Shame that there's going to be the inevitable "Oh he was being too harsh on it, Ultima IX is not a bad game" types posting either in this thread or in the comments. Some people just can't except that just because you like a game does not mean it's still not a horrible piece of crap.
Speaking as a person who had not finished any Ultima games before I played Ultima 9 (bit I have done that afterwards), I could not spot all the plot inconsistencies (just a handful of them), I did not hate the game. The gameplay in Ultima 9 is not bad (though the bugs are obviously a big issue), so if you only look at it from a gameplay point of view, and ignore the story, it is not bad.
But, having finished most Ultimas since then, re-visiting Ultima 9 was painful. Sure, the gameplay was still quite alright, but suddenly all the stupid plot holes were just overly obvious. Ultima 9 was (kinda) liked by the people who had no emotional attachment to the series, and hated by everyone else.
Why is everything EA's fault?
EA was, during the 90's, known for buying & killing successful companies. They bought Origin, Westood & Bullfrog, and forced these major companies to adopt to EA's way of doing things, rather than to let them keep doing what made them so successful. As a result, all of these companies went under, all for the very same reason (you would have thought that EA would have learnt at some point why these companies died). This is why so many dislike EA.