Goodbye, Origin Update ID

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.

Recent Updates


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Wing Commander Jazz Album Marches On

Following up on his recent release of the jazz and bar music digital recordings, veteran video game composer George Oldziey has sent out three more updates to his backers. George has exported the sheet music for several tracks from volume 2 of the orchestral project to video format. You can follow the score as the music notation is played back through the Sibelious sound fonts. (2018-07-14)

Origin Veteran's Postmortems Book Now Available on Paperback

Former Origin veteran Raph Koster recently published a new book titled Postmortems: Selected Essays Volume One. Available first in digital formats, you can now also get the hefty, 702 page paperback edition. Mr. (2018-07-13)

Decipher SciFi Discusses Wing Commander

Back in 2016, the Decipher SciFi podcast devoted an entire episode to the Wing Commander movie. The show starts off with an overview of the Wing Commander computer game series with a focus on Wing Commander 3 as a revolutionary interactive movie and the ever increasing production values and development budget up to Wing Commander 4. The show runners are all familiar with the franchise, having played the originals back in the 1990s on DOS PC or Amiga, and they even went to see the film when it was playing in theaters. (2018-07-12)

PC Zone Reviews Wing Commander: Armada

While flipping through the October 1994 issue of British gaming magazine PC Zone, noted retro gamer Pix spotted a vintage Armada review. The reviewer praises the graphics (a low resolution preview of the still upcoming Wing Commander 3) and was especially impressed with the hybrid turn-based/split-screen multiplayer feature, in which two players can go head-to-head on a single computer. The user friendliness of the menu system for setting up modem or netBIOS sessions also received a nod of approval. (2018-07-11)

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