Drought Hits Hermes Hard

A report by Tony Knox. Exceptional weather conditions on Hermes have resulted in a wide-scale drought. Reservoir levels are at an all-time low, and emergency rationing is in force. Authorities have stated that if imports are not forthcoming huge fatalities will result.

Yet Another Starlancer Article

RPOV's Starlancer preview is different from the rest. Different in that it mentions Wing Commander only once:
There is a lot of comm chatter in the missions which helps the immersion factor. It reminds me a lot of Wing Commander, actually. When you kill an enemy fighter they tend to taunt you as they blow up. Your wingmen talk back and forth while in combat and even more so when the action cools down.
Secret Ops also used extensive comm chatter to deliver the story and immerse the player. You can find the article here.

19 Months Together and Still Going Strong

You may have noticed that we've added the CIC's Second Anniversary to the Up and Coming section. On August 10, we'll be celebrating the event in the CIC IRC channel #Wingnut. Last year, on our first birthday, we opened the Ships Database and handed out door prizes. You can read last year's logs here (long version) and here (short version). We already have several neat things planned for this year's party...

Never Say Never

BluesNews concacted Origin's Director of Communications David Swofford regarding the future of the Wing Commander series.
David confirmed the truth to the story, that their planned next project in the Wing Commander/Privateer universe, which was so early in development it had not yet been announced, has now been canceled, a move meant to focus their resources on other projects. While David said Origin still considers Wing Commander/Privateer an important franchise, right now it is just not one of their priorities. When asked if there would be another Wing Commander or Privateer game in the future, David wouldn't rule it out, but specifically said he does not want that to raise expectations, saying there are no plans in the immediate future, and the best way to characterize it is: "never say never."

Yes, Yes, A Thousand Times Yes

Gamespot is holding the following poll: "Do you think Richard Garriott's departure will have a negative impact on Origin?" Head on over to let them know what you think.

Jewel Bash on Hermes

Antiques and valuables editor Tony Knox reports. The annual gem collectors' fair is taking place on Hermes at the moment. Gem enthusiasts from across the system are attending, and hotels and restaurants across the planet are alive with collectors buying, selling and swapping. A goodly proportion of traders and entrepreneurs are here also, looking for the opportunity to pick up a few cheap gems.

About the PC Gamer Ranking

This is in regard to Wednesday's update:
Apparently a recent PC Gamer had a "Greatest Games of All Time" ranking. Wing Commander 3 received 30th place.
Justin Sabelko lets us know that it was actually the Readers' Choice Top 50 Games of All-Time. The last editors' top list didn't have Wing Commander in it at all.

Just Your Average Starlancer Article

Beta Bites has put up a preview of Starlancer, and it's not without the Wing Commander references. A selection:
For those of you that do not know who [Chris and Erin Roberts] are, they created the whole Wing Commander series, and the genre that has spun off from it.
If you have ever played Wing Commander, StarLancer will feel like coming home. The key layout is very familiar (in fact, most space-sims seems to use the same layout.
Unlike the Wing Commander series, there is no Full Motion Video. Instead, the FMV has been replaced with lots of Computer Generated sequences that allow for a smoother flow.
Lots being 20 minutes. The article comes with a few very familiar looking screenshots too. I just know this game is called Privateer : the Darkening 2 in some parallel universe. Thanks to ATFW.

The End

For now. The following is an internal memo from Origin president Jack Heistand. It has been forwarded to us by several reliable sources who would prefer to remain anonymous. In short: Wing Commander is dead, in favor of an entirely Ultima based company. To note: this site will remain up, and the staff has full confidence that Wing Commander will rise again.
As I reflect on my first year at OSI I take great pride in what we have accomplished and where this organization is headed. We learn form the past and we leverage our strenghts. This next year presents challenges throughout all of EAWorld. Every studio and publishing entity has been challenged to focus and reduce spending. This is a transition year in the games business. This happens every 5 years with the introduction of new hardware by the market leader. This is particularly challenging because we are wanting to invest and being the transition to online as well. So what does this for OSI?

As we ponder how to get maximum benefit for our planned spending, it is clear to me, that we simply cannot fall into the trap of trying to do too much with too few resources. EA is prepared to invest 16mm behind Origin and the Ultima businesses. This investment is one of the top 2 franchise investments EA is making worldwide. With that said it is not prudent for us to deploy precious resources behind the web based games and Privateer. These projects are well conceived with talented people behind them. However we do not have the resources to meet what the teams require to realize their vissions. Moreover, with respect to Privateer we find ourselves with 2 products in EAWorld in development positioned right at each other.

As an organization a greater focus is required. That focus will involve tightening our belts and concentrating on our core business...the worlds of Ultima. Here are the major changes:

Richard Garriott will be leaving OSI. Richard's contribution to OSI has been great and his legacy as the creator of Ultima is a tremendous responsibility for us to inherit. There are few promoters, if any, that parallel Richard's ability in that area. As Richard and I discussed his vision of what he wanted to do -create new large properties, OSI simply could not pursue those endeavors. Wishing Richard only the best and all life has to offer as he embarks on his new challenges.

In addition our workforce will be reduced by 20. The goal has been to minimize the reduction in development personnel and reduce administrative spending in a prudent fashion. We will work as passionately and dilligently to find those individuals affected by this reduction, opportunities within EAWorld or within their specific area of expertise in Austin. Every individual will have a senior manager as a sponsor to help them identify and evaluate opportunities.

