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.

Variants on a Theme
2017-03-21 -- In honor of Mike Winterbauer's Kickstarter we thought we would take a look back through the history of 'that look.' What look? The classic Wing Commander cover art!

Laser Gun for Hire
2017-03-20 -- Yesterday, we reported that Wing Commander SNES cover artist Mike Winterbauer has re-launched his Kickstarter project to create a printed art book of his work. The project is going great, already nearing the 50% funding mark in less than 24 hours... and today we can reveal that it turns out Mr.

BREAKING NEWS: Game Cover Kickstarter Re-Launches
2017-03-19 -- How do you save the Ralari? You just keep trying! In exactly that spirit, SNES Wing Commander cover artist Mike Winterbauer has re-launched his Kickstarter project.

Pre-Christory
2017-03-18 -- Ever wonder what came before Wing Commander? Chris Roberts sold his first game at age 13, and had released seven games before Wing Commander in 1990! I recently took some time at my day job to run through some of the basiscs of that early history on our weekly livecast...

False Alarm: Book 7 Pre-Orders
2017-03-17 -- The ebook release of Wing Commander: False Colors is less than three weeks away and the first pre-order options have just launched! Amazon and Apple are now listing the book, with Barnes and Noble and Kobo still in a holding pattern. We will update the chart below when the other options come online...

Leading Different Boxes
2017-03-16 -- Hey, that's not how I remember it! Did you know that four Wing Commander games had significantly different box covers in Europe? While the original boxes were designed by Origin, Electronic Arts had regional marketing departments which would then adapt and change designs when they believed it would better suit a different audience.

Happy First Contact Day!... Maybe
2017-03-15 -- It's March 15th and as everyone knows that means it is the pre-anniversary of the 2629 destruction of the TCS Iason, mankind's official first contact with the Kilrathi! Or was that March 16th? Or was it April 15th?

The Fight for Books Continues
2017-03-14 -- We have some additional news to share about two projects: the Mike Winterbauer art book and the ebook releases of the Wing Commander series! (There is, perhaps, some irony in the fact that we are fighting for physical releases of an ebook AND ebook releases of a physical book!) Mr.

Computer Gaming World Reviews Wing Commander
2017-03-13 -- Computer Gaming World was, in the United States, the 'journal of record' for PC gaming throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The magazine, which was shuttered in 2006, closely covered Wing Commander. Today, we've collected all 12 of the reviews, starting with the original game in 1990 and ending with Wing Commander Prophecy Gold in 1999.

Mission 5 is Alive!
2017-03-12 -- It sounds (pun intended) like Wing Commander composed George Oldziey is making great progress on a second album. On Wednesday, he announced that he was starting to orchestrate another piece from Wing Commander IV:Just starting orchestrating another mission piece from #WingCommander 4! It's a mysterioso work!

Spinning!
2017-03-11 -- Pixelengineer has hit on a cool new trick sure to appeal to retrogamers and wingnuts alike: rendering 3D versions of the game boxes we so fondly remember! He has been posting 3D spinning boxes each day to his Twitter account representing classic games like Secrets of the Luftwaffe, TIE Fighter... and, of course, Wing Commander!

Game Cover Art Book Fails to Fund
2017-03-10 -- Some bad news to report today: Michael Winterbauer's Kickstarter failed to fund, meaning that a printed copy. The project ended just over $2k short, meaning that there's clearly a lot of interest in the project. Mr.

Compute! Reviews Wing Commander
2017-03-09 -- As promised on Monday, here are scans of Compute! magazine's three reviews of Wing Commander games. The original Wing Commander was reviewed in the February 1991 issue.

Action Stations' Cover: Mysteries Revealed
2017-03-08 -- If you purchased the recent eBook release of Action Stations, you may have noticed that the cover is wrong. Exactly how wrong, though, is a matter of opinion! There is one obvious problem: the eBook uses an incorrect, pre-release version of the cover.

Action Stations eBook Now Available!
2017-03-07 -- Confederation Day came early this year: the sixth Wing Commander novel, Action Stations, is officially available as an eBook today! Action Stations is both a prequel, telling the story of the war's first battles, and an in-lore artifact, a historical novel which exists in the Wing Commander universe. It's a great read, very much in the tradition of Dr.

Spring has Spring for GOG
2017-03-06 -- The good people at GOGhave kicked off their annual Spring Sale, which discounts over 500 games and collections up to 90% off. All eight Wing Commander packages are 75% off, with no need to stack multiple games for the discount... making this a great time to fill in the holes in your collection, or to share your favorite Wing Commander game with a friend.

Wing Commander Does Compute!
2017-03-05 -- Started in 1979, Compute! was a major home computing periodical which covered the rise of the microcomputer. Later issues included an increased focus on electronic gaming, and though publication ceased in 1994 the magazine covered several of the original Wing Commander games.

This is Bullshot!: The Wing Commander Box Art
2017-03-04 -- The box to Wing Commander I promised that "what you see is what you play!"... but the truth was a little bit different.

BREAKING NEWS: Kickstarter Project Covers Wing Commander Painting
2017-03-03 -- Last year, we reported that Wing Commander veteran Michael Winterbauer had published a free ebook chock full of his fantastic game artwork and packed with details about his process and history in the industry. Now, he's aiming to release a print copy by running a Kickstarter to cover a full color print run of the book. He says:The goal of this campaign is to raise $9,000 for a print run of my super cool, unique book "Classic Game Covers, Confessions of An Art Junkie" and get it to people who will enjoy it!

The Grateful Eight: Meet Privateer's Ship Dealers
2017-03-02 -- Last week, we provided a spotter's guide to the nine types of bartenders in the Gemini Sector. But that was only half the story: each base type also has a unique ship dealer! The ship dealers are even more similar variations on a theme than the bartenders, and they technically are not as numerous because not every individual base has a dealership.

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