It's no secret that Richard 'King English' Garriott is working on a spiritual sequel to Ultima, having left the series' rights locked in an EA basement somewhere. It's no secret because he's said so, repeatedly. But what's more surprising is that he apparently isn't resigned to never getting them back - and he's even talking about working with EA again. The lion and the lamb! Cats sleeping with dogs! THE END TIMES.
More specifically, he told Eurogamer that "We've had discussions at very high levels with Electronic Arts about access to the property [and]...a possible marketing and distribution relationships and things of this nature."
Which is rather promising, presuming he's not just making wild public declarations in the hope of changing minds. More below.
"Theoretically that would be possible" he said in reference to his RPG - so far known only as The Ultimate RPG - becoming Ultima Online 2. And he reckons that EA are "one of the best, most powerful and competent sales and marketing and distribution companies in the business." There's a lot of red tape and "resistance" elsewhere in the mammoth publisher though, he fears.
Whatever happens though, he wants the setting to change - so we're unlikely to see Britannia again, or at least not in its traditional form. "I actually think it's time to move on from that regardless, so even if we were to have access to the properties of my historical work, I don't think I would change my current plans."
Much more here, including on quite what a spiritual sequel entails and why The Ultimate RPG's development will take "closer to the Minecraft route" than something like SWTOR.