Our product priorities are as follows:

1. Grow UOLive to 200k+ subscribers. Jason Bell will be returning to direct UOLive as well as directing the plan for UO2 Live. Jason has been a pillar of strength and his management skills are extraordinary.

2.Ensure that UO2 is a triple A title by using the proper time, resource and management focus on this key endeavor. Jeff Anderson will be devoting 100% of his time to ensuring that this strategic sku is a mjor success. As part of that endeavor the product licensing that Jeff iniated around UO2's marketplace expansion will be managed by Jeff. I am confident that leveraging Jeff's considerable talent behind UO2 will mean even greater success for this awesome product. Debbysue Wolfcale will continue to focus on retention marketing and managing the web group. Debbysue, David Swofford and GalenSvanes who are taking marketing to a new level at OSI will continue to report to me.

3.Rick Hall will become the producer of an exciting new sku, which will be the most powerful new UO release to date. Rick is signed up to deliver this product this fiscal year. Rick has quickly demonstrated his ability to manage and direct against tasks at hand. We will talk more about this product in our next company meeting.

4. UNext (UO3) will be kicked off with a small team led by Rich Vogel, Raph Koster, Chris Mayer, Bill Randolph and Jake Rodgers. This team is charged with redefining and expanding the Ultima franchise to appeal to a much larger market than the hardcore PSW followers today. This incredibly talented group is uniquely suited to lead this charge. Rick and Rich's teams will report into Gordon Walton, who continues to impress all of us.

I know that the last few weeks have been taxing and these are difficult changes to absorb right away. We have the talent, passion and a laser beam focus to execute the most strategic component of EA's online plan. As we move forward we will prove to the world what we already know--we are the best in the PSW business, bar none.

The Beer that Doesn't Fart About

We at Plain and Simple don't hold with fancy language, with your la-di-da and other poncery. When we make something, we tell you what it does, such as 'Hits Things Hard' Hydro-Hammer, or our 'Goes Quite Fast' Family Automobile. Now, we've branched into the liquor industry, with our all-new 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer. Available in two varieties; Strong and Very Strong. Buy 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer - it gets you pissed. And it's cheap. 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer. A Plain and Simple venture.

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2000

On May 11, 12 and 13 the annual E3 Expo will take place in the Los Angeles Convention Center. Many companies choose to announce their new games at E3 because of the media coverage. It'd be a good time and place for Electronic Arts to announce Privateer Online, but don't get your hopes up yet. EA will be occupying three booths, and we can can only hope there'll be a spot reserved for POL.

Wing Commander Mention in X:BTF Review

The Glide Underworld's X: Beyond the Frontier review includes a minor Wing Commander mention:
Many gamers that are familiar with the space simulation genre, and the likes of Freespace, Wing Commander, and Independence War will recall that all of these games had one main focus, battle. While this may not have been a bad thing for most gamers, some may be part of a group that crave a game with less fighting.
As if. :)

Good harvest for Hermes

Agricultural correspondent Tony Knox writesA continued bout of good weather in the summer season has resulted in exceptionally bountiful harvests for farmers on Hermes. A huge surplus of all foodstuffs has resulted, and producers are keen to export. Prices are said to be low.

Everyone versus the Russians, Chinese, and the Middle East

Today's obligatory Wing Commander reference comes to us from B3D.net. This one's on the shorter side. It's pretty much a rundown of the plot and basics of the game. You can find it here. This reference has been brought to you by the letters W and C and by the url ATFW.net.

Week 70 Trivia Questions Released

The new Trivia questions for week 70 are out. For some reason I like these more than usual, perhaps because they take from a rather wide variety of sources. Anyhow, you can find more info in the Trivia section.
  • Question 139: Who saved Christopher Blair when he was forced to eject near Scylla in 2654?
  • Question 140: Who saved Dirk Wright when he was forced to eject in Novaya Kiev in 2666?
  • Bonus 70: Who saved Ian St. John when he was forced to eject near Hell Hole in 2668?

A Nice PC Gamer Ranking

There were quite a few of these around the turn of the year, but I think JediKTim found one we haven't reported about yet. Apparently a recent PC Gamer had a "Greatest Games of All Time" ranking. Wing Commander 3 received 30th place. It's often overshadowed by Wing Commander 4 or Privateer in regular polls, but in these sorts of things WC3 comes through quite a bit.

Pirates Create Food Shortage on Hermes

Tony Knox reports. Continued pirate activity around the planet of Hermes has meant that very few food-carrying transports have made it to the planet unscathed; most merchants have either avoided the area, turned back after encountering hostiles or been destroyed. The situation is not yet critical, but food prices are slowly rising as supplies dwindle.

A Concise Starlancer Preview

Gaming Age has packed together a few bits of information on the upcoming Starlancer. There's both Wing Commander and Privateer references throughout. One thing of note is that this article refers to a late Summer release for the game. You can find the preview here.
The creators of Wing Commander and Privateer have been slaving away on a space sim that might just have what it takes to stand up to the mighty Freespace 2.
What can I say that hasn't already been said? :)

Most Expensive Wing Commander Auction to Date Ends

We've been watching this one closely for a while. Last week the red outfit that Freddie Prinze wore in the Wing Commander Movie went up at eBay. The opening bid was $499 (another record) and it competitively rose to the final price, $559, a couple days ago. We feared it may have gone to a rich pop culture collector, but yesterday we received some more news on the subject. It turns out the top bidder, Joe Garrity, is actually a very fanatical Wing Commander fan. That's very much a consolation to us. FYI, it's our policy to not report on auctions before they're over. You can find the auction here. We'll have some pictures soon. Congratulations Joe!

