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Electronic Arts Shuts Down Origin Systems?

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the passing-to-the-other-side dept.

Role Playing (Games) 343

An anonymous reader writes "Waterthread.org has picked up the following on the studio that brought us the popular Ultima and Wing Commander series: 'Game company Electronic Arts is expected to tell its Austin employees this week that the company will be shutting down Origin Systems, its Austin operations, according to sources. Employees will be offered an opportunity to relocate to California or accept a severance package. Company officials could not be reached for comment. Austin is the #3 location in the U.S. for game development with more than 50 companies making major contributions to the game industry, including game development, publishing, tools and middleware and chips and hardware." The Wing Commander CIC has also posted a epitaph for Origin."

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Damn... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370807)

Looks like Pirt Snikwah [slashdot.org] won after all.

RIP to the best of the old-school studios, from a former OSI employee and servant of the Crown.

Everybody else just made crappy games. We created worlds.

Today I Became A True Slashdot Denizen (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371059)

Today I Became A True Slashdot Denizen By Anonymous Crowhead.

Today, I finally became a true member of the Slashdot community. You see, today I received a check in the mail for $13.86. It was from Christine Gregoire, Attorney General of Washington State. The check was my cut of an anti-trust lawsuit regarding the music industry.

I thought back to when I filled the online form giving them my information as to where to mail the check. I remember reading through the lawsuit to see if I qualified. I remember thinking 'I don't qualify for this at all.' I remember thinking, 'Hey, free money is free money.'

I proceeded to forget all about it until today. Today, I received my check. My free money. Today, I received something worth something for nothing. The record industry gave me something I did not deserve. I went somewhere online, did something, and got something that is worth something. Today, I became a true member of the Slashdot community.

Re:Damn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371142)

So long Origin. Looks like the bonfire was only a little early.

Good job EA. I've paid for 2 UO accounts since 1997. That's over $1500 that I've paid for one game. Just me. Now consider the other 300000 accounts. Say goodbye to your cash cow.

Damn. Finding out about Thief 3 sucking and UO closing in one week (cause you know the turmoil is going to kill it. No one with sense likes UXO.)

I can't remember ever before not looking forward to new games ever since I had a computer. Wow.

Whats your take (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370816)

Whats your take on Cassavettes? Misogynist or Genius?

EA kills another great developer (2, Interesting)

scrain (43626) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370817)

Even though they lost their main talents, in 'Lord British' off to NCSoft's Lineage and Raph Koster off to wreck Star Wars Galaxies, I still had hopes for them to do something good. Looks like that's over now.

Re:EA kills another great developer (5, Informative)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370854)

Some Origin oldies but goodies. [the-underdogs.org]

Watch out (re: link in parent post) (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370948)

This site tries to install some very weird shit under IE6.

This will kill Ultima Online. (2, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370820)

This will result in the death of Ultima Online.

Well, it did have a long run.

Re:This will NOT kill Ultima Online. (4, Informative)

flogger (524072) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370873)

I was going to mod you down, but thought I'd reply instaed....

Read some of the articles.
This is not the end for Ultima ... Ultima Online will now be run from California, and development of Ultima X will continue on the west coast.
ultima Online will still continue. I'm sure it will change, especially if people take the sevrense package instead of relocating. But it will still be there.

Re:This will NOT kill Ultima Online. (5, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370912)

First let me say that I currently play Ultima Online. UO appears to be a project that is being slowly phased out, I base this of the following:

1: The next publish (what UO calls updates) is mostly (90%) about the ability to move characters between shards (seperate UO worlds)
2: The event moderaters have been removed and will ,more than likely, not be back.
3: It is almost impossible to BUY THE GAME in stores anymore. Next to no brick and morter stores carry it and EA does next to no advertizing for it. So how does it attract new customers?

Re:This will NOT kill Ultima Online. (4, Informative)

Tarrek (547315) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371169)

Strangely, on #3, that isn't even that big a deal- This wasn't very widely publicized, but you can actually download it (Ultima Online- Complete including Age of Shadows, both 2d and 3d clients) *completely legally* WITH a 2 week free trial account from a few places online- Fileshack has it, I believe, past that, I don't know.

About you (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371047)

Why mod it down? Because you didn't agree with it? That isn't the purpose of the moderation system and it is because of people like you that the system doesn't work as well as it should.

You should apply for a moderator position at freerepublic.com and/or democraticundeground.com as you moderation system fits in a lot better at those two sites.

