This could be the big one: Electronic Arts today announced that the company is developing a game which "reinvent(s) one of EA's most acclaimed classic franchises." The mystery title (codename "RedLime") is being developed for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC - who could ask for anything more? Like Wing Commander Arena, RedLime is being developed by an outside studio (Starbreeze Studios) with leadership from an EA production team. There are several possibilities as to exactly what this title could be: Syndicate, Cybermage, System Shock... but given recent industry rumors, the nature of development and the inclusion of PC with the planned platforms the one which seems mostly likely is ours: Wing Commander. Let's hope we hear more soon! Here's the official release:
EA Partners to Publish Upcoming Title for PLAYSTATION 3, Xbox 360 and PC
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 21, 2008--EA Partners today announced that it has teamed up with Starbreeze Studios, the award-winning developers of The Darkness and The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay to reinvent one of EA's most acclaimed classic franchises. The title, with the internal code name Project RedLime, is being developed for the PLAYSTATION(R)3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360(TM) system from Microsoft and PC.
"EA Partners is thrilled to hand over the keys to one of EA's most acclaimed franchises to Starbreeze Studios," said David DeMartini, vice president and general manager of EA Partners. "Starbreeze's pedigree is undisputed and we could not be happier to welcome them to the EA Partners family. The team is creating an incredibly innovative take on a classic property and EA Partners is poised to deliver a blockbuster launch on the global stage."
"EA Partners gives independent developers like Starbreeze access to EA's unrivaled global publishing infrastructure, letting us focus our energy on what we do best - making incredible games," said Johan Kristiansson, CEO of Starbreeze Studios. "We're already deep in development on Project RedLime and the team at EA is giving us the time we need to perfect our vision. We're excited to bring a new perspective and gameplay innovation to this beloved fiction."
Additional information about the Starbreeze project will follow in the coming months. For more information about other EA games, please visit http://info.ea.com.
Developers interested in working at Starbreeze can search available jobs at http://www.starbreeze.com
About Starbreeze Studios
Starbreeze is a videogame developer based in Uppsala, Sweden. The studio was founded in 1998 and currently employs a staff of about 75. The team has developed action/adventure games including 2004's "The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay" (Xbox and PC) which averaged a 90% Metacritic rating, and 2007's "The Darkness" (Xbox 360 and PS3) which averaged an 82% Metacritic rating.
One thing that should be clear in this August 9, 1996 edition of The Point of Origin is that the heart and soul of Origin certainly isn't dead - check out their company-wide assassination game and their award winning raft race rafts... not the only impressive Squid they'll be designing this year!
A very special thanks to Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum for making this resource available and to Electronic Arts for sending them to him in the first place!
- What the hell is up with... Product Support?! has both funny and touching stories about Wing Commander support:
According to Evan, the funniest bug recently was in Wing Commander III as part of Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga at this point in the game:
Gunnery : Movie 117
The movie where Blair talks to Eisen about shaving is full of bad acting. The only way to bypass it is to process [ESC].
Right now, PS is working on Crusader: No Regret, Gene Wars, Longbow Mission Disk, NATO Fighters Mission Disk for ATF, Privateer 2: The Darkening, Syndicate Wars, and Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga, as well as EA Classics titles BioForge, CyberMage, and Ultima VIII. They soon will be working on Crusader: No Remorse Playstation and Saturn, Dungeon Keeper, U.S. Navy Fighter Platinum, Wing Commander 4 Playstation and are doing ongoing support for Ultima Online and Ultima IX.
Of course, because they're on ORIGIN's front line every day, Customer Service gets to hear plenty of feedback from our customers--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Fortunately, they hear a lot of good, such as this following letter:
Dear Mr. Garriott:
As a long time customer of ORIGIN and an avid fan of your games, I felt I needed to write you directly concerning a recent incident I had with ORIGIN technical support. A couple of weeks ago, I purchased Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, and must say I was having a great time playing it when at one crucial mission, the game crashed. Being an experienced gamer and a professionally employed systems analyst, I went about the standard system checking and configuration tweaking that often solved the majority of errors. To my chagrin, I still had no luck.
I decided to call ORIGIN Technical Support. I believe it was February 19th (I could be wrong), in hopes ORIGIN's staff could help me. Not only did I receive excellent technical support at a short time wait, I am specifically writing to commend the help of one Jay Allen, the tech who helped me out. I realize it is the job of tech support reps to deal with users' problems, but Jay did much more than this. I gather from our discussion about my system and its configuration he realized I was somewhat experienced as a user. Rather than treating me as, quite frankly, an imbecile, as many game companies' reps do, he treated me with respect and intelligence, humor and a friendly manner.
I understand, again, that it is the duty of a tech support representative to help solve my game problems. It is not, however, his obligation to be friendly to me, to comment on my cool Windows sound files (playing in the background), or to treat my technical problem as a cooperative effort that made me feel more a part of the process. In short, Mr. Allen was the nicest and most helpful person I have ever spoken to in over four years of dealing with computer industry vendors, and I felt he was owed recognition for such conduct.
- In Ink has all the news that's fit to reprint:
Privateer 2: The Darkening
Strategy Plus: "The interface is wonderfully stylish, with menus which grow and shrink, and animation on nearly every screen. Here it is in all its multimedia splendor."
Computer Gaming World: "The SVGA space combat engine was one of the most impressive we saw at the recent E3 show."
PC Gamer: "With a new space flight engine and a big-budget style, ORIGIN's foothold in the space combat market is sure to remain firm with this baby."
...There are more reviews cropping up for Wing Commander IV for the Macintosh. Joel Enos at Mac Home Journal called WCIV Mac, "An amazing blend of adventure, arcade and flight sim action."
Michael Dixon writes for the Mac Gamer's Ledge, an online magazine for Macintosh gamers. He graded WCIV Mac at 9.5 out of 10. "I praise ORIGIN Systems for getting this well-polished game to the Macintosh platform as quickly as it did. One of the best space combat simulators I've played."
... Finally, a couple of things to look forward to. The October issue of Strategy Plus will feature Privateer 2 on its cover with a preview of the game scheduled for inside. And the October cover of PC Gamer will focus on ORIGIN. Inside, editors are planning a 12 page feature on the company with interviews and pictures from Ultima IX, Ultima Online, Privateer 2 and Crusader: No Regret.
Point of Origin
Vol. VI, No. 6 - August 9, 1996
Spotlight: Origin Brings Home the Gold Again
Kat's Korner of Phun Pfone Phacts
Visit the Company Store
Off the Clock
What the hell is up with... Product Support?!
New Hires & Promotions