Congratulations...

Athane Runter reports. Are in order for Ser Vester Ilson of Krabbis, Hermes. He's just won the Isaac system annual lottery, netting an incredibly 789,000,000 credits, which instantly catapults him to the 5th richest man in the system. Former Invoice Clerk Ilson seemed to be taking the news calmly. 'It won't change me', he said yesterday, as he hugged to cast members from hit VidShow 'Starbabes'. Yeah, Vester, whatever.

Shhh, a Secret File

Steal this file! This document, from the now defunct Wing Commander IV PSX site, contains the only basis for a specific date in Wing Commander IV. I thought I'd lost the only copy when my drive crashed a while back... luckily a copy has been found. Grab it now, so that it cannot be lost again.

A Telep Chat Coming Soon

Peter Telep, author of Wing Commander and Pilgrim Stars, will be participating in a live chat on April 14th at 8:00 pm EST. Get more information here.

Cult Leaders Arrested in Livestock Fiasco

Tabloid reporter Pete O'Hara comments on a worrying phenomenon. Bex authorities this morning announced that they would be prosecuting the leader of the latest faddish cult to inflict itself upon the populace, The Close Friends of the Unspeakably Evil Vissiluth, Being of the Pit. The Close Friends were content peddling the usual brand of spiritual mumbo-jumbo and daemonic nonsense, when their popularity went to their heads. Their leader, The Grand High Mu of Ineffable Damnation, decreed that the Red-wattled Bison, the planet's chief Livestock, were spiritually impure and must be destroyed. His gullible followers complied, and huge quantities have been sacrificed. New supplies are urgently required.

He's Back

Hey, everybody, LOAF's finally back... a big thanks to all who wished me well after my recent surgeries. I'll hopefully be back at school next week...

Blair & Maker

Black Joker, webmaster of Wing Commander in Russia, was kind enough to send us two pictures of Colonel Blair & Chris Robets from Wing Commander 3. These pictures were given to him by Denis "Marksman" Bolshakov, who kindly scanned them in. Thanks to all involved!

Holy Day of Acclivity

Today, March 23, is an annual Pilgrim holiday celebrating the ascension of Ivar Chu McDaniel to a higher form of existance. For the next seven days the current Protur will go into hiding on McDaniel's World where he will pray and fast to seek communion with Ivar Chu.

Crash Chaos Kills Kinky Cyborgs

Rake about town John Wilmott writes from Hephaestus. Offer your condolences to legendary roister-doisterer Carlos T. Decson, who has been most adversely treated by fate. It seems that my old pal Carlos was enjoying a small snifter of AbSynth at his club, relishing the prospect of returning home to frolic with his harem of classic Pleasure Borgs. Imagine his distress when he returned home, only to find his priceless collection of antique Pleasure Drones utterly destroyed by a rogue meteor that had obliterated their quarters. A tearful Carlos was inconsolable last night, especially as Pleasure Borgs are now controlled items, and extremely difficult to replace, even with inferior models. Stiff upper lip Carlos, if nothing else.

Chilean Movie Release

Jacard Alejandro reports that the movie has been released in Chile, and is up for rent from Blockbuster. He also found out that there is a chance it'll become available for purchase in a month, but there's still some uncertainty.

Rain, rain, go away!

An on-the-spot report by Simon FreakI'm standing atop a hill on Bex, witnessing the most ferocious storms in the planet's history. It's been raining here for over two weeks now, and many of the planet's lower areas are completely flooded. Thousands have been made homeless, and prices for real estate on hills and mountains have tripled. Fresh water is, unsurprisingly, in abundance, and any trader willing to try and diminish the huge stockpile by shipping some off-planet would be made more than welcome.

Three Reviews, Three Games, Three WC References

We've got a number of various reviews for different games that credit Wing Commander. A couple are from ATFW and one is from Shadowlight. I'm going to hit them in one update here.
  • GA-Source has a review of last year's Freespace 2. It's rather late, but nevertheless, you can find it here. This one admits that FS2 borrows from the Wing Commander line.
  • The Game Revolution preview of Starlancer begins with another review of Wing Commander history. You can find it here.
  • CNN did a review of X: Beyond the Frontier. Like Wing Commander and Starlancer, Privateer always gets the nod in XBTF reviews. You can find this one here.

Ghost Guide Still for Sale

Scott Gould found another online store selling the nonexistent Privateer 3 Strategy Guide. These have haunted us every since 1998 when Privateer 3 was tossed around by Origin. Anyhow, we received word quite a while ago from Prima that the book had long since been canceled. You can find the latest ghost here, the Prima notice on June 4, 1999 and the first mention of this guide way back on August 10, 1998 (our very first update!).

Help us! Plead The Inhabitants of Hades

Tony Countdown is on the scene. Disaster has struck on Hades. A contamination of the water supply, supposedly linked to Military testing, has given rise to immense shortages of all foodstuffs. Thousands have died already of hunger, and this figure could rise considerably if assistance is not forthcoming. Hades authorities have issued an all-system appeal to traders and aid agencies, urging increased food imports. 'I'm hungry and want to eat' was the reply we got from a hallow-eyed young waif we talked to in the street.

