Wing Commander (series)

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Wing Commander is a franchise consisting of space combat simulation video games from Origin Systems, an animated television series, a Wing Commander movie, a collectible card game, a series of novels, and action figures.

In 1987, Chris Roberts joined Origin Systems.

In 1990, Roberts developed Wing Commander, which set a new standard in PC games and evolved into a franchise series of game titles, all developed and produced by Chris Roberts.

With its cinematic quality, clearly developed story lines and well-known actors, the Wing Commander series created a whole new genre within the gaming industry known as the "interactive movie."

In the early-'90s, game designers began to scale back the text and convey more through technology. The industry was both imitating and innovating during this period--taking sensibilities from the film world and riffing their own creations for what works well in interactive properties.[1]

By 1995, the Wing Commander series had generated well over $110 million in revenues, and from 1990 to 1995, the Wing Commander series accounted for more than 60% of Origin Systems revenue. In addition to selling more than 3 million units worldwide by 1995, the Wing Commander series won a record setting number of gaming awards. To date, the series has generated over $400 million in global retail revenue.

The games were inspired by the look and feel of Star Wars when they were first started, with no Star Wars games on computer at the time. Chris Roberts wanted to create a game which would put him in a universe the same way as when he had seen Star Wars.

Joe Haldeman book The Forever War was one of the inspirations for the idea of Wing Commander, a big ongoing war that never seems to end.[2] WW2 was also an inspiration with the Kilrati as the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Confederation as the US.[3][2] Another big influence was Traveller which was a pen and paper sci-fi game.[3]

Wing Commander games went on to become an influence in games such as Starcraft II.[4]

Wing Commander games by Chris Roberts

Trivia

  • Aaron Allston who worked on the Wing Commander printed booklet Claw Marks later became famous for his Star Wars X-Wing novels.[5]

References


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