Here's something I ripped off the message board. Stephen Robertson, of Particle Systems, describes the production history of that game we all love :-D
The original game design was called 'big ships', and game was signed with Philips Media who were just starting to do PC titles.
Shortly after that I started working for Philips Media, and would eventually become the Assistant Producer on the game.
Eventually it was decided to call the game Dreadnaught after the player's ship. However Dreadnaught, while an evocative name for British and US audiences apparently (from what I was told ) doesn't mean alot in French or German.
The name was then changed to Infinity War, but Infinity war was found to be the name of a Marvel comic strip, so the name was shortened to I-War.
By this time Philips Media had folded, and their games taken over by Infogrames, who had a stake in Philips Media. I lost my job
Infogrames released the game in Europe. It had very good reviews in most of the gaming magazines, however it didn't sell as well as expected.
When it came to release the game in the US it was decided that the game should have 3D hardware acceleration. D3D at the time wasn't very well supported, but 3Dfx glide was widely used, as the 3Dfx Voodoo2 board had recently been released. Of course now we wished we could have supported D3D .
I joined Particle Systems as a Designer at this point. At that time the company had seven people, including me.(!)
It was then found that I-War was trademarked by Atari in the US, as it was used on a Jaguar game, so we had to change the name again. This time it was to be called Independence War. This turned out to be a good name for the US market, as it reminded them of their original War of Independence, plus it handily shortened down to I-War
The game was very successful in the US. We won Space-Sim of the year from many magazines and sites.
So we decided to do an expansion to the original game. This was something I really pushed for, and I became project lead.
Infogrames decided that they'd prefer to do a 'gold' edition of the game, rather than release the expansion separately. Thus Independence War Deluxe Edition was born.
Of course 'Deluxe' doesn't mean much to French or German audiences. ( 'Deluxe' is a corruption of 'de luxe' in French, and never used in the way that the US and UK use it. ) So it was decided to call the game Independence War Special Edition in Europe.
We've sold at least 250,000 copies of the game world wide ( possibly around 300,000, including the Special / Deluxe edition ), so if anyone says the game didn't sell, they're wrong
And now we're working on Independence War 2: The Edge of Chaos, and that is definitely its name and it won't be changing. Particle has 29 people now - a lot more than the six it had when I joined.