The game we know as Wing Commander: Privateer began life as Trade Commander, a game planned in 1992 to take advantage of the RealSpace technology being developed for Chris Roberts' opus, Strike Commander. The plan was to offset the tremendous cost of Strike Commander by quickly releasing other games built on the same engine--something that could be accomplished by beginning their development before Strike was ready. As Strike Commander ran into delays and overruns, it became clear the new 3D engine would not be available in time. Plans for Trade Commander were adapted to use the existing, less technically impressive Wing Commander engine. Trade Commander's sister project, Phoenix Force, was less lucky: it was unceremoniously cancelled and is rarely remembered today.
Trade Commander was formally announced, in typical Origin fashion, in 1992:
In 1990 ORIGIN revolutionized the industry when it introduced interactive cinema with the first Wing Commander game. In 1991 Wing Commander II carried this vision to new heights of game action, and with it new depth and sophistication. Now this year (we hope) will see the release of Trade Commander (now Privateer), a game that brings interactive entertainment software to a higher pinnacle of excitement than ever before.
(Read the full announcement.)
Wing Commander Movie Model Rundown
Atherin has been busy recreating nearly every ship in the Wing Commander film using SketchUp. There's really not much missing - we don't see the Kilrathi Concom, Diligent or some of the small background items, but just about all of the other major stuff is there. It's a pretty nice lineup! (2018-05-24)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: It's Not Going To Happen
That's what we've been saying all along! (2018-05-24)
Hobbes Betrayal Crosses Over Language Barriers
Most people are familiar with the infamous video cuts that were made to fit all of the video on the Wing Commander 3 discs. Helpful sequences such as the TCN news bursts and Hobbes explanation were omitted due to space constraints. Fortunately, these are now available here at the CIC, but for a long time, the main way players could watch the Hobbes scene was to track down a copy of WC3 on the Playstation or 3DO. (2018-05-23)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Evil Kermit
Resist the temptation! (2018-05-23)
Check Out Spanish Wing Commander Armada
Christian Klein has found another rare and exotic Spanish Wing Commander translation by DROSoft. His last couple finds were for WC1 and the Secret Missions, but this jumps all the way forward to Armada. It would be a treat to see how they changed the Voices of War manual and how the English and Spanish versions would mesh over multiplayer. (2018-05-22)