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Game Developer Anthony Reed Talks The X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter Remake That Never Was

x-wing vs. tie fighter

Anthony Reed has revealed that LucasArts and Transmission Games were very close to creating a remake of the famous classic X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter game. In a recent interview, the CEO of the Game Developer Association of Australia spoke about the reason behind its demise. Read on for more.

 

CEO of the Game Developers Association of Australia, Anthony Reed has had a long and quite incredible history within the video games industry in the past 30 years. During that time, he spent a few years with Melbourne developer Transmission Games, where he became the marketing director before it shut down. New information reveals that the that game developer may have been close to finishing a remake of the famous X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter game.

 

X-Wing-vs-TIE-Fighter-Demo_1

 

For those unfamiliar, the original 1997 X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter game was uniquely different from the others in the X-Wing series. Its single-player element of unconnected missions provided some of the most intense head to head multiplayer gameplay in the PC world at the time.

 

Many fans over the years have wanted to know the true reason as to why the remake of X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter received the chopping block back in 2009. We’ll, it seems that Reed may have a partial answer to that mystery.

 

In a recent interview with Gamehugs Guy Blomberg, content manager at PAX Australia, Anthony Reed spoke out about the end of Transmission Games and gave a brief reason as to why the game was cancelled.

 

BalanceOfPower

Balance of Power Expansion

 

You can read the full transcription of the interview here.

Blomberg: Were you there when it all started to fall apart [at Transmission Games]?

Reed: Yeah I was. It was at that time when the GFC [Global Financial Crisis] was on the horizon and there were a few of us that could see there was going to be a problem. Also at that time, going to E3 as many times as I had, you started to see that there was a glut of product. In fact, that had started to worry me as far back as 1997 or 1998. So by the time we got to 2007, with the volume of product coming out at E3, you didn’t know which way to turn. Every pod had a different game to play, and not all of them awesome.You could see that there was a problem coming up – too much product, not enough purchase and when you walked into any retail store you were stuck for choice. The good ones would always stand out and do well, but it mean the small ones would never get a look in, no matter how good they were. Transmission became a victim of that as the publisher model changed. As the business model changed. As the number of products released every year changed. And [Australia’s development industry] at the time was very much based on a work-for-hire system, as was Transmission Games.

 

Bloomberg: But Transmission Games was not owned by a publisher specifically, so during that time were you hitting up your contacts and looking for opportunities?

Reed: Yeah, absolutely. There was a time when we were talking to LucasArts about remaking X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, which had gotten actually quite far down the track, but then something terrible happened. We were also talking to Frank Miller and his company about a Sin City game, and you may have seen the demo we created at the time.

 

You can listen to the complete Gamehugs podcast here.

 

 

Check back for more Star Wars news here at SWNN.

 

 

Source: Finder.com

 

 

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  • Andy

    Pity. Those games were great. There are mods to bring them more ‘up to date’ but it would be nice for a new product on a similar line. I think in todays market though the game might be considered too technical or hard to appeal to the mass market.

    • BillyGar

      I loved them all but my favorite was X-Wing Alliance… It had a great story… With proper UI and tutorials this game could introduce a new base of players but I would play it only with a joystick instead of a gamepad or keyboard…

      Hope they make a new one but I doubt it…

      • Robb

        They could trim the controls down just a bit (maybe have one button to cycle various energy management combos, one button for shield management, one stick for throttle/roll and one stick for pitch/yaw, one button for firing weapons, one button for switching weapons, one button for dumping energy to shields) and it would all fit on a gamepad for mass-market appeal while still being even better on PC, IMO.

        • Mr_Crankypants

          Which would defeat the point of the game. X/W was all about pushing close to a flight-sim style of game-play rather than something like Rogue Squadron’s arcade feel.

          • Robb

            Agree. They should definitely develop it for PC and have full-sim controls. But if they’re worried about not tapping the console market, they could dumb down the controls for the console ports. There’s precedent for this with other games that start out on PC.

