You’d think with a new space combat and exploration game on the horizon from Chris “Wing Commander” Roberts, that EA would be paying attention, as they own the rights to that iconic franchise. You’d also be wrong, because according to Roberts himself, EA has less love for that franchise than a father does for a red-headed step-child.
Speaking to PCGamesN, Roberts said if the rights to Wing Commander were ever up for sale, he snap them up in a heartbeat. “If I could get Wing Commander back, if it was mine to control and not EA saying ‘Here you are, have it for a game,’ then I’d definitely be interested,” Roberts said. For the creator, it’s been a “frustrating” experience to have created a world and “overseen” it, and then having to say goodbye to it.
I had to sell it when Electronic Arts bought Origin [Systems, Wing Commander and Ultima developer], I can’t go back and visit that world without their say-so. But they don’t care about that world, I care about that world.
And that’s where Robert’s next game, Star Citizen comes in, as he returns to that genre with a game that would murder a console, but will be at home on PC. Roberts owns the IP to that new title, lock, stock and barrel.
To me, this is not just one game. This is a world I want to constantly update and add new cool stuff to and have a community. I’d be happy if, ten years after it comes out, people are still into it, still playing it, and it’s moved on and evolved. I want to be able to be in a position to guide it because I feel like I’m best suited to know what’s best for the franchise.
If I had the opportunity to get Wing Commander back in the same way, that’d be great, but EA has different priorities, so who knows if that can happen.
Wing Commander in its prime form, has been dead since 1998. I’ve still got a big boxed version of Wing Commander Prophecy sitting on my shelf, that’s a small holy grail to me. And while I can understand that EA could see more of a profit in releasing a new Tiger Woods game every year instead of putting some cash into reviving Wing Commander, sitting on the IP just hurts it at the end of the day.