Ultima and Wing Commander were dying franchises, even before Origin was a dying company. Wing Commander peaked long before the movie damaged it. The franchise had been eclipsed by Tie Fighter, and the genre as a whole was selling less and less.
And at the time of it's demise RPGs were considered a dead genre (like adventures are now). A new Ultima wouldn't have sold a huge amount.
I can't deny that Wing Commander wasn't doing all that great anymore, even though Prophecy still sold well over a few hundred thousand copies on its own.
But to say that Ultima wouldn't have sold anything??
May I direct your attention to the following link :http://reconstruction.voyd.net/index.php?page=project&type=remakes3d
There are about, what, FIFTY remakes currently being done on the Ultima series? Name me ONE game in the entire fucking industry that has over 50 mods currently being developed for it. I doubt that even HALF LIFE can boast that number.
And yes, the RPG were considered a very dead genre, which is why Baldur's Gate, released approximately, oh, six or so months after the fiasco that was Ultima IX, sold, oh, two hundred and eighty three billion copies. Not bad for a dead genre, huh?
As for Crusader, that wasn't the ONLY franchise Origin had that was begging for more. People seem to have forgotten that the SYSTEM SHOCK
franchise belonged to Origin as well. Let's face it. Origin was the number one game developer in the world for a LONG time, right up until EA got involved, and was able to fuck it over for a few years.
Damnit, with every post I write, I begin to hate EA more and more.