Is Wing Commander making a return?
Shacknews reports that Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts has resurfaced after being absent from the gaming scene for over 15 years. While nothing official has been announced, a website has appeared – Roberts Space Industries – with a countdown timer set to expire on October 10, 2012 at 10am (get it? 101010).
On the website, Roberts also provides a letter to fans, re-introducing himself as a gamer who loves to develop games. "With films you tell stories but with games you create worlds," he writes. "If you've played my games, you’ll know that's what I love to do. I'm here to tell you that I have been working on something for just under a year, something that embraces everything that my past games stood for but takes it to the next level."
"I hope you’ll be as excited by it as I am," he adds. "My new endeavor is still in its early stages but I invite you to take the journey with me."
Once signed up with the site, visitors are granted a golden ticket stating that the project will be officially revealed at GDC Online in Austin, Texas on October 10. "Upon purchase of a Roberts Industry Spaceship, I do invite you to a private showing of my next creation and the opportunity to participate in its development over the next 24 months," the coupon states. "Once completed, you will re3ceive a very special equipment package that only golden ticket holders are entitled to."
Based on his LinkedIn listing, Roberts became Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Cloud Imperium Games back in January. Prior to that, after leaving Origin in 1996, he founded Digital Anvil and directed the 1999 feature film version of Wing Commander in 1999 (directed by Roberts himself) which used visual effects from Digital Anvil. His filming career also includes The Punisher (2004), The Jacket and Lord of War.
Is Roberts bringing Wing Commander back to a new age of PC gaming? It's possible. The original made its debut back in 1990, and was followed by a string of sequels and spin-offs like Wing Commander Academy, Wing Commander Armada, Privateer 2: The Darkening and loads more. There was even a Wing Commander Academy TV series back in 1996 which aired on the USA Network between September 21 and December 21.
That said, it's a prefect time for a Wing Commander reboot taking advantage of today's technology. Guess we'll find out what he has planned next month, so stay tuned.