Re:This will kill Ultima Online. (1)

Krozy (755542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370880)

Nah, they'll just restart UO2!

Re:This will kill Ultima Online. (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370915)

You can't kill ultima online [wtfman.com] .

Re:This will kill Ultima Online. (1)

Krozy (755542) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370921)

omg, i haven't visited that site in ages! They always had the best flash movies in tirades about the GMs.

Oh my (5, Funny)

pHatidic (163975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370822)

Wow this has got to be true. After all, if you can't trust vague and unsubstantiated rumors what can you trust?!

Re:Oh my (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370920)

George W. Bush?

SCO?

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370823)

OSI is just a name these days anyway. Very few of the people who currently work there are the ones who were responsiblef or all the great Ultima games.

Although it still sucks that some people will be losing there job. The PC gaming biz is grim these days.

Develop your language skills, fool! (-1, Flamebait)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371124)

Although it still sucks that some people will be losing there job.
t-h-e-i-r- -j-o-b-s, you ignorant GIT!

I hear they've been outsourced. . . (4, Funny)

nil5 (538942) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370824)

Mumbai Computer Gaming Concern.

Not surprising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370828)

can't last forever you know.

Ah well... (3, Informative)

demonbug (309515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370830)

Origin used to kick ass. Then EA bought them. They pretty much sucked after that (surprise, surprise). Probably better this than EA releasing crappy games under the Origin name.

I have to say though, Origin had about the best tagline of any gaming company...

Origin - We Create Worlds.

Not anymore, I guess.

Re:Ah well... (0)

TC (WC) (459050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371107)

Bullshit... while Wing Commander 2 is my favourite Origin game, you can't exactly call WC3 or 4 crappy... also, Privateer went through the end of its development cycle while OSI belonged to EA.

Re:Ah well... (1)

ChrisReid (613129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371131)

EA bought Origin in 1992 or thereabouts. All the Wing Commander games after that point were done by Origin, including the universally renowned Wing Commander Privateer, WC3, WC4 and so on.

OK. And... (1, Troll)

Snar Bloot (324250) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370832)

I really, REALLY don't mean to sound callous here, but that's the way any business works. They decide to consolidate, to move, whatever...at least they're giving those blokes the choice to relocate (or more likely...take the severance and find other employement).

Re:OK. And... (0, Troll)

Snar Bloot (324250) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370850)

I should have added, "Yeah, they did make some kick ass games...but..." the rest still rides. So they want to move.

Re:OK. And... (4, Insightful)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370922)

You might want to keep in mind that their employees are not objects that can just be traded around, forced into retirement, and fired. They're people. I'm not saying this doesn't happen, I'm just saying that the few guys in upper management have a moral responsibility to attempt to not do such things to other people.

Most people don't feel too bad about killing chickens for meat since chickens don't appear to be persons. Unfortunately, many also see nothing wrong with ignoring the effects of relocations and whatnot on the people at the company.

Re:OK. And... (5, Insightful)

corbettw (214229) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370972)

Have you considered that the upper management have determined that, if they don't move and consolidate, they won't be able to afford to keep the Austin office open, at all? Maybe it's better that some employees move than they all lose their jobs.

I'm not saying this is definitely the case, but while corporate management may be heartless, it usually isn't malicious. You make it sound like they're moving people just to have something to do.

Re:OK. And... (2, Interesting)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371054)

I think if all of the guys at the top took a pay cut, they could build their own office. That's exaggerated, but, seriously, they (management) don't deserve the money they're getting. The only reason they get it is that people are in such a hurry to get a job developing games that they don't care how corrupt or wasteful the company is and wind up selling their soul to the devil (I meant "corporation," of course). Not unlike music artists under record labels (except music apparently can't be outsourced as efficiently due to more pronounced cultural differences in music taste).

Additionally, they could probably save money and keep their current offices open if they used slave labor. Just an idea.

hehe (0, Funny)

BortQ (468164) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370834)

I can't for the life of me fathom the origin of this move.

Yeah. I'm here all night folks.

Where is #1 and #2? (3, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370838)

> Austin is the #3 location in the U.S. for game development

Where is the #1 and #2 location for game development?

Re:Where is #1 and #2? (1)

Deraj DeZine (726641) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370937)

#1: Parent's basement. I mean, I'd bet most of Counterstrike was made there.

Re:Where is #1 and #2? (1)

inoffensif (604265) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370939)

London and Montreal ..

