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.


Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page

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


Songsworth Imagines Kilrathi Battle Cruiser
2017-06-25 -- Here’s a weird one: the electronic music group Songsworth creates music inspired by science fiction worlds… and it seems they’ve taken some inspiration from the Wing Commander universe! Tracks on their 2013 album Second Star to the Right are titled "Wing Commander" and "Kilrathi Battle Cruiser." They appear alongside other songs inspired by Star Trek, Dune, Isaac Asimov’s Robots and more.

Videogames: On Set with Mark Hamill
2017-06-23 -- We have two more sets of scans from 'Videogames' magazine to close out the week. The first set (October 1995) is the most interesting, a report from the set of Wing Commander IV complete with an interview with Mark Hamill. The second pair of scans (November 1995) explain how to access the debug menu in the 3DO port of Wing Commander III...

Kickstarter Fails to Launch
2017-06-22 -- George Oldziey has updated the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 with some sad news, the campaign is not going to make it. But he also reports that this is NOT the end: he has a plan for first funding the music and then the orchestra separately. Here's the post:The next phase.

Pak it Up
2017-06-21 -- We recently ran an article running through the history of Electronic Arts' "CD-ROM Classics" line of re-releases. This week, I made a cool discovery on eBay: a bundle containing five of the first wave CD-ROM Classics together in a slipcover. Bundling unsold software in this way has a long tradition; in fact, Origin's own "Ultima Value Pak" (1990) is one of the more sought-after Ultima collectibles!

Custom Wing Commander Controller Stuns
2017-06-20 -- djfx has an incredible fan project to share: a custom Wing Commander arcade controller! It's designed to seemlessly play Wing Commander I, II and Privateer... and boy does it look cool!

Kickstarter Progress Update
2017-06-19 -- George Oldziey has posted an update on the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2. The numbers aren't looking good for the current Kickstarter, but it sounds like he's willing to keep fighting! Whatever happens, we'll be there for the ride.

Everything Looks Worse in Black and White
2017-06-18 -- Computist magazine was something of an ‘alternative’ gaming publication in the 1980s. Originally conceived to cover Apple ][ gaming, the magazine had a special focus on how users could remove copy protection from their games. As a result, it was treated as something of a black sheep by contemporaries and the nascent gaming industry.

RSI Museum Looks Back at Wing Commander III
2017-06-17 -- I was honored to get to spend another hour talking about the history of developing Wing Commander games on this week’s RSI Happy Hour. Wing Commander III marked a major shift in the scale of how games are managed and created… setting the stage for games like Star Citizen. Enjoy!

COMBAT ALERT: George Oldziey Live Q&A Tomorrow
2017-06-16 -- Wing Commander composer George Oldziey will be holding a live Q&A tomorrow in support of his Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 Kickstarter. We'll be joining in to help get your questions answered (and some of ours!) Here are the details, straight from the main himself:Greetings everyone!

Wing Commander Prophecy... to the XTREME!
2017-06-15 -- Continuing our theme of including ridiculous images of Tomb Raider, today's magazine article scan comes from a February 1998 issue of Argentina's "XTreme PC." This article features a two-page review of Wing Commander Prophecy, which seems to be very positive (earning a 94% overall rating.) Also included is the back page of the magazine, an advertisement for local retailer 'CD MARKET' that prominently features Wing Commander Prophecy.

Bankruptcy, Space and the Great Games
2017-06-14 -- RadioShack, the lion of the American strip mall, is dead. Once a leading electronics retailer, RadioShack fell on hard times in recent years as buyers shifted in favor of larger superstores and then e-tailers and this year declared bankruptcy. Of special interest to classic computing enthusiasts, they are holding an impressive series of auctions that include vintage items from their long history once stored for their historical office.

Pillowrathi Inbound!
2017-06-13 -- Did you miss out on Mike Winterbauer's Classic Game Covers book Kickstarter but still want a Wing Commander print? We have good news for you! He has posted the artwork to Fine Art America, a CafePress-style print-on-demand service.

Ad Ben: 3Dfx Technology
2017-06-12 -- This is not an excuse to post Lara Croft's butt! Note the F-108 Panther-class space superiority fighter in the upper left-hand corner. For Wing Commander Prophecy, Origin made an agreement with up-and-coming 3D accelerator group 3Dfx to support their platform.

Wing Commander Prophecy: Trumpets Beware!
2017-06-11 -- George Oldziey has updated the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 with a video showing one of the Wing Commander Prophecy tracks from the previous volume being recorded! We're trying to set up a livestream for later in the week, so you can ask Mr Oldziey your questions directly. Watch this space for details!

Re-Orchestrated Mission Music!
2017-06-10 -- Good news: the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 saw some pledging overnight, crossing the $13,000 level! We're still under the gun, but George Oldziey is hopeful and is continuing to work on the music for the recording. Here's his latest update:Even though we're about 1/2 way through the campaign with only about 25% of what we need I'm still hopeful.

Orchestral Recording Project - Why We Fight
2017-06-09 -- Hello everyone! We’ve posted a lot of interesting articles recently about George Oldziey’s Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 Kickstarter. No matter the occasion, it is always a joy to collect the bits and bobs that make up Wing Commander’s history, and doing so in support of this noble project has felt right to me.

Arrows Inbound
2017-06-08 -- We have a good news/bad news update tonight. First, the bad news: the amazing 1:48 Arrow fighter model kit developed by Alfred Wong has run into a small delay. Mr.

Kickstarter Adds PDF Extra
2017-06-07 -- The Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 has crossed the $10,000 threshold! It still needs a lot more support to happen... so please keep pledging and sharing the link!

GOG Summer Sale Launches
2017-06-06 -- The GOG Summer Sale is here! From today through June 20th, you can pick up any of their Wing Commander releases for just $1.49 each!

Kickstarter Adds Volume One
2017-06-05 -- Composer George Oldziey has added a requested option to the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project Volume 2 Kickstarter campaign: the ability to purchase a copy of the first album as an add-on! For $50, you can add the original, finished CD for Volume One of the project... and at the risk of editorializing, that is a steal.

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