Publisher Electronic Arts is shutting down online services for Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar later this month. The free-to-play action role-playing game for iOS launched less than a year ago.

EA closed EA Mythic, the development studio behind Ultima Forever and the controversial Dungeon Keeper remake, back in May, saying it planned to “concentrate mobile development in other studio locations.”

While both titles are free-to-play with in-app purchases, U.K. regulators recently ruled that EA can no longer describe Dungeon Keeper as “free” in its advertising as this is misleading.

The Ultima Forever servers officially go offline at 11 a.m. Eastern on Aug. 29, and the game “will no longer be available to play,” according to an announcement on the official forum. During August, players will notice boosted in-game rewards and equipment will not degrade. The in-game store will also stop selling premium currency.

“This was a very difficult decision for us to make,” read the official announcement. “We’ve seen the game through ups and downs, and hope that you’ve enjoyed playing it every bit as much as we had making it! Through it all, it’s been players like you who’ve made it all worthwhile.”

One fan shared his disappointment on the game’s Facebook page, saying: “This illuminates a big problem in the gaming industry. Games can ‘shut down’ as if they are a store that just closed. I can pull out every one of my old Ultima games on CD or floppy, find a computer to install them on, and play them even though [original Ultima developer] Origin doesn’t exist any more.”

EA Mythic based Ultima Forever on Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, the seminal role-playing title released for the Apple II home computer back in 1985. Anyone still needing an Ultima IV fix might like to head to online game store GOG.com, where the original title is available as a free download.


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