Starr Long Interview Talks Career, MMOs & Licensing Classic Origin Properties (July 6, 2019)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator



Arcade Attack has posted a wide-ranging interview with Origin veteran Starr Long. It discusses Mr. Long's extensive career at Origin and with the larger MMO scene, including his current work on Shroud of the Avatar. At about the 30 minute mark, there's also some fun discussion on Wing Commander. He talks about how Privateer and Armada were ahead of their time regarding their open world and multiplayer capabilities respectively. In addition to working quality assurance and playtesting on these two titles, he was also involved in QA with the Academy mission builder. There's also this quote, which is both somewhat depressing while giving fans reason to be optimistic about the future:
AA: Do you think there’s room for a new game in the [Wing Commander] series?

SL: Oh, absolutely. Every few years we ping Electronic Arts about some of the intellectual property they own like Ultima and Wing Commander. They always claim they are going to do something with them. 'Cause we ping them and say, "Hey, if you’re not doing something with them, we’ll gladly do something with them..." but they always claim there’s something in the work, so we can’t do anything with them. ... We’re happy to pay to license.




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Original update published on July 6, 2019
 

st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
Maybe EA's approach is changing? From gamesindustry.biz

EA: "I struggle with the perception that we're just a bunch of bad guys"
"As we got bigger, there is the concern that we had become disconnected from new talent coming through," Bilbey admits. "EA Originals is our opportunity to connect with that talent and those smaller ideas. When you are part of a big company, it's too easy to fall into the trap where when you see a game concept... it has to be big. The notion of actually coming up with small, unique game ideas... We know from the work that we've been doing on our subscription business that gamers will play a FIFA or a Fortnite -- they have one main franchise -- but then they want breaks from those games to play something that's maybe five or ten hours long.
 

Pedro

Vice Admiral
It's so hard to imagine EA doing something with the WC licence whilst they have Star Wars. The exception being mobile, but try as I might I can't enjoy mobile games.

Stranger things have happened but I wouldn't be surprised if they just don't view it as worth their time.
 

st3lt3k

Rear Admiral
It's so hard to imagine EA doing something with the WC licence whilst they have Star Wars. The exception being mobile, but try as I might I can't enjoy mobile games.

Stranger things have happened but I wouldn't be surprised if they just don't view it as worth their time.
I suspect you're right. The sales volume might not be there. Even if the sales volume is there, it could lead to concern about eating into sales of existing games. Still, It may have some hard to quantify PR benefit. EA seems to like referencing Origin. I don't think it's a coincidence that this program was named EA Originals.

If a WC mobile game came out that might not be the worst thing. Maybe the best WC game is the one you have with you?
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
EA seems to like referencing Origin. I don't think it's a coincidence that this program was named EA Originals.
I don't think that's the case here. It's definitely what's at work with their "Origin" service, but this is mostly just hooking in to something Netflix started and that now shows up on pretty much every streaming service as a way to highlight content that you can only get from them.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I suspect you're right. The sales volume might not be there. Even if the sales volume is there, it could lead to concern about eating into sales of existing games. Still, It may have some hard to quantify PR benefit. EA seems to like referencing Origin.
Yes, Privateer Online was famously canceled so that Westwood could launch Earth & Beyond. Meanwhile, they've developed Mass Effect and gotten Star Wars. While these may have been insurmountable obstacles a few years ago, the reception to Mass Effect Andromeda and Star Wars Battlefront II may have changed some minds. At the very least, it should have sent the message that they can't count on their blockbuster sci-fi series to always be winners, and it might make sense to have some diversity in the lineup. That diversity could certainly come in the form of a mobile game (like Ultima Forever). I'm super open to it not being a giant mainstream AAA title.
 
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