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Electronic Arts Is Selling Ultima Online

September 25, 1997|Bloomberg News

Electronic Arts Inc. started selling its long-awaited Ultima Online, a video game played over the Internet that lets thousands of players roam a fantasy world called Britannia. Analysts have been waiting for the product to go on sale to gauge the commercial appeal of Internet games. Such games have the potential to drive sales of advanced computer hardware and software because faster computers and modems let players perform better. "The history of these online games has been mixed," said Sean McGowan, an analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison in New York. "This one looks like it has a lot going for it." For the past four months, about 25,000 players have been paying to participate in a test of the game. About 2,000 people on average were playing at any one time, Electronic Arts said. Ultima Online sells for $64.95, which includes game software, one month of free play, a map of Britannia and Netscape Navigator.

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