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.
Third Canceled WC3 Port Discovered
One for the Wing Commanders that weren't file: EA made a deal with Atari to port WC3 to the Jaguar in late '95. That makes three known cancelled conversions along with versions for the Saturn and M2. Consoles were dying faster than games could be ported back then! (2019-03-25)
Flying Hornet Plans Released, Prototype Gets Confed Colors
AircPiratesNinsei has made excellent progress on his flying Hornet model. For starters, he's released baseline plans on his website for other aspiring builders to put their own version together. There's a couple sizes available, and plans for his improved double-layer stabilizer are also already online. (2019-03-24)
GOG Spring Sale Knocks $35.94 Off WC Series
GOG's annual spring sale is now in full swing, and Wing Commander discounts are back! Individual games in the series are now 75% off at $1.49 each or $11. (2019-03-23)
Miniatures Tabletop Game Crunches the Numbers
Adm_Maverick has made more progress with his Wing Commander tabletop game. He's pretty close to being able to playtest the game with fellow fans thanks to finalization of some stat tables. There's also an attractive new 3x6" card layout for characters and ships. (2019-03-22)
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)