But Is It Ours?

The professional opinion seems to be that Wing Commander Arena is a fun game... but many hardcore Wing Commander fans are worried that it won't make proper use of the classic series' extensive continuity. Producer Sean Penney was kind enough to answer a few questions, giving us a glimpse at the kind of work and research Electronic Arts has put into making this a true 'Wing Commander' game. Watch for references to everything from Secret Missions 2 to Chris Roberts' Wing movie!
Q. Have you had previous experience with Wing Commander, either as a developer or as a gamer?
A. My previous experiences with Wing Commander were as a player and fan. Being part of the Star Wars generation (aren't we all, really?) I couldn't get enough sci-fi and the WC franchise was a long time companion. I played them and went through more than a few joysticks.

Q. How will Arena appeal to existing Wing Commander fans?
A. This was a question we asked ourselves a lot during development as we wanted to ensure we did the IP justice. We balanced that with a desire to introduce the WC universe to new players. We were careful in our selection of ships and queried the WC community on our choices. The ships we used are favorites from across the series, and they are true to the IP in more than just form - function and balance were important considerations. Our goal was to offer a fast-paced fun arcade space combat game to WC fans that would also have broad appeal. And being able to fly Kilrathi ships has me excited as a fan too. It's an Arcade title - so think of Wing Commander Arena as a slice of the Wing Commander experience.

Q. Will the game include any familiar Wing Commander elements -- ships, history or the like?
A. Oh yes of course - we've advanced the history in a minor way, and the ships are drawn from across the WC universe, and will be familiar to WC fans. We've updated some to fit in with the frontier-like atmosphere of Arena. For Example:

The A-17 Broadsword Executioner: The Broadsword was first constructed for planetary bombing raids during the Pilgrim War, and was soon adapted to carry torpedoes. Lightly armored but sporting heavy weapons and good missiles as well as a deployable turret and a tractor beam, this bomber is perfect for taking on small, quick fighters.

And

The Dralthi IX Rhino: By far the heaviest Dralthi ever constructed, the Rhino is the equal of the Vaktoth or the Hhriss. Heavily armored and armed, with moderate speed and maneuverability, the Rhino hits hard and keeps on hitting.

Q. When and where in the Wing Commander universe is the game set?
A. The Epsilon Sector, 2701. The Terran Confederation and the Kilrathi Assembly of Clans have beaten back the Nephilim hordes, but at a terrible cost. As the shattered governments focus on rebuilding the core worlds, the frontier has descended into lawlessness. Regional governors hold power through force of arms, as humans and Kilrathi alike fight amongst themselves using the weapons of the last war. Privateers, outlaws and worse take advantage of the situation, eager to make a quick credit in the galaxy's most volatile arena...

Q. Can we expect to see any promotional tie-ins with Arena... web presence, Gamer Pics, XBox themes, etc.?
A. All good ideas

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Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

Unique Perspective on Cover Art Recounted by WC1 SNES Artist
2014-09-01 -- Artist Michael Winterbauer has self-published a free book with stories about his life in the game cover art business. While the standard Wing Commander box in the early '90s was made from preliminary game assets, the Super Nintendo edition of WC1 has a different setup. Many fans may not even realize that the Dralthi are flipped between the DOS and hand-painted SNES versions, and there are unique visual flairs added to the console edition created by Mr.

Cool Off With Hot Ice Bucket Vids
2014-08-31 -- You've probably seen your share of ALS Ice Bucket Challenges over the last couple weeks, but just in case you haven't quite had your fill, here's a couple more from close to home. The first features Ben Lesnick and Sandi Gardiner from Roberts Space Industries going under the ice. They handle it like champs!

It's Hard To Give Up Giving Out Wing Commander
2014-08-30 -- Fans who didn't grab Wing Commander 3 when it first went free on the Origin service have gotten a brief extension on their procrastinating ways. The game was originally slated to remain On The House through September 2, but this has now been pushed out to September 16. Even if you already own the GOG version, it's not a bad idea to pick this copy up.

Wing Commander Luminaries Light Up Both Coasts
2014-08-29 -- Teams from Roberts Space Industries have traveled to conventions in both the northwest and southeast United States this weekend to promote Star Citizen. Up first in Seattle, Mark Abent, Chad Zamzow and WC creator Chris Roberts will be participating in the Intel panel at the Penny Arcade Expo on Friday at 2:00 pm followed by a get-together at the Logitech booth thereafter. Over in Atlanta, Dave Haddock, Alex Mayberry, long time WC documentation creator David Ladyman and CIC founder Ben Lesnick will be representing at DragonCon.

Every Wingnut Needs Star*Soldier
2014-08-28 -- Did the trivia at the birthday party seem pretty tough? There's one resource that helps tie everything together. The amazing game manual for 2007's Wing Commander Arena is packed full of information on the current state of the WC universe.

Manta Leads New Nephilim Incursion
2014-08-27 -- Dark Sentinel is back with a new Nephilim model. He's trying to fix the lack of bug designs in the community in the hopes that more of the exotic ships get used in various fan art and cinematics. The Manta's basic spaceframe here is almost ten times more detailed than the original Prophecy model.

Feline Figure Formed for Future Film
2014-08-26 -- Klavs has taken a short break from fantastic ship models to try his hand at a modern Kilrathi. The design obviously isn't finalized, but it's a great start with a strong Thrakhath vibe. Does this mean we're in for character sequences in Tales of the Claw?

Shades' Secret Ops Guide and Wing Commander Script Updates
2014-08-25 -- Just when you think the birthday fun is over there's more presents! Longtime Secret Ops aficionado Shades has some updates to his Wing Commander works.Like all of you I am a huge fan of Wing Commander and have been since the first game.

Blair Reacts to Wing Commander 3 Giveaway
2014-08-24 -- Echo Sector's Cyberion was so excited to find out Origin.com is giving away Wing Commander 3 for a limited time, that he put together a tongue-in-cheek "reaction video" to celebrate the news. You have until September 2 to grab the game for the unbeatable price of zero dollars, an offer that's also valid outside the States.

Party Logs Now Online
2014-08-23 -- Here's the transcript of last weekend's CIC Birthday Party. If you've never been to one of our events before, check out the log to get a sense of what they're like! The excitement as we count down to zero hour is palpable!

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