EA celebrates ten years of Ultima Online

By today's lofty standards Ultima Online seems terribly archaic, yet when first released back in 1997, the game, which celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this week, was the bee's knees. Along with other early MMOs such as 3D0's Meridian 59, Ultima Online helped shape what we now know as the MMO genre, and laid the foundation for more modern efforts like EverQuest and World of Warcraft.

To commemorate this milestone, Electronic Arts is trying to win back former residents of Britannia who since have moved on to bigger and better things to retry Ultima Online using the game's recently launched "Kingdom Reborn" update, which will be free to download for past subscribers through October 9 by way of their old, most likely misplaced username and password.

Calling the event its "Return to Brittania" campaign, EA will welcome players with a monster hunt and prizes including an ankh pendant necklace, map of Brittania, Ultima Online commemorative sculpture and virtue armor set. Characters will also be given a wand of fireworks and 10 décor tokens, though we haven't a clue what those might be. Happy Birthday, UO. Try not to break your hip fighting ogres.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.