Starlancer Preview at CGO

Someone at CGO must have thought 'six Starlancer previews just isn't enough', because they've just put up their 7th. And, against all odds, this one actually talks about the game, instead of going on and on about Wing Commander. A little snippet:
Graphically, this is a good looking game, but not spectacular. It should, though, run on a lot more systems than some of the later Wing Commander beasts, at least.
That last comment makes me wonder if the author has actually played any of the Wing Commander games. Because even the most recent ones (Prophecy and Secret Ops) run smoothly on a P100 with a Voodoo 1 board. You can find the article here. Thanks to ATFW.

Privateer Online Mention at Desslock's RPG News

Last Friday's Desslock's Allegiance Rambling includes a minor Privateer Online mention:
It's definitely the first of its kind, but it seems to be aiming to create Warbirds style multiplayer arenas rather than an expansive and dynamic gaming world (unlike Freelancer and Origin's Privateer Online), which is a bit disappointing.

CIS Bulletin

Hermes CIS are looking for anyone who can offer information concerning the whereabouts of one Neil 'Chipolata' Cook, who is chief suspect in the Deeson Prose murder. He is also implicated in the rape of Aldi Bestwork, and the grotesque torture of Hizza Sistant, who has undergone incredible suffering at the hands of this brutish invidivual. He is a balding individual of medium height, distingueshed by his grating laugh and simian features. One witness has described him as 'resembling a baboon'.

Some Mixed Alloy Reviews

ATFW is reporting about two Alloy Gaming reviews for some of DA's games, Starlancer and Freelancer. Various Wing Commander references and the usual hype.
You’ll be able to fly in huge areas (space is, by virtue, vast) covered with huge space stations, giant warships (by giant warships, I mean more than a mile long, with your tiny ship relative in size)
And, as we all know, that was something Wing Commander Prophecy featured back in 1997.

Firing Squad Chris Roberts Article

Technically it's a Starlancer preview, but the article begins with lots of talk about Chris Roberts. We don't really knows what he's done for Starlancer, but everyone sure likes to mention he founded the company that's making it. You can find the article here.

Word from the Front

LOAF's getting better at home right now, but it'll be a good week at least before he's somewhat mobile. I'm sure everyone's positive wishes have helped.

Wing Commander Soundtrack on the Radio

Trashcan let us know that the Wing Commander movie soundtrack is being played at the end of the radio show "De Tijgers van de Zaterdag Avond" (The Tigers of the Saturday Evening) in the Netherlands. It starts at 8:00 pm and ends at 10:00 pm (when the track begins to play). So if you live in Het Gooi, you can hear a little Wing Commander treat on 105.5 FM at 10:00 pm.

Wing Commander Classic Feature at Gamespot Again

A number of people have noticed Gamespot is rerunning the old historical feature on Wing Commander that they first released about a year ago. The Trivia game is long since over, but it's a neat feature. You can find the intro here. Here's a picture of the grand prize that Hadrian won last year.

Tax Protesters go on Rampage

Political editor Tony Knox writes. An organized march protesting at high tax levels has degenerated into violence on Hermes. Police are blaming a hard-core of trouble makers for the disruption, but from where I was standing pretty much all of the demonstrators were involved. Numerous arrests were made, and a large number of firearms have been confiscated. No doubt there will be plenty of smugglers looking to take advantage of others' misery.

It's a Small World Online

The logo of the Wargamer website (see Thursday's update) was designed by none other than our own Kevin Scholl. Kevin played a key part in getting the CIC started and has always been a great help. The ancient Wing Commander Home Sector's graphics were also done by him. He's currently employed as a designer for iXL.

Trivia Reminder

Remember to get your answers in before Sunday, March 19. This week's questions are:
  • Question 135: How much did a Centurion Mercenary Heavy Fighter cost in 2669 on the civilian market unequipped?
  • Question 136: How much did a Danrik Heavy Fighter cost around 2790 on the civilian market unequipped?
  • Bonus 68: How much did it cost to build and launch one fleet carrier around 2668 without fighters?
Details can be found in the trivia section.

This Vegetable Love Will Grow and Grow...

Do you have one of those jobs that mean you're on your own most of the time?Perhaps you're a miner? Or a hermit? Or a dangerous prisoner confined to solitary? Well, fret no longer, 'cos Fungus Friends are here. Simply drop the spores into the nutrient solution, and you can grow your own semi-sentient Companion Fungus. He'll wave at you, say 'hello' in the morning, even water himself! Say 'bye bye solitude, hello company', with the Fungus Friend. Only 150 credits. Pack includes 5 spores, nutrient bath and training booklet.

Super Speed From Coast to Coast

Philip Galberth came across an interesting article at the Adrenaline Vault.

Metromedia Fiber and its subsidiary, Abovenet Communications, today announced that Electronic Arts has selected the two companies to provide the optical Internet infrastructure for EA's streaming interactive entertainment. Under the agreement, EA is co-locating servers hosting interactive game content, and obtaining Internet connectivity at Abovenet's Vienna, Va. and San Jose, Calif. Internet service exchange facilities. In addition, EA will lease unmetered fiber from Metromedia to enhance connectivity with their east coast customers.

