It’s been a great year for DCS World fans in my estimation with the release and upgrade of a great many aircraft into the sim world and continued development that helps stretch and expand DCS World into so many different corners. The sale announced earlier today is, according to Eagle Dynamics, in part, a thank you to all of the fans for their support over the year and to celebrate they have released a drop dead gorgeous trailer (done, I think, by Glowing Amraam) with a juicy F-16 teaser at the end! Let’s have a watch and speculate!
A thank you trailer
The new trailer captures the scale and scope of DCS World as a combat simulator world with an emphasis on flight but no less beautiful down at ground level. The trailer features, tanks, aircraft, helicopters, naval vessels, and intense warfare from modern day, World War II, and pieces in between. I love how the person creating the trailer blends the tones of modern and 1940s together and contrasts them.
Keep an eye out for a few unreleased items such as the DCS: F-14B and the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer. And watch through to the end because the tone of the trailer abruptly changes… to the F-16C
Teasing the DCS: F-16C
We’ve known for months that Eagle Dynamics next module would be the DCS: F-16C and today for the first time they teased the aircraft to us at the very end of the trailer. Now, at the end of 2018 they are starting to tease the F-16C with the words “See you soon.” Might that be sooner than expected? I have a theory.
Last year, Eagle Dynamics teased the F/A-18C Hornet to us a few times before it emerged into more regular updates and eventually was released to us in an early access state. The Hornet has grown and while it’s not done yet, it is maturing fairly quickly and is adding new features and systems along the way.
While the Hornet is still being worked on the work is focused on two things:
- Programming weapon systems (LGBs, Mavericks, etc.)
- Programming core features (datalink, air-to-ground radar, etc.)
The art team and flight modeling teams meanwhile are done and were probably done months ago which means that they are busy doing something else. Likely there are multiple projects are underway seeing as Eagle Dynamics rolled Belsimtek up back into their organization earlier this year.
The Mi-24 Hind, F-4 Phantom, AH-1 Cobra, and F-16 Viper were all on the radar for these two organizations and now that they are together I think they have tried to be as strategic is possible with their next modules.
My speculation is this: They made a decision to streamline the pipeline and build the F-16C as their next fixed wing jet fighter module. The Viper shares features with the already under production F/A-18C Hornet showcasing features such as the Link 16 datalink, air to ground radar, updated radar and missile modeling, etc. Programming for some of these features on the Hornet may already have preliminary F-16 work being done at the same time. It explains too why the F-4 Phantom module that Belsimtek was planning is delayed (thought not cancelled).
My prediction is that the F-16C art assets are being readied now and that the programming team is going to start on the Viper once the Hornet features are done. Could we be flying the F-16C in DCS Early Access by the middle part of 2019? Maybe! I’ll buy that hype train so you don’t have to. This could just as realistically be a 2020 module and be more than a year out. Only time will tell!
Confirmed for 2019?
(Updated December 20, 2018 at 3:37 pm)
In a reply to a conversation taking place on the DCS World 2018 and Beyond video on YouTube, the Eagle Dynamics account replied to a sarcastic comment suggesting that the F-16 was coming in 2029 with the following:
Let me fix that for you… 2019.Eagle Dynamics: Digital Combat Simulation on YouTube
So, does that lock it in for 2019? I would say nothing is certain but it does seem that Eagle Dynamics is currently planning the DCS: F-16 for release in 2019 rather than 2020 or beyond as some have suggested. Proof, of course, will be when it does arrive in early access. Stay tuned folks!