            • BillyGar

              The game can be devoloped for all platforms. PS4 supports keyboard and mouse (I bet xbone too) on a few games that allow it and could also accept joystick devices.

              • Robb

                For sure. But they could add an “arcade” mode for those that don’t have the hardware or who want more of a Rogue Squadron experience. That way you get the best of both worlds.

                • Mr_Crankypants

                  But then you’re really building two games, and selling it for the price of one. EA barely can be described as developing and selling ONE game for the price of one, so I can’t see it happening.

                  • Robb

                    Not really. The “arcade mode” would just be a refactoring of the control scheme (which would take all of an hour to design and a day or two to test) and turning off some realism settings (like maybe have auto shield management or unlimited laser energy).

              • Mr_Crankypants

                But whether it supports it or not is only half the story – what’s the install base for that hardware peripheral, that’s the other half.

  • rebelgb

    I remember being really excited about the Sim City demo. Looked great. The game magazines and online gaming sites were all excited about it.

  • DarExc

    These were the games that got me into gaming and IT. I used to play Tie Fighter all the time… I would love a remake with modern graphics.

  • Crixxxx

    Remake X-Wing. Remake Tie Fighter. X-Wing Vs. Tie Fighter wasn’t all that memorable for me.

    • Shaky Premise

      Might be a little bit OT for some of the readers of this site.

      • Mr_Crankypants

        REPORTED!!!!!

        • Shaky Premise

          I wouldn’t expect anything less.

          • Mr_Crankypants

            Happy to oblige!

        • TUD

          How dare you question my opinion! TRIGGERED!!

    • Robb

      Never had the internet connection to handle XvT multiplayer back in the day. It was cool that it had Super Star Destroyers, though. Agree about remastering X-Wing and TIE Fighter. Those games were legit, especially TF. I want them to make a TFA-era TIE Fighter/X-Wing game.

    • Mr_Crankypants

      Yep, XvT was truly pretty awful. Redeemed by XWA though.

  • Godlikesaliar

    The X-Wing/TIE Fighter series of games are the best Star Wars games ever released. No other game comes close to capturing the essence of Star Wars.

    • Mr_Crankypants

      I remember X-Wing came out precisely on my B-day that year – played the HELL out of it, then T/F, then XvsTIE (boo! The one miss in the whole series), then XWA (sadly, obviously rushed to shelves, leaving the story incomplete). The only thing that I’d argue came close to capturing the spirit of the films was the original Dark Forces. Lucasarts was on a freaking ROLL back then.

      • Robb

        The mid 90s Star Wars games ARE my childhood.

      • Robb

        All of the Dark Forces games captured the Star Wars spirit, too, IMO. But TF just nailed it completely. The immersion factor in TF is just impeccable.

        • Mr_Crankypants

          They were all entertaining, but I kinda felt that the tone was just spot-on in the original DF.

  • Jeraco

    I wonder why they don’t make games that we asked for. Like X-Wing, TIE Fighter, KOTOR3… and they even pull 1313 which looks really good. Why hold up all the games we wanted?

    • Michelle Lehto

      Because according to focus groups, we DON’T actually want them. Instead, we want hundreds of CoD and Assassin’s Creed and GTA clones flooding the market, with chopped-off DLC and microtransactions.

      At least, that’s what the 20 or so 16-year-old boys stuffed into a little room said to some “market analysts”.

      • Robb

        It really makes no sense, IMO. If you have fans clambering for something, the hype alone will get millions of non-fans to also buy it. That’s why I’m pretty sure they WILL release remakes/reboots/sequels of TF and KOTOR and such in the next 10 years. EA is still new to the license. Let them get a few warmups in before they bring out the big guns.

    • Mr_Crankypants

      I think part of it has to do with the console market being as huge as it is now. The most cost effective way to publish a game is to make something that you can port across multiple platforms – flight sims are never, never going to be something that work on consoles, so XW, or anything with significant depth in mechanics and control is just DOA. KotOR type games would take a massive amount of time and money to properly develop, and I suspect that type of game is what’s going on at Bioware with the secret title.

