We're now just one month away from the next CIC Birthday Party! It's been almost eight years since our grand opening, and we're throwing an online get-together to celebrate. You're all invited to come and join us on August 10 in our #Wingnut irc chat room. The gathering begins at 7:00 pm Eastern US (4:00 pm Pacific and 11:00 pm GMT). Beginning at that point, we count down for one hour before updating the website with a ton of special updates. Check out last year's updates here to get an idea of what to expect. The party is always a great opportunity to meet fellow players, get involved with fan projects and win amazing door prizes. Although the main event is only lasts for a few hours, dozens of fans will stay all night catching up on old times and setting up multiplayer Wing Commander games.
First time users are welcome to stop by #Wingnut through our web browser interface any time. See you at the party!
Hurleybird tipped us off about another article on the fate of Origin. We get a lot of questions about this, so more clarification on the matter is a good thing. The Next-Gen article does a good job of outlining the structure of events and setting up a timeline. Origin began working with Electronic Arts as early as 1984 and was completely purchased by the company in 1992. The author injects a bit of commentary at that point about the negative impact of this. What the article doesn't spend much time on is how EA probably saved Origin from bankruptcy in the early 1990s and funded massive projects such as Wing Commander 3 & 4. Furthermore, Origin wasn't just dropped after Ultima Online's surprise success. For half a dozen years, EA went back and forth with them on a number of Wing Commander and Ultima projects that ultimately didn't work out. The complete story behind Origin's fate is very complex, and fans are welcome to ask questions by hitting the Discuss link below. Although the symbolic effect of closing Origin's Austin studios hit many people hard, EA continues to reevaluate Origin's classic franchises and pursue opportunities when the timing is right. The rerelease of Ultima and Privateer on the GameTap service is just a tiny glimpse at what the future holds.
You can cut straight to the Origin page here. Austin's Looking Glass Studios is also covered a few pages after that.
Speaking of birthdays today, CIC staff member Cpl Hades celebrated his own yesterday. Although you don't always see his name up here as often as mine or LOAF's, he's always ready to cover the news when we're away or work through any difficult technical issues when Kris is gone. Hades is our most multi-talented staff member and is a vital part of making sure you all get your Wing Commander fix each day (when he's not cooking up new cereal recipes). Happy Birthday!