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.

Company... Atten-SHUN!
2014-07-31 -- Victorinox spotted a fun coincidence in promotional materials for the TNT drama The Last Ship. The crew of a surviving destroyer is responsible for finding a cure in the aftermath of a global outbreak. An officer in protective gear is is pictured in mid salute, which bears a striking resemblance to Colonel Halcyon during the funeral sequences of Wing Commander 1.

Ultima Forever Closing Forever
2014-07-31 -- Electronic Arts has announced that Ultima Forever will be shutting down effective August 29, 2014. Some fans may have seen the end coming when Mythic Entertainment began closing earlier this year and ongoing development was not offloaded like it was for Ultima Online. Existence of the game was first leaked in May of 2011 and it finally released in May of 2013.

Hakaga Fleet Slices Straight Through to Earth
2014-07-30 -- Klavs has followed up his Hakaga model with a render of the full-on assault. It's a great tribute to the Fleet Action cover, and it would make a fantastic wallpaper image. This version pulls back a bit farther that the book's art, so the frame includes six of these monsters in one shot.

EA Announces New Game Service
2014-07-30 -- Electronic Arts has announced EA Access, which is a new way for gamers to play a variety of the publisher's titles. For $5 per month or $30 per year, selected games will be available for free. Even better for fans of their series, all digital purchases will be discounted 10% and members will have five-day early access prior to official launch days.

Pilgrim Legacy Full of Untapped Potential
2014-07-29 -- Wojo has dabbled in various WC fan mods over the years, but he's had one pet project going for quite a while. The game would take place in the WC Saga engine and borrow elements from the Wing Commander Movie. It came up again recently in a thread on various add-on campaigns, so Wojo released this single teaser image.

Congrats Again Lord British!
2014-07-29 -- Congratulations to Origin founder, second generation astronaut and Wing Commander fan Richard Garriott and wife Laetitia de Cayeux, who welcomed their second child into the world yesterday. Ronin Phi Garriott de Cayeux was born yesterday on the 41st anniversary of his grandfather, Owen Garriott's, launch to the Skylab station. What an out-of-this-world family!

Jalthi Packs a Punch in Beat Hazard
2014-07-28 -- Shaggy's planned WC1 Beat Hazard lineup is complete with the addition of the Jalthi. Predictably, this one is a beast with its heavy gun load out. There's now nine Vega Sector favorites available to fly while enemies are generated to the sound of your own music.

Twitch Stream Explorers Original Wing Commander
2014-07-27 -- Whistler reports that BadNewsBaron is in the process of broadcasting a play-through of Wing Commander 1. The Baron is known for live streaming Star Citizen footage on Twitch, and he's turning back the clock a bit to see where Chris Roberts got started in space sims. If you're not familiar with Twitch, it take a concept like YouTube a step further by integrating live video, real time viewer interaction and a heavy emphasis on video game content.

Sounding Off About Obscure Sound Cards
2014-07-26 -- LOAF was catching up on some early '90s issues of CGW this morning and came across several sound card advertisements that exemplify the times. It's been many years since people have had to spend much thought on the particular sound card for their new PC, but back in 1992, the market was on fire. Over just a couple short years, the industry converted from simple beeps & boops to dynamic music and digitized speech.

Thrakhath Sets Off For Earth
2014-07-25 -- The Confed homeworld has more to fear than a Shiraak! The Hakagas that were under construction in the far flung reaches of the Empire have been completed and are on the move. Everything about the vessel in Klavs' latest render feels heavy and well armored.

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