Here's an interview with Earth and Beyond producer Eric Wang, at GameSpy -- he credits Privateer as an influence to the game's design. Of course, it's his fault we won't be playing Privateer Online... but I aint bitter, nope.
A high-concept, summer-blockbuster space opera—that's the best way to describe Chris Roberts' magnum opus. There are those who feel that either the third or fourth Wing Commander games were the best that Roberts put out, but they're just plain wrong. WCII did what modern action games are trying to do: It fused narrative and action together into a tight package. It gave you a compelling reason to fly forth and tear those Kilrathi ships in battle. It made you care about its various characters, and then taunted you by killing them off. It also tapped into the inner Star Wars geek within, by providing one of the first opportunities to flitter around in space and blow things up. Hopefully, Chris Roberts will find a way to use current technology to replicate the experience, and not try to make any more movies.