According to stories at Gamasutra and Gamespot, the folks at Bioware recently name-dropped Wing Commander in a recent speech at the AGDC 2008 conference in Austin, Texas (Wing Commander's birthplace). The subject was influences on Mass Effect and its style of cinematic storytelling.
Next was "The Renaissance," with titles in the early '90s such as Wing Commander and Rebel Assault making things a "fantastically exciting time", as Walters put it. Marino noted some of the key games later in the '90s, including the "watershed moment" of Half-Life, with 3D characters interacting and speaking to the player in real-time.Gamespot:
Another World and other games like it gave rise to the early-'90s Renaissance period, in which designers began to scale back the text and convey more through technology. Examples of games that took advantage of these techniques include such classics as Myst, Wing Commander, and Rebel Assault. As Walters noted, the industry was both imitating and innovating during this period--taking sensibilities from the film world and riffing their own creations for what works well in interactive properties. Valve's Half-Life was another "watershed moment" for cinematic design, noted Walters.It is also worth noting that Bioware is now part of the Electronic Arts family... and that their Austin-based team includes Wing Commander veterans! Chris Roberts once said he hoped Wing Commander would be looked on to future interactive movies as 'The Jazz Singer' is to talking movies today... and maybe that's what's happening here.