Electronic Arts has ceased development of MMORPG Ultima X: Odyssey. In a note on the game's official website, producer David Yee cited the need to refocus resources on Ultima Online - including a forthcoming expansion and another, as-yet unannounced project - and said it was "the right move for the future of all things Ultima, including the community and the team."
UXO is the third major MMORPG project to be cancelled this year. Already we've seen the dissolution of both Microsoft's Mythica and Climax's Warhammer Online, and again it's a major fantasy brand that suffers. EA hasn't disclosed the exact reasoning behind the cancellation, but the Unreal Engine-powered title had been on track for release in 2005, and seemed to have amassed quite a lot of interest.
GameSpot reports that no staff have been laid off in light of the cancellation, which seems to tie in with Yee's statement on the UXO website. In announcing the cessation of development and promising to reveal his firm's plans for Ultima Online in the near future, Yee also said he "would like to thank all of the Ultima X: Odyssey supporters who have been with us from the beginning," adding, "I hope you will continue to support the Ultima franchise and the development team as they transition to new projects."