Friday, February 5, 2016

Missed Opportunities: A New X-Wing Sim for The Force Awakens

I remember X-Wing back in the day. I wanted to be an X-Wing pilot since I saw the original Star Wars back in the late 1970s, and at last I had a home-friendly sim for it. I sucked, and I broke a few flight sticks in frustration, but nonetheless had a hell of a time fulfilling some portion of my fighter jock fantasies. TIE Fighter delivered the Imperial side, and the later entries expanded in what fantasies got covered (with X-Wing Alliance making good on Falcon fans fantasties flying the Falcon).

And then "poof".

You'd think that the revival of the PC as a gaming platform would have gotten LucasArts looking for the opportunity to bring forth a new sim game, either in-house or on contract, especially after LucasArts (as part of LucasFilm) got sold to Disney (and the Mouse House is ruthless about such opportunity seeking). But no, they missed it.

Imagine that, on the release of The Force Awakens, there was a brand-new X-Wing flight simulator game on sale. Imagine that this new game included the brand-new models of X-Wing and TIE Fighter featured in the film, and included not only Alliance vs. Empire PVP but also First Order vs. Resistance and Republic vs. Seperatist PVP as well as a Sequel-era single-player campaign (whose events serve as a side story to that of the film).

That's an opportunity that got missed, and one that LucasArts could recover in time for Episode 8 (but no, not Rogue One). Some polite letters--real letters, not email or social media posts--requesting just this could get the ball rolling on the corporate end. The other avenue is to demonstrate Proof of Concept, and that means making and playing (streaming, ideally), other comparable sim games like Elite: Dangerous.

Until then, well, we'll have to resort to other media for our fixes, which means supporting people who make stuff like this excellent short.

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