There is truly terrible news today, as we have learned that programmer Tony Stockton passed away yesterday. Tony worked on Privateer 2: The Darkening and was the man responsible for the game’s incredible booth trading system.
Tony was an extremely active member of the UK game development community and he leaves behind an extensive body of work. His credits include contributions to major franchises like Call of Duty for Activision and Mortal Kombat for Midway. Wing Commander fans know him best for his part in our world. As a member of a three-man programming team at EA Manchester, Tony helped build Privateer 2: the Darkening in 1995-96. His work on the game included developing the CCN Booth trading system, a menu interface that boasted a mix of artful design and extreme usability which remains unmatched in the canon.
Tony was immortalized in the game itself as CNN reporter Anthony Stockton, whose byline appeared in many of the game’s news stories (which impacted the Tri System’s trading economy.) He also contributed his face to Liston Sativa, the game’s top AI wingman.
A major part of this site’s mission is to preserve the history behind the Wing Commander series; in light of this sad news, we would like to collect any photographs or memories you have of Tony, whether they were from Privateer 2’s development or beyond. The years he spent working on The Darkening may have been only a small part of his life, but we would like anyone who knew him to understand that it had an enormous impact on thousands of Wing Commander fans… and that we will preserve his story as best we can. His work on the game will live on forever, continuing to entertain and inspire.
Tony was a fixture in Privateer 2’s publicity, always appearing alongside fellow programmers and friends Paul Hughes and Brian Marshall. Here we see the three in Point of Origin and the PC Zone Privateer 2 Preview.
LEFT: The Privateer 2: The Darkening team. Tony is the fourth from the left in the back row. RIGHT: Tony’s team caricature which appeared at the end of the game; he was credited as Tony ‘The Count’ Stockton.
If you would like to share memories or condolences, please contact us.