September 9th 2012
This is the first in a series of updates which will introduce you to the men and women behind the games. Check back soon to learn more about the people who made Wing Commander, Freelancer… and who are still creating worlds!
Chris Roberts is best known for his genre-defining Wing Commander franchise, a game series which set increasingly higher bars for interactivity, storytelling and cutting-edge technology with each iteration. Chris sold his first computer game at age 13, and by the time he was 19 he had developed three #1 hits in his native U.K. In 1987, he joined Origin Systems, Inc. where he published the best-selling Times of Lore.
In 1990, he changed the face of gaming with Wing Commander, a breakout hit in every sense of the word. Wing Commander told the story of a galactic war between the human Confederation and the cat-like Kilrathi Empire. Boasting unparalleled cinematic qualities and visceral gameplay, Wing Commander won the hearts of a generation of gamers by letting them star in their own ‘interactive movie.’
From 1990 to 1996, Chris developed the series with that goal in mind. Wing Commander II introduced voice acting and motion-capture action sequences. For Wing Commander III, Roberts directed live actors in sequences filmed in Hollywood. Wing Commander IV used real sets to create movie sequences that were indistinguishable from a blockbuster film.
In 1996, Chris left Origin to found Digital Anvil, a company dedicated to further blurring the lines between games and movies. At DA, Chris created another beloved future universe with Starlancer and Freelancer. He also developed and directed the 1999 film adaptation of Wing Commander, the first and still only game creator to bring his own series to the silver screen.
After selling Digital Anvil to Microsoft in 2000, Chris moved to Los Angeles to further pursue his interest in film. There he produced a number of major motion pictures, including The Punisher, Lord of War and Outlander. Through it all, he maintained his love of gaming, hoping to revisit interactive storytelling when the technology to match his vision would become available.