Origin Systems 1990 Product Development Plan

Ben Lesnick, formerly of the Wing Commander CIC and currently the community manager for Star Citizen, shared this image on his Twitter timeline in December of 2015.


To call the development plan ambitious would be a bit of an understatement; although the release windows for Ultima 6, Bad Blood, Savage Empire (Dinosaur Valley), and Martian Dreams (Time Travel) were met, Squadron became Wing Commander (although the follow-up car racing game using its engine was not, that I’m aware, ever developed), and Ultima 7 slipped into 1992. And Ultima 8 wouldn’t see the light of day until 1994!

Other interesting highlights:

  • There were a few additional Worlds of Ultima titles planned, including one called The Underground (this could have fallen by the wayside with the release of Ultima Underworld). The planned Ultima 7 spinoffs likely included both Serpent Isle and the never-released Arthurian Legends.
  • There were at least two animated graphical adventure games planned, and possibly in some stage of development; at least one of these would have been a part of the Ultima series.
  • Origin Systems was considering developing a Star Wars RPG using the Ultima 6 engine. How awesome would that have been?

As always, the Ultima Codex is grateful to Ben Lesnick for unearthing and sharing this piece of Origin Systems history. The company is long gone now, but it’s fun to look back on its legacy, note its ambition, and think what might have been had it realized a few more of its plans.

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