EA will leverage Abovenet's Global One-Hop to provide increased reliability and performance to all its end-users worldwide, the companies said in a press statement. Metromedia’s plan of an all-optical IP architecture over a dedicated fiber optic web that reaches throughout the local loop in 67 cities in North America and Europe will connect all Abovenet facilities, including its European operations, with its east and west coast hubs in Vienna and San Jose. The capacity and reach of the 29,000 route-mile net with up to multi-terabit per second capacity will provide "an ideal IP infrastructure for the high capacity streaming applications to be offered through Electronic Arts," the companies said.

The bandwidth could be used for future Massively Multiplayer Games, like Ultima Online 2 and Privateer Online.

Web Soup Listing Credit

We'd like to take a second to acknowledge the Web Soup website. It's a compilation of the recent "sites of the days" from a ton of "site of the day" sites. There's quite a bit there. We were mentioned recently in regards to our Daily Website award.

A Well Rounded Starlancer Review at Well-Rounded

Well Rounded lived up to its name and put together a pretty balanced Starlancer review. It has plenty of Wing Commander references too. You can find the article here.
While Starlancer is a truly entertaining experience, it does suffer from a "been there, done that" malaise. Despite changes in the storytelling style and enemy, the game at this point really feels like another chapter from the Wing Commander book. There's not a lot of innovation immediately apparent, which is somewhat disappointing when you consider the brilliant minds at Digital Anvil and how long they've had to work on the game. At this point, Starlancer is a lot like a Twinkie. You have a damn good time when you're consuming it, but when you're done, you're no more satiated than you were when you opened the package.
For some reason I really like this Twinkie comparison. I should compare more stuff to baked goods.

CIS Bulletin

CIS agents on Karatikus are extremely keen to contact the driver of a Geo-class tranporter, ship ident Alpha-9974536X/M. If you see this ship, distinguished by its 'Davy's Donut Deliveries' markings, please contact agents Gumble and Wiggum at outpost Beta Three on Karatikus. Davy, if you're on-line, bloody well hurry up, will you, we're starving.

Daily Website Award Screenshot

The following image is a screenshot of our Daily Website award page (see yesterday's update).

The page can be found here.

They Can't Write About it Without Mentioning WC

Wargamer has put up their preview of Starlancer, and not surprisingly it mentions Wing Commander. A lot. It's amazing how every single Starlancer article ends up talking more about WC than the actual game. Here's a snippet:
Wing Commander included hundreds of wonderful little touches that made the hours slip away like minutes, and college freshman term papers seem like frivolous little distractions in my quest to free humanity from enslavement by the Kilrathi. Other than Wing Commander, few games of this genre have evoked in me such a sense of "Wow, what a game!"
You can find the article here. Thanks to - you guessed it - ATFW.

Are You in Search of Lost Childhood?

Are you looking in vain for that innocent joy which made life such a constantly rewarding experience?Is your quest made all the more poignant by the fact that you know it's impossible? Maybe we can help. We at Stapleton Brothers have a long pedigree in the invention and manufacture of mind-altering drugs. Now, for your delectation, we present... Elysium! Two capsules of Elysium will instantly return you to the cognitive state of a seven-year-old, allowing you to once again be a child for a few short hours. Ideal for pyjama parties, trips to the zoo and practical jokes of all varieties. Elysium, from Stapleton Brothers. 35 credits a capsule.

It Always Rains on the Weekend

LOAF, who is currently on Spring Break, had surgery two days ago again and it turned out to be more serious than expected. He's currently recovering at home and we could have some more info Friday.

CIC Receives Website of the Day Award

Today the CIC received some rather exciting news from Daily Website.
Your web site, "Wing Commander Combat Information Center" http://www.wcnews.com, has been chosen to be the web site of the day on March 15, 2000 of Daily Web Site (http://www.dailywebsite.com).We update our site based on 0500 GMT. Daily Web Site is the leading award web site that guides surfers to the best web site on daily basis.
Keep up the good work!
Regards,
Jamie Ton
Webmaster Daily Web Site

There's Always eBay

In November of last year (see the update) JP Meyer contacted EA Direct about the possibility of Kilrathi Saga and Wing Commander 4 being rereleased again. He was told that while uncertain, it could happen in the next three months. Yesterday he contacted them again, and here's the (disappointing, but not surprising) response he got:
This product has been discontinued and is no longer available. We apologize for the inconvenience.
One of the reasons that the games won't be reprinted could be the fact that the current EA Tech Support personnel are no longer familiar with the older games.

Are You as Fat as a Whale?

Do you find yourself getting wedged in armchairs? Do you have to eat solidely for four hours before you even start to feel full? If the answer to all these questions is YES, then you could win fame and fortune as this year's Mr. Fatman Champion! For the measily sum of 100 creds, you can enter the preliminary rounds, where you'll be asked to:
  • Drink a bucket of warm lard
  • Participate in the feared Pie Marathon
  • Eat a live gnu
Don't delay - apply today!

Wing Commander Mentions in X:BTF Review

Action Trip's X: Beyond the Frontier review includes a number of Wing Commander mentions. And excerpt:
All I can conclude is that the game fulfilled all my expectations. There was a great void in this genre since the legendary Elite. Some games like Privateer 1 & 2 tried to fill the gap (and failed according to my opinion). Wing Commanders were great, Freespace 1 & 2 were good copies of their predecessors, I loved the X-Wings, but all I ever wanted was to play an enhanced version of Elite. The sequels to the original game always turned out to be crap, and the aforementioned Privateer just did not have enough of gameplay, literally; it was too short.
You can read the full article here. Again, thanks to ATFW.

