Those following the story of Origin through these Point of Origin newsletters can rest easy knowing that May 22, 1992 brings no bad news - it's business as usually in Austin (fifteen years ago). It does, however, have an unusual amount of trivia for interested Wing Commander fans! Check it all out below.
- Full-Court Press talks about the success of the French presentation mentioned last issue: "They walked out of here with a copy of Wing 2 in French and a glowing review of the translation from Joystick Magazine in their press packets."
- Target: Chicago talks about Origin's plans for the upcoming COMDEX show:"We'll also be touting Trade Commander (or Privateer (or whatever the heck it ends up being called)... For a little pizazz, there's a nifty Special Ops 2 demo..."
- The really exciting article is Book 'Em, Danno, which announces the first Baen/Wing Commander packaging deal. We'll take a closer look at that in a followup update soon
ORIGIN recently issued a three-book license for the Wing Commander paperback novels. All of them will be from Baen Books, which has solid distribution and circulation provided through Simon and Schuster.
First comes Freedom Flight, scheduled for release in early December. The story takes place during and immediately following the events of Secret Missions 2. The lead characters include Hunter, a young Kilrathi and two Firekkans. Teaming up as authors will be Mercedes Lackey and our own former wordsmith, Ellen Guon (they've already collaborated on two books).
Next summer will probably see the release of the next book--a tag-team effort. Christopher Stasheff (The Warlock in Spite of Himself, King Kobald and others) will wite the first half, focusing on one character. Then, Bill Forstchen takes over at the word processor and writes the second half, dealing with a different character who has to deal with the fallout from the first half. Get the idea?
The third book may include the death of the Tiger's Claw, butit won't hit stores for at least 18 to 24 months. This one will bepenned by Jerry Pournelle of BYTE fame and once again, Ellen Guon. Maybe weought to put her back on ccMail...
- Dear Point Man explains: "There has been a painful precedent for management, marketing and direct sales in this arena... Direct sales of things like shirts and caps (Wings) didn't go as well as planned. There was even an effort to get software retail outlets to carry them, but the channel didn't bite. So the Marketing department's looking for other avenues to push merchandising."
- Industry News & Notes takes on something that I distinctly remember noticing at the time: "The newest issue from Computer Gaming World (June) is out and it has some ads for an entertainment software company from England trying to invade the U.S. market. The company's called Impressions and nobody seems to know anything about it. They managed to get our attention in a hurry, though. On page 61 is a full-page B&W ad proclaiming Impressions as 'Europe's leading developed of quality strategy games.' It goes on to say: 'Look out for All-American strategy hits from Impressions coming soon.' Turn the page, and you're hit with a four-color ad for Impressions' apparent first release, Air Force Commander. Not only a new developer/publisher, it appears, buit someone who's bracing for some head on competition with the likes of Wing Commander and Strike Commander. ORIGIN already has lawyers looking into the proposed title usage for potential trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and likelihood of confusing issues."
- PC Research H its List March/1992 has two WC games on the sales chart - Wing Commander II at #15 and Wing Commander Deluxe at #20. Sounds like the gamble earlier in the year paid off.
Point of Origin
Vol. II, No. 17 - May 22, 1992
Up Close and Personnel
Full Court Press
CHeck It Out!
Potpourri for $100
Bio: Mark Vittek
Book 'Em, Danno
Dear Point Man
Industry News and Notes
PC Research Hits List March/1992