Ultima Online is still receiving updates as it celebrates its 25th anniversary

Ultima Online Gameplay
(Image credit: Broadsword)
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As reported by Massively Overpowered (opens in new tab), the venerable MMO Ultima Online turns 25 in September, and developer Broadsword is celebrating with in-game rewards.

Ultima Online was a foundational MMO. Initially released by Origin Systems in 1997, its robust, unique systems have helped it retain a core base of players all these years later despite titanic shifts in the genre like the release of Everquest and World of Warcraft. Ultima Online is also the source of one of gaming's greatest stories: The Assassination of Lord British by the Coward Rainz (opens in new tab).

Lord British was Ultima creator Richard Garriot's in-game avatar across the series, and he was supposed to be invulnerable and immortal. While making an appearance during a stress test in Ultima Online's beta, Garriot forgot to reactivate god mode after a server crash, and Rainz pickpocketed a scroll of fire field from another member of the crowd and chucked it at British, bringing the great monarch low.

The patch notes (opens in new tab) for Ultima Online's celebratory rewards list various useful trinkets rewarded based on how long you've been playing. For those who have been around since release or the beta, Broadsword is providing a premium, account-bound shield and "Founding Citizen of Britannia" title.

The patch notes also go over a smattering of balance tweaks and the introduction of "friendship roses" as a Valentine's Day treat.

Ultima Online is one of the oldest PC games still being updated today (opens in new tab), and it's a fantastic thing to behold even if you aren't an invested player yourself. If you're interested in more stories about Ultima Online, I'd highly recommend Alyssa Schnugg's fantastic personal essay about being a grandma guildmaster (opens in new tab) from 2018. 

Associate Editor

Ted has been thinking about PC games and bothering anyone who would listen with his thoughts on them ever since he booted up his sister's copy of Neverwinter Nights on the family computer. He is obsessed with all things CRPG and CRPG-adjacent, but has also covered esports, modding, and rare game collecting. When he's not playing or writing about games, you can find Ted lifting weights on his back porch.