Starlancer Q&A With Erin Roberts

Gamepower recently interviewed Erin Roberts. When asked about his reponse when people call Starlancer "Wing Commander under a new name", he had this to say:
There are a lot of elements from Wing Commander, but what we tried to do with Starlancer is add a new story and universe and a new way of telling the story. We have a new mission system that is more interesting; we tell the story through the missions now, instead of relying on the cinematics. There's no waiting for just the next flick to tell the story.
We already saw that "new" mission system in Wing Commander Secret Ops. You can find the article here. Thanks to ATFW.

Marriage Bliss for Happy Couple

An effervescent report by society correspondent Zara H. Ginger.Scenes of warmth and joy abound on the planet of Hades, where the marriage of Lady Ffyona Tweaks-Phraenum to notorious interplanetary arms dealer Thark Matcher is taking place. The groom looks gorgeous, winseomely posing in a gold lame twinset with matching garter, while the bride struts handsomely in the uniform of the 2nd Crian Fusiliers [check this - Ed]. Asked what was on her wedding list, the shy and blushing bride responded, 'Gems. Lots of Cerulean Gems. Bloody buckets of the things, ya, and jolly pronto or there'll be trouble'.

Gamespot Celebrity Poll Includes WC Actors

Gamespot is currently holding a poll that asks which famous actors that have featured prominently in computer games would be most welcome in a new game. Wing Commander vets include Mark Hamill, Ginger Lynn Allen and Christopher Walken. Currently Walken is in the lead with Hamill in third and Allen in fifth. This poll is run in conjunction with the ZDNet special above.

The Academy Awards of FMV Games at ZDNet

ZDNet currently has a big feature that honors the many games that have featured live actors over the years. Needless to say, the Wing Commander series gets plugged numerous times. The article begins here. Wing Commander 3, Wing Commander 4, Privateer 2 and The Movie all get mentions. Thanks to Ainamacar and others who submitted the news.

Blakk is Back

Art critic Tristram Ponsonby comments. After a year's self-imposed solitude, artist Orestin Blakk has emerged to stage his new work of dramatic art. Called 'Why oh why oh why', it is described as 'aleatory performance theatre incorporating strongly paganistic and spiritual themes'. Blakk opens with the poignant spectacle of a lone, spotlit, screaming child, a motif so powerful I wept freely into my Neo-silk handkerchief. He then continues with a series of disparate yet strangely synergetic images that strongly reinforce, and yet challenge, the premise of the title, leaving one with a curious sensation of faux-savant reassurance that persists for several minutes after leaving the auditorium.

Major Privateer Online Confirmation

Gamespot's PC Graveyard article on Jane's A-10 Warthog (a cancelled project) contains several neat Wing Commander/Privateer Online mentions. This is without a doubt one of the biggest confirmations we've seen so far.
From page 5:
It was obvious that we had the best team in the building, and we should be doing online stuff! When we approached Lucas for the Star Wars license, that was the first step. That fell through, so [we] started to design Wing Commander Online. This was after the entire Wing Commander Prophecy team left for Bootprint. We asked for a decision to be made about A-10's future - with expectations that it would be supported, marketed, and sold well, or dropped right then - so we could work on the more important, more strategic, and much cooler Wing Commander Online.
From page 8:
According to Swofford, "Many of the people on the A-10 team were transitioned into online projects which were underway at the time." Apparently, not many stayed. A source on the A-10 team states that out of a team that numbered around 20 individuals when it was cancelled, "Right now, there are only seven of those people still at Origin. They are all on Privateer Online."
The full article can be found here. Previous POL/WCOL confirmations have been archived in the Privateer Online section. Thanks to Joseph Yu-wen Huang and everyone else who submitted the news.

Chnauzer Runs For President

Political observer Muvin Belimice reports. Digby Chnauzer, governor of Sevid county on Janus, has declared that he will run for the presidency in next year's election. Running with policies such as tighter immigration laws, increased police powers and the creation of a new 'serf' class to serve the planet's wealthy citizens. Eartly popularity polls have shown Chnauzer to have support from 65% of the electorate, though it will be interesting to see how these figures are affected once his policies come under closer scrutiny. Current president Cathryn Selim-Fithings has said she is 'unworried' by the challenge.

Trivia Reminder

This week's trivia questions are out a little late. Remember to get your answers in before Sunday.
Question 133: What was Major Todd "Maniac" Marshall's father's first name?

Question 134: What was Lieutenant Lance Casey's father's first name?

Bonus 67: What was Sir Lev Arris' father's real first name?
E-mail your answers to ChrisReid@wcnews.com. If you've never played trivia before, it's not too late to start. For more information, visit the Trivia section.

More Starlancer Previews

Since Wednesday's news update, CGO has put up parts two and three of their Starlancer preview, and an interview with Erin Roberts. Gamespot Australia has also put up a Starlancer preview. One that's a lot more accurate than CGO's. An excerpt:
It plays very similarly to the Wing Commander series - in fact far too similarly. The sticking point that stung us as we observed Starlancer in motion was the seeming lack of actual gameplay innovation.
That preview can be found here.

That's Ore-ibble

Foghorn Armhorn Reports. Inhabitants of Janus IV were in mourning last night, following a local orphanage being destroyed in a spaceship crash. It seems that the freighter Agetin, loaded with Rhodium ore, made a poor ingress into the planet's atmosphere, burning out its retro-thrusters in the process. Three minutes after the problem was reported, the craft smashed into the Agnes Gentle Home for Bereaved Poppets, slaughtering over 1500 wide-eyes innocent waifs. On a lighter note, there is still a shortage of Rhodium on the planet, offering a golden opportunity to any entrepreneur.

