As part of our focus on Wing Commander and Origin history we're proud to begin a new series of regular updates reprinting 'Point of Origin'. Point of Origin was the internal newsletter of Origin Systems, Inc. from 1991 to 1998; it covered everything from the everyday working of the company to industry news to reports on the latest games in development at Origin! We'll provide each issue in PDF format along with points that may be of interest to Wing Commander historians - along with an index of articles for future reference.
- "At Your Service" (1) talks about the status of the CS department, which at this point in time solved users' technical problems via snail mail! It reports good news about sales of Wing Commander addons: "Wing Commander Secret Missions 1 & 2 are the strongest direct sellers."
- "Random Bits" (1-2) reprints a collection of crazy rumors overheard at Origin. Two of them involve Wing Commander: "Supposedly, there is a hidden command in Wing Commander that allows you to give the 'Thum's Up!' after a kill (or 'Shoot the Bird' at a fleeting foe!)" and "Origin has secretly invested $1,000,000 on the establishment of a motion picture facility in Houston, where Wing Commander: The Motion Picture will be filmed. Talks are underway with Charlie Sheen to play the role of Lt. Arturo Blair (a.k.a. OurHero Bluehair)." The second is especially interesting as it is now the earliest recorded use of 'Blair' as the last name for Wing Commander I's main character.
- "From the Field" (2) announces recent licensing and publication deals, including an agreement with Mericel that means a wider distribution for Wing Commander: "Soon, you can look for the Wing Commander series in SAM's stores across the nation."
- "In the Pipeline" (2-3) includes several interesting Wing Commander mentions. It reports on the status of WC2: Wing Commander II is still on track for release this summer., announces the project which would eventually become The Ultimate Strategy Guide: "1) A complete guide to Wing Commander, covering WC1, SM1, SM2, and WC2. Included will be hints, tips, clues and lots of 'making of' background info on the team and process. Mike Harrison (who has worked with Origin in the past on contract marketing projects) is the writer and will be visiting Austin soon to pull the pieces together." and discusses localization: "Origin will soon undertake French and German translations of Wing Commander I, both Secret Missions, Wing Commander II, and Martian Dreams for the European market." Most interestingly it reports on two licensing deals to bring the series to the Genesis and Super Nintendo (then called the Nintendo SFX): "Wing Commander for the Genesis, licensed directly to SEGA, is under development out of house. No details yet as to a projected release date. A deal is also expected to be announced soon for Wing Commander on the new 16-bit Nintendo SFX game console launching this Christmas." Mindscape would eventually port Wing Commander for the SNES, but no Genesis game was ever released.
- "The Market Place" (3) announces the lineup for the upcoming CES show: "The titles to be shown include Ultima VII: The Black Gate, Strike Commander, Wing Commander II and Martian Dreams."
Point of Origin
Vol. 1, No. 1 - May 17, 1991
Announcements & News - Feature Story by Fred Schmidt
Fireside Chat - News and notes from Robert Garriott
At Your Service - News from the Customer Service Department
Random Bits - Rumors and Questions from Origin Employees
From the Field - News from the Sales Department
Person to Person - Stories about Origin People Off-the-Clock
Covert Ops - Notes from the Operations Department
In the Pipeline - Notes from Product Development
The Marketplace - News from the Marketing Department
Recent Arrivals - Welcome to New Origin Personnel
Want Ads / Lost & Found - Personal Requests & Notices from Origin Employees