The Wing Commander of Uprising

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I wonder why they didn't use the DVD though... the HD Version (other than McDowell) is still pretty low-res looking.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Yeah, it was also a bit odd he didn't actually say "Hey that's me as Space Marshall Tolwyn" or mention WC considering its the backdrop for the promo.
 

ChanceKell

Rear Admiral
What a nice little nod to WC and McDowell's history working in video games.

AD: The people who made the little ad most likely didn't have the WC4 DVD sitting around. The video producing team for RA3 probably just grabbed some promo material from the EA archives or the Internet, the same low-res footage we have access to.

Dundradel: I don't know if we should get our hopes up. This wasn't a coded message from up-high in EA to WC fans in waiting. And the production value is pretty low - I bet they did a bunch of lines in front of a blue screen. McDowell certainly didn't know what was going on behind him, and why would he need to mention WC or his role in it when over half of the ad was pure footage from WC4?
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I wonder why they didn't use the DVD though... the HD Version (other than McDowell) is still pretty low-res looking.
EA really doesn't have a grand library of stuff they can just pull from like that. There were no DVDs in the Mythic archive of Origin stuff. There's a good chance it wasn't even made from a copy there - it could just as easily have come from a personal copy of the game that belonged to someone on the C&C team. The fact that the DVD version of the game was made by Daylight and not Origin further removes it from likely accessability.

Yeah, it was also a bit odd he didn't actually say "Hey that's me as Space Marshall Tolwyn" or mention WC considering its the backdrop for the promo.
He kind of does with "I was certainly brilliant in that role, wasn't I?" But it's a C&C ad. Everybody that knows who Tolwyn is can plainly see that's who is in the background.

I bet they did a bunch of lines in front of a blue screen. McDowell certainly didn't know what was going on behind him, and why would he need to mention WC or his role in it when over half of the ad was pure footage from WC4?
He does mention his role, so I don't know why you'd think he doesn't know what's going on. The context would have been explained at some point of the process here.
 

c0mc0

Rear Admiral
You know, history may well prove me wrong (Didn't Tolwyn have a thing or two to say about history? ;)) but I also tend to think of this as more than a mere coincidence or "isn't that a nice little nod to WC".

This is one of the biggest software publishers in the world with a massive PR component. I doubt much slips by the marketing execs without them seeing it. I don't really buy the idea that one of the RA3: Uprising staff were a bit of a fan and wanted to salute his favourite franchise...

At this point I would not be surprised to hear (I would, however, be incredibly excited) that EA had a Wing Commander game in the works. Anyone who would argue that the franchise is too old to gain any sales from old fans and that it wouldn't be marketable to new gamers only needs to look at Fallout 3 as resounding evidence that this is not necessarily true.

I could rattle on with reasons why I think EA might feel it is the right time to revive the franchise (something I'm sure has been done every single year since Secret Ops was released) but suffice to say, I think this might be the start of a rather unconventional viral marketing campaign on EA's part. IE - Lets not show our cards yet and get people over-excited but lets start getting Wing Commander back into the consciousness of gamers on the back of another of our most famous franchises...

Again, I may be proven to be grossly incorrect but it makes me wonder...
 

Chuckles

Commodore
I bet they did a bunch of lines in front of a blue screen. McDowell certainly didn't know what was going on behind him, and why would he need to mention WC or his role in it when over half of the ad was pure footage from WC4?
Considering his awareness for everything he does, I think it would be safe to assume McDowell knew he was talking about Wing Commander in his "Goddamn I'm brilliant" bit. Perhaps not the specific clip in question, but I'm sure he knew it was going to be an EA property, and Wing Commander was the most obvious choice of property. Not all that many video game projects to choose from beyond that.

Then of course, there's little that escapes his metahuman senses. He saw the clips by just looking at the green screen, which he then decided to make blue with his mind powers, and is now using mass hypnosis upon thousands of YouTube viewers to make RA3:Uprising the best game ever. With a supercomputer brain, a mane of white, clairvoyance, and a resume that could crush a herd elephants like pillbugs, which he can rip in half like a phone book, there ain't a whole lot you can pull over the eyes of Malcolm Mother-f'ing McDowell.

Look at that suit, and try to disagree.

More on topic, I'd say while overtly this is a chance for McDowell to promote the RA3 expansion and a tip of the hat to his previous work, I'll have to agree with c0mc0 that there's a small taste of EA testing the waters.

Though it could be quite simply that EA has begun to accept, be aware, and be proud of its publishing history. To compare it against peers, the converse side would be LucasArts, which by any passing glance or deep pry seems to almost disavow any relation to the old LucasArts that made games like X-Wing or Full Throttle. It may not sound like much of a step forward, but it doesn't bear bad news towards old properties.

At the end of the day, I suppose the least we can walk away with is a wry grin and a nice feeling that it's not just the fans of the games that remember Wing Commander fondly.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Yeah, it was also a bit odd he didn't actually say "Hey that's me as Space Marshall Tolwyn" or mention WC considering its the backdrop for the promo.
Like ChanceKell said, they just stuck him on a green screen soundstage and stuck a teleprompter at him. They filled in the background with whatever they found later on.

