Here's the actual PC Gamer article itself...
As we were researching this month's cover story on Jane's World War and US Air Force, we uncovered some very interesting news regarding the future of both the Jane's Combat Simulations line of games as well as a new direction for Origin's evergreen series', Wing Commander and Ultima.
According to Origin, all future gaming in the Wing Commander and Ultima worlds (after the pending release of Ultima: Ascension) will take place in an online, persistent universe, similar to the company's already established Ultima Online world.
One of the motivating factors for this move seems to be simple business sense; Ultima Online has proven to be quite a cash cow for the company, raking in close to $1 million dollars per month. Origin feels that this is the future of interactive entertainment, and as such, has assigned Andy Hollis, executive producer of the Jane's line, to concentrate on developing the new Wing Commnader online universe after he completes his work on Jane's A-10 (see our cover story). Hollis' entire entire Austin, TX, Skunkworks team will be getting out of the hard-core simulation field to devote its talents to the new venture.
We had a chance to ask Hollis about this new direction for both him and his company. We did have some converns about this changing of the guard, however, in the past, Hollis' team focused on single-vehicle sims that really nailed the realism, while Paul Graco's Baltimore, MD, team produced less heavyweight, multiple aircraft sims. Does this mean that the hard-core sims will die away now that Hollis has flown the Jane's coop? According to Hollis, not at all. "Remember, Paul has overseen production of hard-core products before, like 688 (I) Hunter/Killer, as well as those of a survey nature," he says. "Also, it is the same creative leadership within the team itself that ultimately dictates the feel of the game. Rest assured that the Baltimore Skunkworks team will carry on its traditions and grow from there."
We wondered if one of the reasons for this move was because Hollis had become burnt out working on the hard-core simulation titles that he has become known for.
"I'll never tire of doing hard-core sims," says Hollis. "That said, there is not much opportunity for growth in that type of product when compared to other alternatives. Yes, you can get even more hard-core, but that's only interesting