Transverse Saga Continues To Unfold; Game Evolved From WC Online Pitch

The launch of Piranha's Transverse space sim has been interesting, to say the least! There had been rumors for some months that the developer's next game would be a licensed Wing Commander title, so their countdown was being closely watched by some Wingnuts. When the game was revealed as a brand new property, it appeared that the speculation had been unfounded. However, PGI's creative director Bryan Ekman had this to say:
We do indeed currently hold the license of Wing Commander. We first contacted EA about the WC brand in the spring of 2012, long before the initial announcement of products like Star Citizen. We approached EA because we had a deep love for the space combat genre and Wing Commander was right there alongside MechWarrior as our most beloved franchises we grew up with. In short at the time we thought we were going to be the ones taking that big initial risk to try and bring space shooters back.

Over the course of the next 18 months a significant amount changed – Star Citizen was announced, and by Late 2013 we found ourselves in possession of an exclusive license to Wing Commander and assembling a small team to craft a new experience. We spent six months developing, designing, and working on a marketing video with help from outsourcing partners. As we approached our reveal date, there was a moment of pause when we started to reflect on the brand, and design concepts. We reached a pivotal moment when some of our best design ideas were being pushed to the side as they just didn’t fit within the constraints of a WC game.

We looked carefully at what our WCO product was, looked at other competing products, and decided that we needed to move away from the Wing Commander universe. It was a tough choice, as we have a deep love and respect for the brand.

It became clear that our very best and original game idea was contained within all of the concepts that were pushed aside for our WC product. The concept for Transverse was born from a single thought, and inspired by all those unused ideas. In the end we realized we should be making our best idea and in doing so we found a corner of the spacesim genre that would make us stand out. In doing so we would also be providing Star Citizen with the respect it deserves and what it represents to their customers.

Their game's art assets also match the story. Their reveal trailer includes Dralthi-style enemies and concept art with familiar commodities like Dart DF and "Javeline" HS missiles.

A few pieces to the puzzle are still missing. On the face of it, it would appear both admirable and shocking that the company has such faith in their concept that they would be willing to forego Wing Commander branding that had already been negotiated. It's a somewhat ironic situation coming just weeks after the exact opposite happened (a Hollywood proposal based around Wing Commander that lacked any rights to the name).


It's also not clear exactly how this 'Wing Commander license' might apply - the spectrum ranges from some sort of ownership of the brand to time-limited ability to create free to play MMOs on the PC. We can just confirm at this time that they've had some dealings with EA. For comparison, Destination Software licensed the ability to create Wing Commander games solely for the Game Boy Advance in the early 2000s, which actually resulted in an impressive Prophecy adaptation. It's also clear that EA still has a connection to the series, as they are currently giving away WC3 On The House. Additionally, Chris Roberts regains the film distribution rights to Wing Commander soon.


There's been quite a backlash towards Transverse from backers of MechWarrior Online. While the CIC would keep an open mind and judge any new Wing Commander game on its own merits, it at least is nice to have avoided some of the acrimony that's currently raging. Perhaps if PGI could redeem itself in front of its fans by faithfully executing on Transverse, a future Wing Commander game they make would get a much better reception from all quarters.


No matter where the next Wing Commander product comes from, we'll be here to report the news!

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


We've Got This Sector Bottled Tight, Friend...
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2017-11-16 -- The Wing Commander series has had quite a few large and elaborate print advertisements over the years, but even by the franchise's often lofty standards, this one's a whopper. This ad is spread across six full pages and follows a "five senses" theme with a late '90s vibe. Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are all emphasized along with a smattering of FMV screenshots, gameplay scenes and a handful of commodities.

A Localization Interrogation
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Wing Commander Composer David Arnold Interviewed
2017-11-12 -- Modern Vinyl has posted an interesting interview with David Arnold, the composer behind the Wing Commander Movie's famous Overture theme. Much of the article focuses on the recent vinyl release of his work on Hot Fuzz, but it also notes his wide ranging involvement with films from James Bond to Stargate. Check out the full article here.

Homeworld Mod Removes Bugs & Fixes AI
2017-11-11 -- There's another new update to the Homeworld Remastered mod, Flag Commander. L.I.

OldiesGames Does Vengeance Of The Kilrathi
2017-11-10 -- We've been following the OldiesGamesTV series of Wing Commander reviews for a number of years, and now they've completed their three-part profile of Wing Commander 2. The videos are in French, but even if you can't speak the language, seeing all of the minor differences in the game are really cool if you originally played in another language. And where you understand their words or not, it's clear that they're big Wing Commander fans that we're happy to support!

Wing Commander Album Track List Complete!
2017-11-09 -- George Oldziey is back with another update on the progress of the second Wing Commander album. He's been quiet for a little bit, but there has been tons of progress on the orchestration front. The basic track list is complete and PDF scores will even be sent out soon.

Secret Ops Is All About Squashing Bugs!
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Three Cheers For WC2 Manuals
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Shapely New Wing Commander 3D Prints Available
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Wing Commander 3 Play-Through Remade At Nightmare Difficulty!
2017-11-05 -- It's been more than ten years since the legendary Queeg released his consolidated Wing Commander 3 movie. The original film set download records at the CIC and garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Now he's back with a brand new take on The Heart of the Tiger - this time he's completed the entire game on Nightmare difficulty!

GalCiv 3 Mod Continues To Expand
2017-11-04 -- Hellakazoo has posted some additional screenshots of his Galactic Civilizations 3 WC mod that highlight some of his latest additions, such as the Tarsus and Clarkson jammer. There's also a neat screenshot of one of the game's menus that feature the character portraits. Some of the recent CIC Forums discussion has been about what to add next.

Wing Commander Scores Lucky #7
2017-11-03 -- Here's a throwback to a twenty-one year old issue of Computer Gaming World. Back in November 1996, when we all were just getting into the Wingnut scene online, CGW posted a comprehensive "best 150" games feature. Wing Commander came in as the 7th best title of all time, just behind other famous contemporaries like Sid Meier's Civilization, Ultima IV, Doom & Sim City.

New Prophecy, Secret Ops Update Adds Ships & More!
2017-11-02 -- The newest version of the Prophecy and Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack has been released! It includes a whole pile of exciting ships that have been gracing the news over the last few months. There are additional bug fixes as well as some new features to smooth in-game graphical loading.

Kilrathi Invade #GamingHaikus
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Arena Concept Art Inspires New Models
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Waterloo Once Again
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