Movie in German Switzerland

According to kulturinfo.ch and kino.bsonline.ch the theaters in Basel and Zürich (the largest city in Switzerland) will begin showing the movie today. This probably applies to the whole German speaking portion of the country.

Belgian and Dutch Rental Confirmations

The movie is beginning to appear in Belgium and Holland for rental.

Peter Kluver from the Netherlands:

Yes, the movie is indeed for rental in Holland and I think Belgium. I have finaly seen the movie!
Rik Wuyts from Belgium:
I went to Videoland today and was pleased to find that the Wing Commander was available for rent. Also every other video rental store in my town had it. Just thought I'd let you know.

Crappy Craft Crock Company

Transport correspondent Perry Patetik reports from Crius. Spacecraft manufacturing titan Despro has folded, following a series of massive insurance pay-outs. The blame for the disaster, which has rocked the whole industry, can be laid at the feet of one man: materials clerk Augustus Higgins. It was Higgins' job to procure Iridum, a powerful anti-corrosive substance used in the manufacture of hulls for space-going craft. Higgin's carelessness resulted in Gallium, by contrast a very easily corroded metal, being substituted in the manufacture of 20 Burro-class cargo ships. 18 of these craft have crashed or exploded, resulting in over 130 deaths. Despro's stocks of Iridum are being sold off cheaply to pay damages claims.

Wing Commander Article at CGO

Well, not really. CGO has put up their Starlancer preview, but it's mainly about Wing Commander. The author made a few mistakes here and there (like calling the Starlancer setting original, insinuating Erin Roberts is developing it, etc...), but it's a good read. You can find it here. Thanks to ATFW.

Moustachioed Mayhem on Hades

Qarl Ferrik reports on hirsute horror. There were scenes of gunfire and chaos throughout the night on Hades yesterday, following the introduction of the highly controversial Moustache Tax. Groups such as Whisker Pride and the Razor Opposition League took to the barricades, protesting at the highly unfair tax which places a tax rate twice that of normal upon bewhiskered members of the populace. Over 7,000 people have died in the orgy of destruction perpetrated by the bushy-lipped activists, and violence looks set to continue. Firearms prices are said to have risen considerably.

Movie Rental in Belgium and Holland

If the magazine ad we reported on earlier is accurate, today's the day the WC Movie becomes available for rental in Belgium and Holland. If you can confirm this, please let us know.

You're in Trouble...

You're about to walk into the biggest den of villains in the galaxy.You're short, you're podgy, and you've just snogged Mr. Big's mother. Are you scared? Hell, no... you've just bought a Krisk Arms Ultimate Cannon! The Ultimate Cannon is the last word in personal defence - own one, and you've got more firepower in your pocket than most primitive armies!

Features include:
20mm Neuroaffector beam with Stun, Wound, Maim and Terminate settings.
50mm Grenade Launcher with a huge variety of warheads.
Personal Shield mode that will resist anything up to a nuclear explosion.
The Ultimate Cannon... 2,000 creds, from Krisk Arms!

Movie Rental in Holland Coming This Week

Raoul Meijer let us know that Holland has a very similar ad to that recently found in Belgium about the Movie rental. It should also be available on March 7.

Wing Commander Ride at Showscan

Although we haven't received direct word from the company in a while, Showscan.com features a coming soon section with Wing Commander in their Flash site. It can be a little difficult to find however. Load up the Flash site, click on Films, click on Ultimate Thrill Ride Index and then click on Coming Attractions. We still don't have a concrete date.. so I think we're just gonna say "2000" in our Up and Coming box for now.

Bad Blood at Friendly Match

Burford Gumba writes. There are troubled reports from the annnual CIS/Hades 'No hard feelings' Soccer match. Grudges were in evidence right from the outset, when convicted murderer 'Corkscrew' Jones kicked Special Agent Feltham firmly in the groin. As Feltham was stretchered off, Jones was shown the red card for ungentlemanly play, and has an extra three years added to his sentance for sharpening his boots with studs. The incident sparked off a mass brawl, with a further 7 CIS agents hospitalised with various injuries, while 3 convicts were shot and killed as they administered a savage beating to the referree. It is unsure whether next year's fixture will go ahead.

Some Minor News Reporting Tips

We've probably hit all these points before, but I thought a nice simple roundup of how to get ahold of us would be in order. News@wcnews.com is our main contact address. If you have any news tips of other matters concerning Wing Commander or the CIC, that's where you can reach us. If you're sending news, it speeds up the process if you include your source in the original email. Also, news@wcnews.com isn't really for technical support. The Tech Support Chat Zone is a better place to get help for several reasons (more people to help you, more prompt response, etc). And thanks, we depend on news submissions to keep on top of things.

"Der Preis der Freiheit" Release Date Narrowed Down

Karl Dönitz found out the bookstore "Kaysers" in Rheinbach (near Bonn), Germany expects to get the German novel "Der Preis der Freiheit" (unclear whether this is The Price of Freedom or False Colors) in July this year. Previously we just knew it was coming out in 2000.

