Hey guys... I recently learned something that really disturbs me. GMS has forced us to remove the 'full' versions of the Wing Commander movie images from our screenshot archive, saying that we were (and I quote) "steeling the watermarked originals". Now, this brings about several questions. First off, how are we stealing them? There is absolutely NO disclaimer at their site regarding the use of the images, and one wonders why they have enourmous watermarks on them, if they are intended for GMS' use only? Plus, the email sent to us calls them their 'official images', where many of them are the same as the ones distributed to the press by Digital Anvil. In short, they are screwing over Wing Commander fans because they're more interested in their own site than promoting the Wing Commander movie. I've already taken steps to report them to DA and OSI, but I urge you all this: do not visit their so called official site (it is indeed NOT the official movie web site, which will be up at a later date), and protest their actions if possible. You are invited to mail the man who contacted us, Roland Roth. I invite GMS to make a full apology to true WC fans (either via email or at the Chat Zone) within 36 hours. If no apology or comment is recieved I will take this to mean that they have no problems with us reposting the 'removed' pictures.
Harbinger has very kindly typed up a copy of the Secret Operations blurb that appeared in this months PC Gamer. Check it out...
Free and Clear
New Wing Commander game to be distributed for free
The next installment in the Wing Commander series will be available toward the end of the summer. What's even more exciting for fans is that it will be available online for free – all you need is a connection to the Internet, and you'll be able to download a new episode every week.
The new game will be called Wing Commander: Secret Ops, and the story will pick up where Wing Commander Prophecy left off. Ownership of the previous title is not a requirement though, as Secret Ops will be a stand-alone product with an all-new game engine and cinematics. There will be a total of 56 missions split up into seven episodes. Leading up to the release of each new episode, Origin will be posting a background story on the web site that will prepare players for the upcoming missions. The action-packed gameplay of Prophecy will remain intact, but Secret Ops promises new weapons, larger, more intense battles, new Confederation bases and remote stations to explore, and cameos from past Wing Commander ships.
Origin says that the reason it is giving away Secret Ops for free is because the company wanted to say "thank you" to its customers and supporters, according to Rod Nakamoto, executive producer of the project.
To see a preview of Wing Commander: Secret Ops, go to www.secretops.com and bookmark it so you can return later this summer to enjoy the one thing that everybody says you'll never get – something for nothing.
It appears as if everyone's favorite son of someone named Casey has gotten mail from his mom! Or, at least, someone claiming to be his mom (her name, however, is apparently Sarah rather than Kylie...). Anyway, check out the Secret Ops site to see the update! Note also that Origin has modified the SO site so that the text is now white, and thus easier to see.
TO: Lt. Lance Casey
FROM: Sarah Casey
SUBJECT: Hello! Congratulations!
I love you so much! It took Gloria, David and the Helfmans (you remember the Helfmans don't you? They went with us on the Christmas trip to the Miyahira nebula resort) to keep me on the ground when I heard of the news of your victory! All of us here have had to see the doctor to get our fingers uncrossed !
It's been so long since I've been able to send you mail. I kept getting red flag responses, and spec. grab dumps. I know you've been on the line, and haven't been able to write back, but I wish you could've gotten a word back to us. Relying on TC news and second hand military info has been so very stressful.
I thought I was prepared for this after living through your father's time in the service. I guess those emotions all came bubbling back up when the Midway engaged the aliens. Then I hear that you are the pilot who helped route the aliens and you've gotten a medal, and a promotion, and... well... Your father would be very proud of you, son. I can feel it. Anyway, I'm just so very glad that those fears were unjustified. Your Aunt Linda and Uncle Rob are as eager as I am for your return home! Now Lance, I'm certain that will be soon, they can't deny you at least a week of leave to visit your family. We're all preparing a big party!
Please be safe!
This just in, an update to the CNN report. CNN's web site now has an excellent article on Secret Operations. The article notes that the original download will (as expected) be 50-60 megs, but that there will also be available a second 50 meg speech pack. There's also another bit of exciting news in there: the next retail Wing Commander game (WC6, although it surely won't have the number) is slated for release late 1999. (This is, again, thanks to Dagger, who has an unhealthy obsession with CNN).
Dateline: alt.games.wing-commander. Asked if Secret Ops would be available as a CD purchasable directly from Origin, Boomer had this to say...
No. Secret Ops will only be available via the Internet. Later (at the end of the episodes) Secret Ops will be included in the upcoming Wing Commander Gold.