Behind the Scenes: Selling Privateer Online

Before Origin could develop Privateer Online in the late 1990s, they had to sell it to Electronic Arts. Alert readers are already familiar with the Privateer Online Design Layout (available in our Document Archive) submitted to the corporate office to explain how the game would work. To go alongside this document, the team also created a multimedia website to help sell the game. Thanks to an anonymous donor, you can now find that site here. The best part? The site features several never-seen-before preliminary ship renderings from the lost game!

The first couple shots appear to be a modular Vaktoth. The Crusader and Aurora, heavy fighters in the Border Worlds and Confed arsenal, are pictured next, and if you look closely, the last shot even has a swarm of Piranhas and Devastators.

Origin has an extreme edge over the competition with its strong properties like Wing Commander and Ultima. While most companies are struggling to create these properties AND communities from the ground up, Origin has several properties that fit perfectly in a persistent world environment. Each of these properties has an established loyal fan base and history that has been adored by fans for years. The next Origin property to go online? Wing Commander: Privateer.

With all that said Privateer with the strong universe backing and proven Wing Commander history proves to be the most extensive, entertaining and encompassing space based Online community in gaming history. PERIOD.

There's a ton of detailed information buried in the Privateer Online site, so make sure you check out all the various sections and links. Don't miss the areas describing how the game might control in flight, how players could interact and how ship components would combine to create over half a million different combinations. Potential sectors and systems are also diagrammed in detail. You can find a brief article describing the circumstances around Privateer Online's cancellation here.

Wing Commander Online Was Another Attempt

Privateer Online wasn't the only online Wing Commander game that met an unfortunate end. We've previously reported on concept art from Wing Commander Online. These images were on the drawing board in 1998, a year or so before the game was cancelled and the Privateer Online project was begun. There are some similarities between the POL and WCO concept shots, but they were made by different artists. You can find more here. Although it's sad that these games were never produced, it's really exciting to get an inside look at what would have been.


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Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

Try Not To Drool Over This Fake Wing Commander Mockup...
2015-08-03 -- This is not a real product, but we sure wish it was! Fakes Forge creates imaginary collector’s editions of games that don’t exist but sure ought to. The box cover merges Blair’s face from WC4 with the Star Citizen Bengal class carrier.

Listen To Full WC1 Voiceovers In Mega CD Walkthrough
2015-08-02 -- completewalkthroughs has posted a full recording of Wing Commander for the Mega CD (commonly known as the Sega CD in the US). It's not the first time we've seen someone on YouTube profile the game, but playthroughs are still fairly rare. While the Super Nintendo version of the game was quite popular, relatively few people are aware of this console port.

Weekend Reminders Roundup
2015-08-01 -- There's a lot happening in the world of Wing Commander this month, so here's a quick recap of some highlights to keep in mind.Wing Commander starts playing on Netflix today! There's already been considerable buzz on social media, and fans are organizing a group viewing.

WC1 Programming Library Widens Supported Assets
2015-07-31 -- Since we last checked in, UnnamedCharacter has made a large number of expansions and improvements to his Wing Commander library project. The software toolkit (implemented in .NET v4) provides a programming interface for working with Wing Commander 1 data files.

PC Gamer Reflects On FMV Games
2015-07-30 -- PC Gamer has posted a new article on the state of FMV both yesterday and today. They point out the genre's rocky history, but Wing Commander is called out as a major exception that stands the test of time despite some technical limitations. Although live action cutscenes are largely seen today as a relic of a bygone era, the author highlights how they continues to pop up in new places.

New Flat Universe Previews Tease Next Installment
2015-07-29 -- The Maslas Brothers have released a whole bunch of tantalizing new screenshots for the next iteration of Wing Commander Flat Universe. All images are either gameplay screenshots or otherwise rendered in the engine. These new pics show off the custom cockpits that frame the action: the angular green Hornet, squared off red Scimitar, silver curved Raptor displays and more are all there.

Wing Commander Arrives On US Netflix!
2015-07-28 -- Streaming Wing Commander's spread across the globe continues! After appearing in countries such as Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK earlier this year, the WC Movie will finally begin showing on the US Netflix roster starting August 1. Sure, we all got the Blu-ray edition a couple years back, but it's exciting to think about the huge new audience the film will soon be in front of.

Bearcat Gets Unreal Makeover
2015-07-27 -- ScoobyDoo has made big progress importing his new Bearcat fighter into the Unreal 4 engine. In this new environment, he's been able explore adding tons of detail to the cockpit, hull surface and landing gear. Although he's known for adding lots of stuff like this to his ships in the past, he's being careful to walk a fine line and avoid making his ships deviate too wildly from the baseline Wing Commander examples.

Frontier Bombers Get Modern Makeover
2015-07-26 -- The Border Worlds faction is getting some nice upgrades to their torpedo-carrying fighters in the WC4 Homeworld mod. L.I.

Three Weeks To Party Time!
2015-07-26 -- In case you missed our recent announcement, the date and time for the CIC's 17th Birthday Party has been set! You're invited to join us on Saturday, August 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) in the #Wingnut chat room. It'll be fun night full of old war stories, cake, trivia games and prizes.

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