The Exult Team would like to announce that as of April 1st 2002 an agreement has been reached with Electronic Arts to allow development on Exult. The agreement will have Electronic Arts distribute and support Exult. All further development of Exult will be funded by Electronic Arts.
Effective immediately, further development of Exult will not be open sourced. Additionally, no further work on Exult Studio will be released to the public. The Exult Team will be working with Electronic Arts on three projects.
The first project is to produce a combined version of The Black Gate and Serpent Isle. Called "The Complete Ultima VII", it will contain all data files required to play it, including some new bonus material (e.g. full length intro movie for Serpent Isle).
The second project is to produce an online multiplayer version of Exult for play over the internet. Exult Online as it will be called, will require original copies of Ultima VII: The Black Gate and Ultima VII: Part II: Serpent Isle to be able to play. It's possible that a version working together with "The Complete Ultima VII" will be made as well, though nothing is fixed yet.
Finally, work has begun to port Exult to support other Ultima games. Ultima V and VI are well under way, the latter already being completable, though with some occasional glitches. Work on Ultima VIII and IV just has begun. There are currently no plans to work on Ultima I-III, Ultima Underworld 1&2 or Ultima IX.
All three project should be complete roughly in one year, on April 1st 2003. They will be purchaseable via Internet as downloads, or boxed in all stores selling Electronic Arts games.
To our fans, we wouldn't have been able to do this without you! If you like to tell us your thoughts about these cool new projects, email to our mailing list.
-The Exult Team