Re:Where is #1 and #2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370985)


Those are #1 and #2 locations in the U.S.? Since you're going international here, I'd say Vancouver (Burnaby) would be another candidate. That's where EA Sports builds all their games.

Re:Where is #1 and #2? (1)

iota (527) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370960)

Depends on how it's being counted --
What's the range of a "location"? (city? county? miles?)
What's being rated? (number of studios? dollars revenue?)

But, if I were to hazard a guess --
#1 San Fransisco bay area
#2 Los Angeles / San Diego area

Re:Where is #1 and #2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371166)

Listen you moron, there isn't a LA/San Diego area. Downtown SD and downtown LA are like 150 miles apart. That's like saying the Boston/New York area...please.

Oh, and SD is 10000x the city LA is, actually LA IS A SUBURB OF SAN DIEGO. SD has the hottest chicks, the best food, and the best beaches. All LA gots is smog. Propz to the city of Compton though, they are cool, but SD gots em beat too.

Seattle and Los Angelos (1)

Pizaz (594643) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371014)

Of course when i say Seattle, I really mean greater Seattle area which would also include cities like Redmond, Bellevue and Kirkland amongst others.

I live in the greater Seattle area and there are quite a few game companies here. EA has offices here and obviously MS does as well. Others include Valve, Sierra, Turbine, Monolith, Nintendo, Bungie, Wild Tangent, Zombie and many more. Just check here --> http://www.igda.org/seattle/developers.htm

Re:Where is #1 and #2? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371173)

Id/Activision...centered in Dallas, TX. They churn out gold...and the others, at best, copper. Id Software is the defacto pioneers/leaders in game development. Ever hear of John Carmack? Anyone who uses a 3d accelerated card or plays a 3d game should...

Origin, Bullfrog (2, Interesting)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370845)

What other studios has EA gutted?

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370870)

Westwood is a biggie.

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (2, Interesting)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370894)

Yeah and they ruined the C&C series. Generals was the first attempt and they totally screwed it up. Very poor testing and it barely ran for some people until a few patches, still crappy net code. For long time C&C fans, they know the story line was an integral part of C&C. Generals had no storyline. the ZH expansion was only slightly better....

Will C&C ever be the same? Doubtful. :(

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370877)

Maxis.

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (2, Interesting)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371009)

Maxis isn't toast yet. SimCity 4 w/ Rush Hour is actually not a bad game. And The Sims, despite not appealing to the same demographic as the rest of the industry usually does, is really a very good game.
As a game developer, i'd say Maxis is actually doing very well for itself. As Maxis being Maxis... yeah, I think they may have lost a little of their creative edge because of EA's meddling. But they still make good games for the time being.

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370891)

They've also gutted:

* Westwood Studios (Command & Conquer).
* Maxis (SimCity).

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (1)

ziggles (246540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371022)

What'd they do to Maxis? SimCity 4 is the best in the series so far in my opinion. The Sims is clearly something Will Wright has wanted to do for a long time so you can't blame EA for that :P

I guess it depends on what you mean by "gutted."

Re:Origin, Bullfrog (2, Insightful)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370892)

Westwood. It wouldn't really surprise me to see Maxis eventually suffer the same fate, either.

Not a surprise. (3, Interesting)

Visceral Monkey (583103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370846)

Having been to Origin Austin and seen their digs, there is no way a company like that could even justify the real estate costs they run up. It's crazy.

Re:Not a surprise. (4, Informative)

gotr00t (563828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370923)

However, do note that real estate like "that" is actually pretty common in Austin. All along highway 360, its pretty senic, and it has become almost a necessity for any self respecting tech company to locate a site somewhere in the Hill Country.

I, too, have been to Origin's site, and yes, it is very impressive indeed.

Re:Not a surprise. (5, Informative)

Donut (128871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370959)

They own that building outright. Moved there in 1995. Bought it from Netware. Brent Thale suggested it to Robert Garriot as a joke, when we were out-growing the building up north.

You get the gayest name-drop of the year award. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371033)

You fucking faggot. Suck on some dicks.

