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Roberts Space Industries ®






October 31st 2012

Meet Eric Peterson!

Meet Eric Peterson!

We’re pleased to introduce you to another member of the development team: Eric Peterson, Cloud Imperium’s president of production and development. Eric has been working with Chris Roberts since the Wing Commander days at Origin and is probably best known for being the force behind the much-loved Conquest: Frontier Wars. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions for the Comm-Link. Spotters take note: Eric goes by the handle “WingMan” on the forums and chat.


How did you get started in the game industry?

I had been a friend of a lot of the guys at Origin Systems, and was a regular visitor there in the early days. One of the guys there was recruiting a whiz kid from England, and asked me to come along to dinner etc. It was Chris Roberts.

We hit it off right away, and over Table Tennis and board games like Risk and Monopoly, became fast friends. He was making Times of Lore and I was still in college – we had regular cut throat Risk sessions with his brother Erin and various other guys that came over from the UK to work at Origin as well.

After college, I went to work in Houston but still kept in touch and made several pilgrimages to Austin for weekend game tournaments (Green guns at Origin – oh man, those were the days), and to hang out with my friends.

One day Chris asked me if I would like to come on board and help him make Privateer 2… well, DUH, of course I did, but I needed to convince my wife that taking a 70% pay cut was a great thing, because I was going to be MAKING GAMES for a living.

So, even though I started making games in high school on the Apple IIe, then on the Zenith IBM system in college, this was my first time in the actual industry and I was an associate producer on Privateer 2.

Then when Chris left to form Digital Anvil, I was one of the founders of that company with him, in fact, I am the guy that sent the email to Bill Gates that got our company partnership with Microsoft started. We had been sitting around at dinner drinking a couple of …uhhh…beverages and I said, why don’t I email Bill Gates? After much laughter and Chris saying “Yeah, Eric. You do that.” I went home and sent it out. MS answered the next day, and came down to Austin to begin negotiating 2 days later.

Eventually we sold Digital Anvil to them in 2001, and I broke off taking Conquest Frontier Wars with me and started my own dev studio – and when the chance came to work with my friend and mentor again, I had no choice but to back up the truck and hop on board.

What projects have you worked on? Have you worked with Chris Roberts before?

I will just stick to the ones we did together. Starlancer, Wing Commander 4 (voice of Primate), Wing Commander movie, Conquest Frontier Wars, Privateer 2 (the unpublished one as we left Origin before it was completed, and they renamed the Darkening Privateer 2, which was also a good game.) I also pitched in a small bit on Wing Commander 3, and Freelancer.

What will you be doing for Cloud Imperium?

I will be running development – managing the teams and making sure that our game kicks serious BUTT.

What are you most excited to see in Star Citizen/Squadron 42?

The chance for the large vision that Chris and I have been talking about for more than 20 years coming to fruition, the ability to play a single player campaign and then tool around in a persistent world and make your way as you see fit. I love the idea of freedom of game play, where the player has multiple avenues to take, and it is up to them to choose the direction and live with the consequences or rewards. But, I have to say the thing I am MOST excited about, is that my two boys will get to play an excellent game in a genre that they have not really seen – the fact that my 14 and 10 year olds have not seen a Space Adventure is ridiculous – and from what they have seen already they are READY FOR ACTION !

What are you playing right now?

I have been knee deep in Skyrim and Battlefield 3 on the PC, although, I just recently plucked Bad Company 2 and Saboteur on the 360 from the archives and played them some as well, and still need to get to Uncharted 3 on the PS3.

The strange thing about making games is that you have very little time to enjoy other people’s excellent work, and as we ramp up on Star Citizen and Squadron 42, I know my gaming time will once again be limited.

  • Wing Commander III (1994)
  • Wing Commander IV (1996)
  • Ultima IX: Ascension (1999)
  • Starlancer (2000)
  • Conquest: Frontier Wars (2001)
  • Freelancer (2003)
  • Wing Commander (1999)

End Transmission

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