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.

Vengeance of the WC Playthroughs
2015-03-28 -- Wvlfy is another prolific YouTuber that's passed under our radar for the last couple years. He's extremely prolific and has produced over 60 WC mission recordings with full commentary. Sometimes you see people who start WC1 and then get bogged down in the difficulty of The Secret Missions or SM2: Crusade.

WC1 Almost Gave You The Finger
2015-03-27 -- Dondragmer's continued artistic exploits have uncovered some interesting hand gestures buried in the code of Wing Commander 1. It's likely that these were intended for the mechanic tech that greets each pilot upon landing. Note the blue sleeve versus the brown jacket around pilot hands.

Goodbye, Sir Pratchett
2015-03-26 -- Discworld author Terry Pratchett passed away two weeks ago. The internet has done a much better job memorializing him than we could, but we would like to take a moment to kindly acknowledge him as a fellow Wing Commander fan. There's quite a few writers out there that share our passion for the series, and it was prominent sci-fi author Jerry Pournelle that got the prolific novelist into the series.

SM1.5 Campaign Ported to PC with New Modding Techniques
2015-03-25 -- Fans have long been intrigued by the differences posed by Super Wing Commander. Ostensibly a remake of the original Wing Commander with newer graphics, the games' smattering of familiar fighters has much confusing crossover with ship models used in very different roles throughout Privateer and Armada. And while WC1 and The Secret Missions were pretty faithfully recreated in the new engine, SM2 was replaced by a brand new intermediate campaign where the Tiger's Claw seeks out and destroys the shipyards that spawned the Sivar Dreadnought.

French Dub of WC4 DVD Playthrough Defects to the Border Worlds
2015-03-24 -- DocteurJ tipped us off about the second chapter in OldiesGamesTV's high quality playthrough of WC4. Just like chapter one, this episode is spoken in French thanks to a special remixing of the audio from the CD version on top of DVD edition's high res video. Even for non-French speakers, it's pretty interesting to see how the voices are dubbed in a different country.

Kat on a Hot Durasteel Roof
2015-03-23 -- Dondragmer has been hard at work with fellow fans performing digital archeology on the art of Wing Commander 1, and he's made some interesting discoveries! The first reveals the ceiling panels of the original four Confed fighters. Everyone has probably seen these without noticing before, since they're briefly visible during the first person ejection sequence, but they fly by so fast that nobody ever gets a good look.

WCDX Restores Pinups, Planets & More!
2015-03-22 -- Stinger has published another big update to his WCDX patch for Kilrathi Saga. It restores even more of the original DOS games' features to the Windows edition of the earlier Wing Commanders. Background planets now appear in space and the joystick can be used for menu navigation.

Kick Back & Watch Some Wing Commander
2015-03-21 -- With the proliferation of Twitch and ever-better gadgets for digital recording, online video game playthroughs are absolutely booming. Lots of people are playing and posting classics like Wing Commander. Some aren't newsworthy, but we like to share certain clips when a lot of effort has been put into them.

Seether Bombs Innocent Installation
2015-03-20 -- Here's a funny/horrible story involving Robert Rusler, Seether from Wing Commander 4. Costar Robert Downey Jr. reports that the pair made a giant mess in a poor girl's trailer on the set of Weird Science.

WC4 Homeworld Mod Remastered!
2015-03-19 -- The WC4 Mod for Homeworld has now been fully relaunched! L.I.

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