KriskArms Buys Out ExTex

Military analyst Jervis Frintner reports. KriskArms spokesman Norman Marasares yesterday confirmed that the weapons manufacturing giant had completed their 23 million credit take-over of ExTex Inc., manufacturers of specialist explosives such as duodecaplatylonate. Marsares spoke very favorably of the deal saying 'This is the boost KirskArms has been looking for; we've been wanting to make a greater impact on the missile and mine market for some time. With ExTex on side, we'll be able to offer cheaper and better technology to both the military establishment and independant users.'

Wing Commander Movie Coming to Belgium

According to the latest edition of Videonews, a local movie magazine, the Wing Commander Movie VHS will be available for rental on March 7. The magazine features a full page ad, and a positive mini-review.
A movie based on a videogame... you're probably not sure what to expect, and neither were we. But rest assure, Wing Commander is a pretty good movie for its genre. Fans of the game series will notice that it doesn't always follow the game to the letter. The movie had a fairly low budget, which you can tell from the not so wonderful aliens and the somewhat simplistic scenery. But these shortcomings are more than compensated for by good acting achievements by Matthew Lillard, Saffron Burrows and Freddie Prinze Jr. Wing Commander is a no-nonsense, classic space-adventure full of action. Fans of that kind of movie won't be disappointed.

Article translated by Waffel.

Hard?Cor! Sign for Startled

Music hack Terry Young reports. Titans of techno Hard?Cor! signed up for the big-time yesterday, when they clinched a three-album deal with Startled Productions, the label owned by music legend Zak Skintight. Frontman Wok-eyes seemed unperturbed by the news, saying 'Yeah, it's alright I suppose. Zak's a nice bloke, and we'll get to go to some really good parties. Can I go now?'

MMP's the Hot Topic at Gamespot This Week

Gamespot's Question of the Week this week asks which upcoming massively multiplayer games people are most looking forward to (didn't ATFW just do that?). They talk about UO2 a bit, but mostly it's just discussion on the topic of persistent universes in general and their future in the gaming industry. There's nothing critical in this one, but it's not a terrible read if you're interested in this sort of thing. You can find the article here.

Cinemax's March Wing Commander Schedule

I missed the showing of the Movie on Tuesday, but no biggie, Cinemax is showing Wing Commander throughout this month as well. Below is the newly released March schedule. These are some rather odd showing times though.
DateTimeChannelTitle
Mon, Mar 66:15 pmMAX EastWING COMMANDER
Fri, Mar 109:20 amMAX EastWING COMMANDER
Thu, Mar 162:30 pmMAX EastWING COMMANDER
Sat, Mar 2511:30 amMAX EastWING COMMANDER

If Your Child Hasn't Got A Cosmic Thunder Samurai Newt...

Then you shouldn't be a parent! In fact, if we discover that your offspring doesn't possess at least THREE of our posable figures with optional accessories, plus at least one of our horrendously overpriced poorly manufactured ThunderKillaCars, then we're going to send the Social Department round to your habitation... tomorrow! Buy one today, or your child could be in the care of deranged individuals of dubious sexuality and religious denomination by next week. Crecheco. We care.

A Few New XBTF Reviews Released

I don'think I've seen a single X: Beyond the Frontier review that's not mentioned Privateer in it. ATFW found a couple more at GameCenter and Daily Radar. You can find the actual articles here and here. One thing of note is GameCenter's reference to the "often-overcredited Wing Commander: Privateer." If anything, Privateer gets *under* credited in more often than not. The original Priv game has received "favorite Wing Commander game" status in at least one prestigious Gamespot poll, and despite its incompatibility with any flavor of Windows it's still a big seller on eBay. And it looks that the Privateer subseries will be what carries Wing Commander in the next few years. It certainly deserves all the credit it's received. This isn't the first comment of this sort I've read at GameCenter, but to each his or her own I suppose. Anyone agree or disagree? Send it to our mail bag.

Movie Released in Israel Theaters Yet?

We've been tracking the Movie status in Israel over the past month with a bit of interest. It's an odd situation of sorts. The DVD went on sale and the video went up for rental about four weeks ago, but there were indications that one or more theaters would be showing it at the end of February. And nobody seemed to notice (or told us they noticed) our February 30 Up And Coming date for its release. :) If anyone has seen Movie posters in theaters or something similar recently, we'd like to hear it.

More Autograph Addresses Available

Justin Bielawa has been searching high and low for any contact address for Wing Commander stars he can find. We've got a few new discoveries today (Hugh Quarshie's address was previously reported here). If you'd like to send a letter requesting an autograph (and photograph and self-addressed stamped envelope) to one of the stars of the movie, here's all the addresses yet found. Apparently Saffron Burrows and David Suchet are real hard to get ahold of.
Jurgen Prochnow (Commander Gerald)
c/o ICM
8942 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
USA

David Warner (Admiral Tolwyn)
46 Albemarle Street
London WlX 4PP
England

Freddie Prinze, Jr. (Christopher "Maverick" Blair)
c/o BWR
9100 Wilshire Boulevard
6th Floor
West Tower
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA

Tcheky Karyo (James "Paladin" Taggart)
c/o Artmedia
10 Avenue George-V
75008 Paris
France

Hugh Quarshie (Mr. Obutu)
c/o James Sharkey Associates Ltd.
21 Golden Square, London W1R 3PA
England

Matthew Lillard (Todd "Maniac" Marshall)
c/o Randi Michel
William Morris Agency
151 El Camino Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
USA
Note that Justin also reports that he's never received a reply from Lillard.

Follow or Contact Us

Forums: Recent Posts

Current Poll

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

Site Staff