There’s been some talk in the community over the last few days since I posted my latest interview with Jason Williams about the future of Flying Circus and I want to make sure everyone has the latest details and I want to throw my own thoughts in here too – I promise I will try and keep this short!
Some healthy discussion
In my interview with Jason I asked about the Career mode being added to a hypothetical Vol 2 of Flying Circus. I got a fairly reasonable answer that it was a big job but if there was a Vol 2 then that was his hope
Assuming we can get a Volume 2 going, that is indeed my hope, but it’s a big job.Jason Williams in Part 3: An interview with Jason Williams on Tank Crew and Flying Circus
Pat Wilson, of PWCG fame, asked on the IL-2 forum thread about this interview about if there would be more of an emphasis on two-seaters in future versions of Flying Circus. And here’s Jason’s initial response:
If there are upcoming releases.Jason Williams on the IL-2 forums
That could be cause for some concern if we take it on its own and as you may have guessed, there was considerable discussion about the future of Flying Circus. The titles’ shortcomings and its strong points were all brought up.
Then we have a great follow up from Jason too that you should read:
Not trying to be negative here, but you must remember Flying Circus is something new for us. Working with a 3rd Party, re-vamping older content, smaller map than in ROF and limited mission content first go around. It remains to be seen if it is a big enough draw to fund Volume II. That’s my goal, but it’s not a forgone conclusion. Just a reminder that we still do risky things and this is still a business proposition. But it is the only way it was possible to bring WWI to our current engine with the resources I have. The results are pretty darn good, so I am optimistic, but time will tell. Please anyone on the fence about FC should jump in so their will be more volumes added and maybe some new WWI planes built as a result.Jason Williams on the IL-2 forums
Throwing my own thoughts in here
I wanted to put some of my own perspective on this and try and understand what’s being said. First, you folks probably know that I tend to air on the optimistic side most of the time but I try and being a realism and pragmatism to that perspective.
Flight sims are a niche market. That’s a reality that we all have to remember and despite that niche status, we’ve seen some amazing products come from teams like 1C Game Studios. There are challenges being in a niche market too and that means that there aren’t huge sales numbers that help attract major investors or huge development teams.
Flying Circus is, as Jason says above, a risk and a business proposition. Will enough people buy Flying Circus Vol 1 to justify the costs associated with revamping content and integrating everything in one, newer, more advanced, VR capable, flight sim engine? I really hope so but nothing is ever certain.
With the future somewhat uncertain, does it mean that it’s any less bright than it was yesterday? No, I don’t think so because the IL-2 series and most flight sim titles are always one product away from potentially not being in business anymore. The risk has always been there and it hasn’t gone away. Battle of Stalingrad could have been a flop or Battle of Moscow might have been the only follow up for the series. We’ve progressed beyond that but the risk is always there.
So, if you’re interested in Flying Circus Vol 1 then I would definitely encourage everyone to have a look at it. I’m impressed with what we have so far. Nothing about what Jason has said should scare anyone away. The risks were there before and will be there in the future.
Fly, enjoy, have fun!