Re:Not a surprise. (2, Interesting)

ruiner5000 (241452) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371010)

They were not ION Storm Dallas, they actually had some good games to afford a nice place, and I'm sure that would buy an apartment in San Fran maybe. I remember back in the day going over there trying to get a game testing job during college. It was a hard gig to get. Yeah, I remember shortly after EA bought them I was at Hula Hut on Lake Austin at the bar, and some guy with an EA shirt was there. It was after conversation that I figured Origin was screwed, and well, they are. It is a sad. No more Richard Garriot crazy ass haunted houses, no more Ultima. Oh well, Garriots stuff at the Game Conference over the summer was sweet looking. Where the hell is Robers after Wing Commander the prequel to Scooby Doo?

Why relocate to California? (4, Insightful)

cprincipe (100684) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370851)

Maybe I don't know much about the industry, but wouldn't it make more sense to move stuff *to* Austin where the cost of living, including office rent and utilities, is way cheaper than California?

Re:Why relocate to California? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370945)

Maybe the guys in management like palm trees?

Re:Why relocate to California? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370979)

That would upset the managers at EA and we can not have that! Everyone else can fuck off, but the managers can't be inconvienced.

Re:Why relocate to California? (4, Informative)

Mike Hawk (687615) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371012)

#1 Lets see...Austin, TX or LA, CA? Score one for Cali.

#2 Activision [activision.com] , THQ [corporate-ir.net] , Vivendi [vugames.com] , and a host of studios both publisher owned and independent are located there.

LA is the place to be in you are a video game maker who likes to buy all the talent, suck it dry as fast as possible and then fire that talent and start again. Whoa, did I just hear someone describe EA?

Re:Why relocate to California? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371171)

#1 Lets see...Austin, TX or LA, CA? Score one for Cali.

Actually, Austin [forbes.com] is good [expansionmanagement.com] for business [facilitycity.com] .

Also, ordinary people can afford housing there, the quality of life is very good, and it's probably not going to be devastated by an earthquake anytime soon.

Re:Why relocate to California? (1)

Cousin Scuzzy (754180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371024)

True, the cost of living is much lower in Austin than in Redwood City. But EA's headquarters is in California, and there are many more employees there than in Austin. EA's web site says it employs 4,400 worldwide. It's reasonable to assume that a majority of those people work at their headquarters. As far as I know, Origin Systems only employs about 300. Moving or laying off 300 people is a lot easier than it would be to move the headquarters half way across the country.

I blame EA for forcing Ultima 9 out too early (0, Insightful)

Sprite Remix (725063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370867)

Thanks EA for making Origin the biggest mistake in its lifetime... Causing the game to make it virtually unplayable when it was obviously "NOT DONE". Did I mentiom "THANKS!"?

Im suprised it took so long... (5, Insightful)

LordKazan (558383) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370875)

When EA bought up Origin I groaned because I knew it was the death of a good company, just like with THQ bought up Volition (not that Interplay was much better in that case).

After EA bought up Origion Wing Commander went into it's declining stages ending up with the catasrophe that was Privateer 2 on Erin's part and the nuclear holocaust that was the movie (On Chris' part). Thus died one of the finest and most groundbreaking gaming series in history.

I never paid much attention to Ultima but I knew it was a matter of time till EA did the same thing to it, I just read an article about after the success of EverQuest EA starting forcing Origin to make Ultima more Everquest-ish and less Ultima-like and thus removing and in forcing those changes it involved making Ultima un-Ultima-like thereby alienating Ultimas fans.

WAY TO GO ELECTRONIC ARTS - You have sucessfully killed two of the longest run and best gaming series there ever were. May you continue to spoon feed people things like Madden ever year with miminal changes and another $50 price tag.

---------------------

To the Origin Guys: Look to the community, we are with you, many would help you start anew to become what you once were. Weh ave confident in you guys.

Re:Im suprised it took so long... (4, Informative)

TC (WC) (459050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371141)

Yeah... Because Wing Commander was sustainable with the horrible finances OSI had! Without EA there never would have been a WC3 or 4, as there's no way Origin could have funded them.

I hope you'll also realize that the Wing Commander movie really had nothing to do with EA. When Chris Roberts left the company after Wing Commander 4 he negotiated for the movie rights to Wing Commander for a certain number of years. After that, there wasn't any EA involvement to speak of.

Re:Im suprised it took so long... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371144)

EA also killed Westwood Studios who did Command & Conquer games. :(

An official send-off ... (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370882)

Westwood studios didnt get as much. Now when I head to their website I just get directed to an EA page, on which half of the "support" links are broken - and no news whatsoever on any future C&C projects is offered.

