For twenty two years Origin Systems set the tone for the computer gaming. Ultima, Wing Commander and dozens of others set the gold standard for which the rest of the industry could only hope to catch up. This era has finally come to an end as Electronic Arts readies an announcement that it will shut down the Austin-based Origin studio.
This is not the end for Ultima or Wing Commander. Ultima Online will now be run from California, and development of Ultima X will continue on the west coast. Hopes that another Wing Commander game would be developed in Austin were dashed long ago; the longtime belief that a California-based EA team would develop the next Wing Commander title may, ironically, be bolstered by this news.
What it is, however, is a tremendous moral loss on all fronts. Origin Systems will always be the ultimate symbol of gaming's greatest days, and its dissolution to a faceless corporate entity is, sadly, equally symbolic of the world today. Origin entertained, challenged and inspired our generation in a way that seems impossible today. Though the individuals who developed our games long ago moved on to greater careers, the very existence of the company itself continued to stand for something special; something amazing.
The CIC will continue to dedicate itself to Origin's legacy - we will redouble our efforts to archive anything and everything related to the company. We will strike to make the world remember what Origin meant. I wanted to end with a quote - something pithy and literary to express the meaning of such an ending. I came up with only this:
With your carrier destroyed, you drift endlessly through the void.
Denis Loubet Remembers Aaron Allston
Former Origin artist Denis Loubet has completed another portrait. This one is a tribute to his friend and fellow Wing Commander veteran Aaron Allston. Sadly, Mr. (2019-01-19)
Chinese Secret Missions Now a Little Less Secret
Christian Klein posted these neat pics of the Secret Missions made for China/Taiwan. We've previously posted about a number of Chinese ports in the past, including WC1, SM2, WC2 and the Special Operations, but it's possible that I've not seen the SM1 before. It's nice to close the loop on that! (2019-01-18)
Wing Commander Jazz Album Discs Ready to Ship!
There's good news on George Oldziey's live Wing Commander jazz album. The production copies have finally come back, so George is ready to ship discs out to project backers. Very coolalbum art was created by SabreAce, which you can see below. (2019-01-17)
The Story of Raylight Games - Straight from the Source!
Massimiliano Di Monda, the co-founder and CEO of Raylight Games, has posted a neat article on the history of Wing Commander Prophecy for the Gameboy Advance. The company was founded in 2000, and the GBA port of WCP was a big deal in their initial portfolio. Thanks to their success in these early days, they are still active today and just recently announced several Nintendo Switch titles, among other products. (2019-01-16)
Academy Script: Walking Wounded
As promised, a second Wing Commander Academy episode is now available! Today's script covers episode nine, "Walking Wounded." The episode starts with a cut scene that was intended to better establish Maniac's character for the episode, a scene taken from Wing Commander IV where he uncomfortably hits on a new Tiger's Claw bridge officer. (2019-01-15)