Massimiliano Di Monda, the co-founder and CEO of Raylight Games, has posted a neat article on the history of Wing Commander Prophecy for the Gameboy Advance. The company was founded in 2000, and the GBA port of WCP was a big deal in their initial portfolio. Thanks to their success in these early days, they are still active today and just recently announced several Nintendo Switch titles, among other products. They also continue to maintain an active Wing Commander page on their website and credit it as a major achievement in the company's history. For an extended look back at what Prophecy Advance meant to the WC community, also check out the CIC's 10 year retrospective here.
Wing Commander Prophecy - The story of Raylight Games
Massimiliano Di Monda
CEO at Raylight Games
Beginning in 2002 Raylight Games developed a demo on the GameBoy Advance based on the first Wing Commander, named Star Giants. The demo uses the first implementation of our Blueroses 3D Engine.
By the same period, Destination software signed an agreement with EA to port several games on the GameBoy Advance (Wing Commander was not included into this agreement), so we sent Star Giants for evaluation to their technical director.
After one month or so, we were invited at the Landmark Hotel in London (a 1K UK Pounds per night hotel) for a breakfast meeting together with DSI managing director Stuart Kaye (R.I.P.), former director of Virgin Interactive Europe.
"These guys have the tech to make AAA games on the Gameboy Advance" said the technical director to Mr. Kaye, who took the phone and after a 2 minutes call we were granted the license of Wing Commander Prophecy for GBA and a development contract for the game by EA.
EA asked to Raylight a further demo based on Wing Commander Prophecy itself as playable version for the contract, in case of failure the contract would have been cancelled. We worked hard for 1 month delivering with success on the tiny Gameboy Advance a perfect porting of the 1st mission of the game!
We did not get any assets from EA except the original 4 CDs game, but we received the great help from the CIC guys (https://www.wcnews.com/wcpgba.shtml), they extracted for us all the 3D models, dialogues and missions details!
We included all the missions and ships from the original PC title with the addition of multiplayer co-op missions and deathmatch for up to 4 players using gameboy advance link cables!
Wing Commander Prophecy reached second place at the 2003 E3 IGN Pocket awards for the best technological excellance (right after Sega Monkey Ball).
"Just wait until you see this game in action, folks...the 3D engine does the game extreme justice on the small screen...and it's expected to feature all the missions of the PC game (sans FMV, of course) and four player link as well."
The Game was released on June 4, 2003. Mission Accomplished!
-IGN, May 30, 2002
Raylight Games is a leading European videogames development studio based in Benevento and in the sunny Napoli, south of Italy. Funded in 2000, Raylight Games has developed dozen of games ranging from Handheld Consoles, Home Consoles, Mobiles and PC. In 2001 we started the development of BlueRoses, our own multiplatform framework on which our core team develops games. Originally developed for the Nintendo GameBoy Advance, BlueRoses has been used to develop Wing Commander: Prophecy, which has been nominated as runner up game for the best technological excellence at the 2002 E3 IGN Awards, and also the much acclaimed Resident Evil 2 demo. Since 2001 BlueRoses expanded on other emerging platforms and is currently available for PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, mobile platforms (Android, iOS, Windows Mobile) and PC.