      • BillyGar

        I agree about the time developing bit controls are not complex and consoles can also handle keyboards, mouses and joysticks. A console after all is just like any computer… Is like saying something can be developed for Windows but not for Macs… It takes time to develop it for multiple platforms but controls have nothing to do here.

        • Mr_Crankypants

          Again, yes, they can HANDLE them, but how many console owners HAVE such peripherals for their consoles? Hell, even just FIND me a flight-stick for XB – there’s not enough of a market for anyone to bother making and selling one. Which becomes a feedback loop – developers don’t make games that require those peripherals because consumers don’t have many of them. Because developers don’t produce games that require them, hardware manufacturers don’t bother making the hardware. Because hardware manufacturers don’t make the hardware, developers don’t bother producing games that require them, so consumers don’t buy the hardware, so manufacturers don’t bother…and on and on.

          • BillyGar

            I don’t know what you are talking about… I have all my peripherals from computer working on the console. It is just dependant on if its allowed by game developers at the time they made the game so this way people play with same conditions and controls in competitive games.

            When a pc owner like me doesn’t have a joystick… He goes and buy it… When a console owner doesn’t have, he also goes and buy it…

            I don’t see the problem… Some are not compatible? Well the large amount of keyboards and mouses I tried were… And about joysticks I am sure if they were still manufactured a console owner (like any computer owner missing it) would just go and buy it…

            The time consoles and computers were different is gone. Console means low performance computer nowadays.

            So yes, we could play an XW game on consoles as soon as the developer wants to do so.

      • Michelle Lehto

        Well I mean, the past has proven that flight games are super possible on consoles (my first ever flight game was STar Wars Rogue Leader on the Gamecube, for instance). You’re totally right in that the console market is a major focus, but most of that focus lies in the people that USE consoles, IE the teens whose parents buy them consoles because the media says that they’re how you play “good” games. The PC market is FAR surpassing the console market in terms of quality, quantity, longevity, etc., but if you put 5 teen gamers in a room and asked them how they play their games, 4 of them will give a console name.

        • Mr_Crankypants

          But that’s what I’m saying – Rogue Squad series is arcade, with only as many controls as you can fit on a console controller. X/W required a full keyboard using alternate keystrokes, and, ideally, a programmable flight-stick with hat (I miss my old Thrustmaster…that’s not a euphemism). Not going to happen on consoles. And, yes, PC gaming is more versatile, but then your back to simple economics – you can produce a terrific, deep, game that required the flexibility and power of a PC OR you can dumb the spec sheet down to something that can, with minimal effort, run and be sold on PC, XB, and PS – much bigger install base to sell units to for the same development cost.

    • Mr_crankypants has a good answer but also, the games we want are more difficult to monetize and actually be good games. Right now they are more interested in generic games like the current mobile cash crop and Battlefront. The mobile games are practically the same as any other game in those genres and they are not “good” in any kind of design or creativity sense, but they make tons of money because they’re so good at exploiting people’s neurochemistry in the same way that fruit machines etc do. So…the games we want are being held up because they actually require effort to make. I think we will get them eventually, there are several in the pipeline already although X-Wing TIE Fighter has the challenge of being in a genre that doesn’t sell well recently, and KOTOR3’s hopes are crippled by Bioware thinking TOR is a good substitute (all that stuff about it being KOTOR3, 4, 5, 6 in one game).

      Personally I’m holding out for something with the general saber and Force power play of the Jedi Knight games…JK2 and JA were my favorite Star Wars games and I spent weeks/months on mods for them, even made my own and that’s not something i often do.

  • NYJD21

    How many ugnaughts do I need to sacrifice to get Tie Fighter? HOW MANY??!!?!?!?!

  • Snark Vader (alias Grant)

    Was really hoping we’d get a new dogfight game with Rogue One but seeing as how it seems to be more about espionage than dogfighting I very much doubt we will.