Stand strong Blizzard ... you are one of the few left standing. The stalwart remnant of a dying breed.

play Ultima Online like its 1999! (4, Interesting)

DeadPrez (129998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370884)

Before EA gutted the UO team and started taking it on a rambling development path towards an Everquest clone, Ultima Online was quite an amazingly complex and intriguing game. Despite contemporary wisdom 2d games have plenty of potential if not more than 3d games. UO of 1999-2000 is considered the greatest MMORPG ever for just about any play style besides ph@t l3wt collectors who hate risking said phat loot and even then it did ok.

There are a whole lot of UO emulated player run shards alive and kicking today. Many are attempting to recreate that era for UO which changed, like I said when EA gutted the OSI team. I have found www.preuor.com [preuor.com] the best shard for that purpose. They have meticulously made efforts to recreate the small things that made UO great. Try it, you'll be surprised how fun a 2d game mmorpg can actually be and best of all its free (no monthly fee or game purchase required).

www.preuor.com [preuor.com]

Re:play Ultima Online like its 1999! (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370966)

Please please, go here [wtfman.com] instead. MUCH higher numbers of players, over 1300 on peak nights.

Re:play Ultima Online like its 1999! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371008)

I played on that shard and I would hardly say it is like Ultima Online of 1999. The combat system is pretty far removed, timers are off, 20 second or more save times every 10 minutes, multiple instances of GM corruption, leaked player password databases, etc etc. No thanks!

Re:play Ultima Online like its 1999! (2, Interesting)

DeadPrez (129998) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371021)

AC, you're refering to the wtfman server I believe. the preuor.com one has none of those problems.

i will if ya find me a torrent (1)

understyled (714291) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371156)

i dont s'pose anyone else had issues trying to download this free 15 day trial thingamabobber?

The brand has no intrinsic value (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370901)

I saw a really short sighted post saying that EA had 'killed' another developer. The 'developer' is an association of people. The people who made the great games come and go from the 'developer.'

Re:The brand has no intrinsic value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371072)

Good point, but brands usually do have value. That's why we have trademarks to protect brand names. See Lin---s [lin---s.com] for more information. Incidentally, this is why Mozilla's name juggling (Firefox? FIREFOX? WTF?) is kind of crazy.

Sigh.. EA takes another... (1)

Moocowsia (589092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370904)

Wing Commander, Ultima, Populous, C&C.... It really makes you wonder why the hell did EA buy these studios in the first place if they're just going to shut them down. Origin, Bullfrog and Westwood. Luckily if they even touch Maxis there will be hell... Damn EA.

Goodbye to the pedigree (4, Insightful)

Teahouse (267087) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370908)

Ogre, Space Rogue, Wing Commander, Ultima Online and so many others. Origin was one of the originals. I remember playing Ogre on my 386. Every few years these guys seemed to put out another good game. I remember playing Space Rogue, it was one of the first really good 3d space simulations. The storyline sucked, but you could fly your ship by inertia or on a "fighter tracking' style. Mastering inertia thrusters was awesome, and something I will never forget.

Killing Origin is just another sad episode in the tale of "EA Lames". We'll see more game console stupidity with John Madden screaming about football, but truly original game concepts are dying, as are the companies who made them.

I will lift a Guiness to my youth, and the hours of fun I had with Origin tonight.

Re:Goodbye to the pedigree (1)

FlyingRobot (755520) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370969)

Yeah yet more dumb games, but the sad thing is they're underestimating their audience. Sure we all love a bit of brainless violence but even my tattoo'd, knife wielding flatmate plays D&D and warhammer 40k, so there's probably a niche market out there if the companies could be stuffed giving the games as much flashy advertising as GTA3 etc.

Strike Commander (1)

Operating Thetan (754308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370919)

Anyone else remember when this was considered bloatware for requiring a massive 30MB of disk space?

the price of freedom... (0)

joe_bruin (266648) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371113)

well, the price of playing wing commander III, slowly, on my 486 was 200 dollars. that was what it cost me to buy another 4 megs of ram (bringing me to whopping 8). it was slow as hell. you needed a pentium to play that game, and those just came out, and i sure as hell couldn't afford one.

but i played it all the way through. i even watched all the cheesy movies (with mark hamil and the bad cg kilrathi). and i wasn't mad, even when it ended in a trench battle.

i was mad, however, when i tried to run it again on my p2 years later and it ran way too fast to play. i guess they never considered that, one day, someone might break the 100mhz mark.

