Ultima VIII

Is that Dirk the Daring in the feature image?

Probably not. Anyway, EA has been very curious in choosing the free games it uses to lure in gamers to its digital distribution service, Origin. It doesn't advertise with the modern blockbuster hits that tend to define EA as a company which lives in "the now." Rather, it digs deep into its own history, or at least, the history it purchased from others.

Go go capitalism!

The latest offering from Origin's "On the House" campaign is Ultima VIII: Pagan. Now, I'm a bit lacking in knowledge on the Ultima series in general, but I do know that it is not something that has a presence on the modern market. Ultima VIII was released way back in 1994 when Electronic Arts was still making games like B.O.B., before it owned the Ultima franchise.

I also know that Ultima VIII doesn't have the same unearthly reputation as Ultima VII, but that's besides the point. What is EA trying to prove by advertising incredibly old games like these? Establish some credibility with old time gamers? Strut how diverse and far back its library goes? Show that it has a legacy and is more than just the corporate face it comes off as?

The last "On the House" game was the classic Syndicate, so you can see what I mean when I say that this is hardly the first time this has happened.

I'm not complaining, trying to be mean, calling out EA or anything like that. I'm generally interested, why Ultima VIII: Pagan of all games? It just doesn't scream EA to me like Battlefield or Need for Speed does.