TechRaptor has published an article on the history of Origin Systems. It's a rather in-depth piece that focuses on many of the notable developers who joined the company in the early days and then went on to influence the industry for more than three decades. Wing Commander is acknowledged as the powerhouse alongside Ultima, but there is also due credit given to how ground breaking Ultima Underworld was and how it then also went on to directly feed games like Doom and System Shock. It's a good refresher for fans who might just be familiar with how Wing Commander came to be. The tone does shift quite a bit at the end when they talk about an "aggressive takeover" by Electronic Arts that led to the company stealing its innovations. We've been outspoken when it comes to EA's series of mistakes that resulted in the cancelation of numerous promising WC games in the early 2000s, but that's only half of the story. Origin was a standalone company for less than a decade when they began struggling with the costs of scaling up to large multi-disk games. EA resolved that crisis and funded everything after WC1&2, so it doesn't seem quite fair to just cast them as the villain without considering that context. Check out the full article for yourself here.
With the Ultima games becoming progressively bigger and more complex, Origin also began to pivot to other genres and niches. It was at this time that Chris Roberts joined the company and directed the RPGs Times of Lore and Bad Blood, which became mere footnotes to the 1990 release that defined the company’s identity as much as Ultima… Wing Commander. There were space combat simulation games before Wing Commander, but it raised the bar for the whole industry in terms of production value and realistic simulation.
Wing Commander was a great commercial success, and the demand for expansions and sequels didn’t diminish for most of the 1990s. Origin Systems was fully established as a powerhouse of both RPGs, simulation games, and first-person 3D technology.
All Wings Considered - Episode 5 - LIVE!
The fifth episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is live now! All Wings Considered is the CIC's first ever streaming variety show which features news, conversation and gameplay relating to our favorite series. This week we're heading to the most difficult mission in Wing Commander history, Ghorah Khar 2D... (2019-03-21)
Cockpit Renders Tease WC4 Remaster
Among many other Wing Commander endeavors, Pedro is still grinding away in the background on his WC4 Remaster project. He reports that there might be some exciting breakthroughs regarding cockpits soon, and DefianceIndustries has stepped up to share some of the prototype views. There's still work to go, but these examples are pretty sweet! (2019-03-20)
Prepare for Intense Space Combat... Also Book Club
Episode 5 of All Wings Considered is less than two days away! This will be the team's most challenging episode to date as they take on the Special Operations 1 Finale. NINE Gothris escorting a Fralthra! (2019-03-19)
Squad Goals: Collect 'Em All
We spotted a classy Italian WC3 last month, and this time here's an original Italian Wing Commander courtesy of Dennis Mull. This is one of the European Hit Squad rereleases, and in this case it was published by Jackson Libri. It came with a similarly stylized version of the manual/Claw Marks as well. (2019-03-18)
Drunk Review is Surprisingly Coherent
It's been a good week for console ports! SNES Drunk has posted their review of Wing Commander for the Super Nintendo. There's a lot to like here, and the author enjoys the art style, background setting, branching missions and most aspects of the gameplay. (2019-03-17)