Just what Austin needs (3, Informative)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370925)

I live here and our economy is in the pits -- no one can find jobs. This is just another example of a company abandoning one of the most creative cities on the planet. It's really a shame -- Austin has a lot of talented people coming out of some of the best colleges in the region (Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and especially UT here in Austin) in graphics, art, music and computer science. This isn't a smart move.

Re:Just what Austin needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371120)

Which is why I'm moving back to Houston. Personally, I love Austin! But hell, even though my rent dropped by 30% in the past few years, it's not going to do me any good if I don't have work.

Anyways, back to that shit-hole port city I go. Oh well, at least I can find a job there.

This actually makes me sad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370927)

I'm a lurker but...

Ultima III Exodus was the first computer game I ever saw and I never forgot those 10 minutes since. I was in preschool i think.

Regardless of what anybody says and whether I like it or not... this news does sadden me.

I hope there are others who know where I am coming from.

EA and origin was at UT just a few weeks ago... (1)

rebelcool (247749) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370934)

pushing jobs/internships at origin's home here in austin (and EA ones elsewhere). Hell, I still have the info sheet on it and was going to send over my resume soon. If this is true, it must come as quite a shock.

It is true (5, Informative)

Donut (128871) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370947)

I have a friend that works there. It is true. Here are the details that I know about:

1. They are not done with UOX. It is in Beta. Origin Beta or real Beta, who knows. They think they can move development to california for the Earth and Beyond people to finish?!?!?!

2. There were 230 people working there.

3. The studio management may have known, but I know they were still hiring and relocating people to Austin several weeks ago.

4. This was the worst kept secret in Austin. Everyone knew last week. Except the employees.

5. UO support moving to california.

6. Origin owned that building.

I have been gone from there for almost 6 years, but I spent 10 there. It is a little sad, but not unexpected. EA tried to shut it down back in '99, but pulled back from the brink for some reason. Feel sorry for their new employees, especially the new GM.

-Donut, Origin Alumni 1990-1999
Ultima VI, Ultima VII, Strike Commander, Serpent Isle, Pacific Strike, Longbow, Longbow2, A-10.

Sad News -- Anti-Slash Jihad is dead (-1)

britneys 9th husband (741556) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370955)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio [rushlimbaugh.com] . The anti-slash jihad [anti-slash.org] was found dead in his internet home this morning at the age of 3 months. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the trolling community will miss it -- even if you didn't enjoy it, there's no denying its contribution to troll culture. Truly a Slashdot icon.

The pathetic details:
Warning: mysql_connect(): Access denied for user: 'marriott_scrpt@localhost' (Using password: YES) in /home2/marriott/www/admin/include/mysqlconnect.php on line 2
can't connect to the server

I WANNA HAVE SEX WITH MORGAN WEBB (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370971)

Morgan.. PLEASE call me! PLEEASE!

Genious games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370984)

I loved playing Ultima7, the game was awesome and in my opionion provided more interaction and creativity than anything I've seen to this date. Mix water with flour and cook it, you get bread. It gets dark, turn on a light. Grab a dirty diaper and terrorize your comrads with it. It was creative interaction like this that blew my mind away. Then EA bought them an forced them to release U8 too early and also caused problems with U9 the final installation. Damn, is everything becoming a commodity where everyone uses the same SDK and cranks out the same crap with different textures and sound?

OFFSHORING? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8370987)

Will we have dotheads who can't speak English doing the tech support for these games now?

Expected... (2, Insightful)

syrion (744778) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370991)

Origin has been a shell of itself since 1992. Ultima VIII was rushed by EA, Ultima IX was at least negatively influenced by them, and Ultima Online honestly bears little resemblance to the cardinal Ultimas. Sad, yes, but not really a disaster. Maybe Garriott's new company will accomplish something eventually :)

Here we go again... (5, Insightful)

Stone Rhino (532581) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370992)

I'm sure I'm ridiculously redundant, but we might as welll put this all in one place.

EA has bought its way to the top. Bullfrog, Westwood, Maxis, Origin have all fallen before the giant. Eliminating whole divisions--even highly successful ones--is nothing new. Just ask the people [garagegames.com] from Dynamix who got chopped shortly after Tribes 2 became a hit.

Infogrames, er, Atari, is no better. They went a from a small publishing house to one of the titans of the games industry by buying everything they could. Adopting the name "Atari," plastering it over their corporate monolith as a relatively cheap facade (the company was only a few million dollars) is, to me, the most cynical thing I've seen from a gaming company in a long time. Yet, there is no media outrage, not even a notice that they're a completely different company that adopted the same name.