McDowell has done more games than just Wing Commander 4 - Star Trek Generations, Fallout 3, ...that Mummy game no one remembers... and while I'm sure he remembers making those two WC games, I doubt he's asked to remember what company made what and when. For all he knows, they could've stuck video of him as Caligula in the background.
 

ELTEE

Rear Admiral
"Hello cadets! I'm Space Marshall Tolwyn. You may remember me from such classics as Wing Commander 3; and Wing Commander 4!

<cue non-descript, elevator-like music jingle>

Today, I'm here to talk to you about discrimination in the workplace. It's a whole different world out there sports fans, and we have to be careful not to hurt anyone's feelings. Remember, the Kilrathi are our friends now..."
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
To compare it against peers, the converse side would be LucasArts, which by any passing glance or deep pry seems to almost disavow any relation to the old LucasArts that made games like X-Wing or Full Throttle.
Is it that bad for Lucasarts, really?
 

c0mc0

Rear Admiral
Well...Lucasarts seem much like EA in that they are content to sit on incredibly successful franchises and series regardless of what the fans think/want.

Imagine the popularity of another Monkey Island game? Or a new game in the X-Wing series? What about Full Throttle or a new Dark Forces/Jedi Knight game? These were all iconic games in there day and would be ripe for a dust off and a re-invention/re-imagining. As I understand it, they sat on the Sam and Max franchise and did very little with it between 1993 - 2005. The reason you're seeing new Sam and Max games now is because Lucasarts lost the licence.

So yeah, as much as it pains me to say, Lucasarts don't appear to particularly embrace its past. Which is a true shame as they have some incredible games in their back catalogue.
 

Chuckles

Commodore
Correct, LucasArts has a great publish catalogue and lots of IP that people were/are big fans of.

The admitted difference between LucasArts and EA was that LucasArts internally shifted IP priorities, and drove off many of the iconic game development personalities like Tim Schaffer and Ron Gilbert for example. The equivelant would be Cliffy B leaving Epic Games because they wanted to focus on casual gaming. EA on the otherhand (as I understand it) folded/merged satillite development firms like Origin and Westwood so while the priorities of those development firms may have shifted, EA itself was continuing its business model.

That and I don't think there are many grand tales of "THE AXE IS COMING DOWN! OUR IMAGINATION IS ON THE BLACK LIST!" from ex-Origin employees. Chris Roberts and Richard Gariott were not "forced" out of their positions and left rather to pursue other interests.

The big thing to remember about LucasArts was that the "great disturbance in the Force" came about with the new prequilogy movies, and during that time there was a sudden demand for Star Wars property games, thus the business model changed from internally created properties to the Star Wars properties. The amount of Star Wars LucasArts products within the span of the first two new movies nearly doubled that of the orginal catalogue for Star Wars games, and new IP was sliced in half in that time period.

Jim Ward, the previous CEO of LucasArts before the current one, stated that LucasArts would not be returning to adventure gaming "until at least 2015". If you remember, the new Indiana Jones game was announced far back in 2004, but was shelved in favor of the "Force Unleashed" game which carried over the engine development. Aside from Fracture and Thrillville and Lego Indy, all of LucasArts games from 2005 on were Star Wars games.

Talk about a Jedi overload.

To sum up, yes, LucasArts from a fan prespective is that bad. Activision/Blizzard is currently following LucasArts' business model. EA has already passed through that phase, and again that means good things.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Eh, this seems like a whole bunch of bull to me. What, so good employees are always "forced out" at LucasArts, while they always leave EA because they felt like it? Where were you when people like Warren Spector, Chris Roberts and Richard Garriott were leaving Origin? Every single one of them left because they got fed up, not because they felt like a change.

Besides that, consider scale - LucasArts has over 350 employees... that may seem like a lot, but (considering that not all of them actually work in development) it's actually probably just barely enough for two projects - and quite possibly, not even enough for two projects. I'm sure that Tim Schafer and Ron Gilbert were unhappy about the changing nature of the company, but let's be fair - unlike EA, LucasArts simply didn't have the resources to carry on making adventure games just to keep some famous designers happy. We could have many lengthy discussions about whether EA's decisions regarding Origin were good or bad, but I don't think anybody here is seriously going to argue that LucasArts made a mistake by focussing on Star Wars titles at a time when new Star Wars movies and TV series were coming out every second year or so.
 

c0mc0

Rear Admiral
Leaving aside the developer's personal reasons for leaving either company, the real disappointment for me with Lucasarts was that not only did they move away from some of the great original IP that had created over the previous decades, but it seems (at least IMHO) that the quality of their games is not what it used to be. Even their newer Star Wars games such as Jedi Academy and Force Unleashed lacked the polish that used to be one of the hallmarks of a Lucasarts game. Or perhaps I am simply romanticising the past there.

At the end of the day -
* EA should make a new Wing Commander game
* Lucasarts should make a new X-Wing series game

That really sums up my wish list. ;)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I think we're just getting old and cynical - the general rule of the day is that every game we play "lacks polish" :).
 
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