For twenty two years Origin Systems set the tone for the computer gaming. Ultima, Wing Commander and dozens of others set the gold standard for which the rest of the industry could only hope to catch up. This era has finally come to an end as Electronic Arts readies an announcement that it will shut down the Austin-based Origin studio.
This is not the end for Ultima or Wing Commander. Ultima Online will now be run from California, and development of Ultima X will continue on the west coast. Hopes that another Wing Commander game would be developed in Austin were dashed long ago; the longtime belief that a California-based EA team would develop the next Wing Commander title may, ironically, be bolstered by this news.
What it is, however, is a tremendous moral loss on all fronts. Origin Systems will always be the ultimate symbol of gaming's greatest days, and its dissolution to a faceless corporate entity is, sadly, equally symbolic of the world today. Origin entertained, challenged and inspired our generation in a way that seems impossible today. Though the individuals who developed our games long ago moved on to greater careers, the very existence of the company itself continued to stand for something special; something amazing.
The CIC will continue to dedicate itself to Origin's legacy - we will redouble our efforts to archive anything and everything related to the company. We will strike to make the world remember what Origin meant. I wanted to end with a quote - something plithy and literary to express the meaning of such an ending. I came up with only this:
With your carrier destroyed, you drift endlessly through the void.
After a bit of downtime the server is up and running again, but with a few less frills on the front page. Files and music downloads will resume as soon as the Slashdot effect subsides. If you urgently need a patch, you can ask us on IRC. Our forums are still up, but a little slower than usual.
Live Wing Commander Jazz Recording A Huge Success!
Origin composer George Oldziey has completed his live recording of Wing Commander jazz music. The event was conducted last week at George's studio in Austin, and pictures from the day make it look like they had a lot of fun! Initial results also sound fantastic, and we're anxious to hear how everything comes together in the finished album. (2018-02-18)
RPS Highlights Origin Fandom
Rock Paper Shotgun has run a neat article on longtime Origin collector Joe Garrity. There's a really interesting Q&A that delves into how Joe got started many years ago buying up spare copies of Ultima games and meeting with their creators. It also highlights some of the good work that fans have done to preserve historic material, such as our 2008 trip to archive Origin source documents at Mythic or the assistance Wingnuts gave Raylight to develop Prophecy for the Game Boy Advance. (2018-02-17)
Wing Commander On Sale For Lunar New Year
We've seen this sale before, but not quite for this reason. GOG.com is running a Lunar/Chinese New Year event that lops 71% off the price of the Wing Commander series. (2018-02-16)
Daedalus Station Gets Major Facelift
The Maslas Brothers have kicked off their big 2018 push with a huge revamp to Daedalus Station, the home base of Wing Commander Flat Universe. There are some nice improvements to welcome in new players, plus a lot of back end rework to make future updates easier to make. Other subsections include an archive of the Destiny's Way magazine and a ship database that syncs with the actual stats of the fighters in the game. (2018-02-15)
Happy Valentine's Day
You asked for it, and here it is once again! The Love Arrow. Where would we be without it? (2018-02-14)