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Spam Spam Spam Humbug 98 - It’s Good That Nobody Else Owns EA
February 16, 2018

Spam Spam Spam Humbug 98 - It’s Good That Nobody Else Owns EA

Rumours have been circulating that Microsoft might be looking at buying up EA. Or Valve. Or the PUBG developers.

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This episode of Spam Spam Spam Humbug is brought to you by our Patreon backers; thank you to everyone who supports Spam Spam Spam Humbug and the Ultima Codex by that means. And, as always, a hearty thank you to our Patreon co-producers: Seth, Dominik, Chris, Violation, Adam, Erik, Thorwan, Pascal, Helgraf, Aaron, the Hearth of Britannia, Edward, Stirring Dragon, Cranberry, Slegnor, and Bruce.

New Patrons & Shout-Outs

We'd like to give a shout-out to Dennis, who wrote in thusly:

I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed the Spam Spam Spam Humbug podcast. I caught up with all the episodes over the last few months and they are great! Keep it up!

I grew up playing the Ultimas with my older brother. Such good memories. I'm replaying Ultima 7 now, and plan to replay 6 soon after.

Thanks a bunch for your email, Dennis; we appreciate hearing from people. Indeed, sometimes it's just the shot in the arm we need to keep the podcast going!

Podcast Topic(s)

A few weeks ago, some rumours started circulating that Microsoft was looking at the possibility of buying up Electronic Arts. Or possibly the developers of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG). Or, perhaps, Valve. Some of these possibilities make a degree of sense; buying Valve would give Microsoft an ironclad hold on PC gaming, as well as access to a stable of IPs that would make for quite compelling platform exclusives for the Xbox (which said platform sorely needs).

And while some might salivate at the idea of EA being itself acquired — and, presumably, dissolved as a label — those of us involved in the Ultima fan project community should really take pause before entertaining (or wishing for) that particular fever dream to come true. Because whatever other criticisms can be directed at EA, one thing we cannot despise them for is the very laid back approach they've taken to the fan project community.

And, sure...Microsoft is very open to the idea of mods (see: Minecraft). But there's more to the Ultima fan project scene than just mods; there are fan-made patches, and even projects like Exult and Nuvie (which could be considered re-engineering of extant, licensed game engines). Would Microsoft be as laid back about these sorts of things? Some publishers certainly wouldn't be (e.g. Disney or Square Enix).

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