Creativity is dead. There are no more juicy steaks of games, no more Command and Conquers or Homeworlds, the games that bring gaming into a whole new dimension, at least from the major houses. Instead, we get reheated leftovers or ground chuck, tossed on a bun and served up McDonalds style. Yet another game in the same series, yet another Sims expansion back--Is this the future of gaming that you want? This is the future of gaming as in the hands of EA and "Atari." EA did not produce a new, original game in 2003 [slashdot.org] --only rehashes and expansions.

Support an independent developer with fresh ideas, or support an open-source game. Look to the endless parade of closed studios and stifled creativity, sequels following the same pattern, only with few shiny new features. Is this the way you want your games? Or do you want something fresh and new?

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Moofie (22272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371035)

Like what? Where are the fun, cool, fun, innovative, fun, well-designed, FUN small-title games? I really want some.

But I don't think they exist.

I worked at Origin for a couple years. I was crushed when I was laid off, but I'm not sure it wasn't good for me in the long run.

Damn you EA (1)

steak (145650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8370995)

First Westwood now Origin. If it weren't for tiger woods 2005, you would be on the list.

Conglomerates (1)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371005)

There's some good from consolidation, but these days it mostly seems like only bad is coming from it. Every type of company is being merged, or assimilated, and I think it's stifling comeitition and innovations. I mean, look at AOL. Not exactly a stellar comapny at their best moments, but AIM has defined a generation. Now people have to hack the crap out of their products (DeadAIM et al, the worms) for them to make any major changes.

And now the same crap is happening to our beloved bastion of video games, and it's starting to piss me off. Good luck Origin.

Ahh Ultima (5, Funny)

Veramocor (262800) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371038)

Ahh Ultima, the source of my online screen name Veramocor. I will miss thee. +1 karma to anyone who can tell me what the word Veramocor does in U4 and what it does in U5. (nota bene: I have no power to actually give out karma)

Though there are some great ultima projects being worked on such as the lazarus project [u5lazarus.com]

Re:Ahh Ultima (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371108)

If I recall correctly,

U4: word of passage that allows entry into the abyss
U5: allows entry into dungeon Doom in the center of the underworld

I don't care anymore - they killed UO. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8371055)

I don't care anymore, Origin destroyed Ultima Online in early 2000 starting with their "R" patch and continuing with their shotty work on things like UO:Third Dawn.

Game development locations? (1)

ChristianBaekkelund (99069) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371069)

"Austin is the #3 location in the U.S. for game development with more than 50 companies making major contributions to the game industry, including game development, publishing, tools and middleware and chips and hardware."

And the first two?
(Yes, I know Silicon Valley, and ?)

Origin's games (5, Informative)

dtio (134278) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371081)

Basically they have been cashing the Ultima and Wing Commander cows for years, complete list from IGN:

publisher

3DO, CyberMage, Super Wing Commander

Amiga
Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness,Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet,Wing Commander

Apple IIe/c/c+
Ogre,Omega,Ultima,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny

Atari 400/800/XL/XE
Autoduel,Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Atari ST
Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet

Commodore 64
Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet,Ultima: The First Age of Darkness

MSX
Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon),Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Macintosh
Super Wing Commander,Ultima III: Exodus,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger

PC
Abuse,CyberMage: Darklight Awakening,Privateer 2: The Darkening,Shadowcaster,Ulitma IX: Ascension,Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness,Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon),Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima IX: Ascension,Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds,Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet,Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle,Ultima VII: The Black Gate,Ultima VII: The Forge of Virtue,Ultima VIII: Pagan,Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams,Wing Commander,Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger,Wing Commander: Privateer,Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams,Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire

PlayStation
Crusader: No Remorse,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger,Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom

Saturn
Crusader: No Remorse

Sega CD
Wing Commander

Super NES
Wing Commander: Secret Missions

developer

3DO
CyberMage,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger

Amiga
Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness,Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet
Wing Commander,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger

Apple IIe/c/c+
Ogre,Omega,Ultima,Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny

Atari 400/800/XL/XE
Autoduel,Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness,Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima: The First Age of Darkness

Atari ST
Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet

Commodore 64
Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet,Ultima: The First Age of Darkness

Game Boy
Ultima: Runes of Virtue,Ultima: Runes of Virtue II

MSX
Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon),Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Macintosh
Super Wing Commander,System Shock,Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger

