my accumulated loot and my house and everything I worked for, at regular intervals and told me to start over. Yep... please do that.. because its the one thing I felt UO was missing.
Rather, it is the exact opposite that makes UO special and what keeps people paying long after they stop playing regularly. And, if you think about it from a business perspective, having people pay you money to NOT use your server resources and bandwidth, is a wonderful model. It both does not use finite resources up (yet income still arrives) and it demonstrates the depth of love and commitment those folks have to the title. Where does that love and commitment stem from? Simple: Collecting 'stuff'... having a permanent house... permanent toons... permanent walls of trophies. Those things all represent years and years of invested time which means they represent memories... shared experiences with friends... and people are willing to pay a monthly fee to keep those.
There is no large sized group of UO players (or potential UO players) asking to pay money to play basically the same game (which is a great game as is evidenced by lasting 24 years) and have all progress and accumulated 'stuff' wiped out every year or so and having to start over. That model is the antitheses of what defines UO and what has kept players loving it for over 2 decades. In the end, UO New Legacy looks alot like a waste of time and money that will not be worth it. It ignores what the core players want and need to keep paying and opts for a model that has shown no indication it can work in the UO world. We absolutely wish them well because we want core UO to remain alive and well for years more but the New Legacy model seems flawed and not a good investment of limited development time and dollars.