From: Near Portland, OR
Don't forget in all this - Gary Grigsby holds the copyright to the game concept so if you want to use the general system of the current game, you must get him on board - and he has said he wouldn't do another one because WITP-AE was so complex (probably a lot of arguing about the necessary compromises).
There would also be a hefty copyright fee ...
If somebody wanted to make a new engine from scratch that had the same general model of WitP, you could probably do it without Gary Grigsby. The Microsoft vs Apple case about Windows established that you can reproduce the functionality of a program and as long as you don't use any of the source code, you're OK. A modern remake of WitP from the ground up would end up being somewhat different from the original WitP because the technology of computer programming has come a long ways since the engine for WitP was originally developed. Remember this started out as Uncommon Valor which started development 20 years ago.
If you did want to build something on Gary Grigsby's engine, they will let you for a cut of the proceeds. 2X3 had nothing to do with the development of AE from the original WitP. I think Joe Wilkerson had some early discussions with them, but they pretty much just threw the code over the wall and it was up to the AE team to take it from there.
There are a lot of people who are interested in seeing a new WitP or something else built along the same lines, but even if somebody came forward with a lot of money, the people who did AE are just too busy with other things these days. To develop a new wargame like this, and to do it right, you need a team of people who are passionate about the minutiae of the theater the game is going to cover as well as incredibly organized and willing to spend hours on mind numbing work getting all the numbers right for every unit. Then it would help a lot to get a crew of programmers who also know a lot about what they are simulating. I drew on my knowledge of the war, warfare in general, and engineering of war machines when I was writing code for the game. Everyone involved was also intimately knowledgeable about the existing WitP engine and what it could do.
Just hiring a team of programmers in Russia or India probably won't get you a very good game engine.
Having money for a new game engine might help bring some people on board, but there is expertise that would be nearly impossible to get at any price at this point.
WitP AE - Test team lead, programmer