While playing Kerbal Space Program I thought that maybe we can have satellite crash in the game, some high-tech piece of metal containing high-value information that some military squad had to get back, bad luck for them. Now you got the black box, and if you find a way to analyze it you may discover some important information about the cataclysm.
Maybe we can also have a Secret Satellite Control hidden in some military facilities, where, if you have an high skill in computers, you will be able control various type of satellites, each one with his own functionalities ranging from GPS to military purposes.
Randomly created events that happen after game start are a brilliant idea (and a satellite crash is definitely one of them). I think the devs said something about the difficulty of triggering these (over)map changes later on though?
I hate to rain on anyone’s parades, but a satellite returning to Earth would most assuredly burn up in the atmosphere being as it’s pretty small and travelling at like Mach 15. See: the GOCE satellite that de-orbited recently.
I see your parading raining, and counter with ‘fantasy game’!!!
Seriously though, although I completely understand not wanting to go completely against the laws of physics or get too wacky (as I feel that is definitely when most games start breaking dowN) any number of situations could arise where it hits more intact and violently. Perhaps it has re-entry jets which stop working mid way through return? (it could have been automatically recalled, but without anyone to guide it in it all went horribly wrong).