NES
Ultima: Exodus,Ultima: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima: Warriors of Destiny

PC
Crusader: No Regret,Crusader: No Remorse,CyberMage: Darklight Awakening,Strike Commander,Ultima Collection,Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness,Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness (Pony Canyon),Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress,Ultima III: Exodus,Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar,Ultima IX: Ascension,Ultima Online,Ultima Online: Age of Shadows,Ultima Online: Lord Blackthorn's Revenge,Ultima Online: Renaissance,Ultima Online: Second Age
Ultima Online: Third Dawn,Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds,Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny,Ultima VI: The False Prophet,Ultima VII Part II: Serpent Isle,Ultima VII: The Black Gate,Ultima VII: The Forge of Virtue,Ultima VIII: Pagan,Ultima Worlds Online: Origin,Ultima X: Odyssey,Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi,Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger,Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom,Wing Commander: Prophecy,Wing Commander: Secret Ops,Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga,Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams,Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire

PlayStation
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger,Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom

Saturn
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger

Sega CD
Wing Commander

Super NES
Ultima: Runes of Virtue II,Ultima: The Black Gate
Ultima: The False Prophet,Wing Commander,Wing Commander: Secret Missions

co-publisher

PC
Strike Commander,System Shock

Sign of Online Gaming's Future? (1)

YAJoe (740850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371082)

The fact that Mythica (Online) is affected seems interesting to me. I can't help but remember how Microsoft's Mythica [slashdot.org] suffered a similar fate very recently. Is this a sign of poor performance in the online gaming industry, or is simply a "normal, healthy" restructuring of a company. While coming from the background of a high school student who has limited experience with MMORPGs, I find it hard to believe that this move is isolated.

Re:Sign of Online Gaming's Future? (1)

YAJoe (740850) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371095)

I meant Ultima Online from Electronic Arts as the first game and Mythica from Microsoft as the second. Sorry for the confusion.

Origin WAS great, but what have they done lately? (5, Insightful)

mayns (524760) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371093)

Other than watching over UO and developing UO2/X what has origin done lately? I used to buy every one of their releases (as long as my system could handle it) but that was 7-10 years ago. I remember games like strike commander really pushing people's systems. And wasn't Origin the first company to go Cd-rom only for their titles? I remember that being a big deal. As far as i was concerned, Origin was the gold standard for dev houses in their era, along with Bullfrog. But I cannot think of one 3D-accelerated Origin title off of the top of my head (UO doesn't count, it started out 2d). Why are we mourning now for a dev house that hasn't put out a major release since I got a processor with three digits of mHz?

Could be worse. (1, Interesting)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371094)

Well, at least they're shutting down one of their OWN companies instead of someone else's [slashdot.org] .

www.wcnews.com /.ed (5, Informative)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371104)

The website's starting to go slow, so I'm posting the text of the epitaph from http://www.wcnews.com/:

Goodbye, Origin

For twenty two years Origin Systems set the tone for the computer gaming. Ultima, Wing Commander and dozens of others set the gold standard for which the rest of the industry could only hope to catch up. This era has finally come to an end as Electronic Arts readies an announcement that it will shut down the Austin-based Origin studio.

This is not the end for Ultima or Wing Commander. Ultima Online will now be run from California, and development of Ultima X will continue on the west coast. Hopes that another Wing Commander game would be developed in Austin were dashed long ago; the longtime belief that a California-based EA team would develop the next Wing Commander title may, ironically, be bolstered by this news.

What it is, however, is a tremendous moral loss on all fronts. Origin Systems will always be the ultimate symbol of gaming's greatest days, and its dissolution to a faceless corporate entity is, sadly, equally symbolic of the world today. Origin entertained, challenged and inspired our generation in a way that seems impossible today. Though the individuals who developed our games long ago moved on to greater careers, the very existence of the company itself continued to stand for something special; something amazing.

The CIC will continue to dedicate itself to Origin's legacy - we will redouble our efforts to archive anything and everything related to the company. We will strike to make the world remember what Origin meant. I wanted to end with a quote - something plithy and literary to express the meaning of such an ending. I came up with only this:

With your carrier destroyed, you drift endlessly through the void.

Instead... (5, Funny)

natrius (642724) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371126)

Instead of shutting Origin down, can't they just rename it Destination or something?

Re:Instead... (1)

ChrisReid (613129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8371143)

Richard Garriott's new company already has them beat.
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