A short editorial on Flying Circus’ future

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!

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Scott says:

    Though its still early on, I’ve really been enjoying FC and hope it continues to gather momentum & expand further. The Sunday meets are riot, and everyone seems to have a great time. Even though I have RoF, this is the next gen in graphics, engine & for those with VR. There is something special about flying the “kites”… Rumor has it that PW may lend his hand for campaign support which would be outstanding…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blue 5 says:

    A vote on a/c and focus for Vol. 2 could generate some discussion. Before the Arras map I doubt that there will be a lot of engagement with Vol. 1 (which is a shame), but discourse on future direction is always popular.

    I think most people acknowledge FC is a lower-priority, but RoF was very popular (in a niche market) so I really hope the studio can mainatin momentum. I would love to see a 504K or BE series as collector aircraft.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      A vote would certainly be interesting! Either on some Vol 2 aircraft or even the potential for a few Collector Planes for Vol 1.

      I do suspect, should a volume 2 happen, that they will go for a 1917 aircraft set. Hopefully that would include the Gotha G.V and the Handley Page 0-400. I know folks want some multi-seat aircraft and both of those would be fantastic to have.

      Like

  3. gflinch says:

    I wish the price was lower, it would be more of an impulse buy for many (I think). At its current price its quite a commitment and you better have the time to enjoy it so as to get your moneys worth. I know dev costs are high and profits are pretty low with so small of a market. Personally, I don’t have the time to game like I used to, and money is a little thinner than it used to be so I have to be choosey where that $$ goes. Not whining or complaining, but I don’t think I am the only one that is in a similar situation that would love to have the game, but $70 is just way to much for to many casual players.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Absolutely agree! There is always going to be a tension here between the cost, which factors in the developers time and resources, and the affordability of said title.

      For some, $70 is quite steep while others may see this as good value for the money. It depends on how much flight time you get with it versus the money you spent and compare that to say an evening out at the movies.

      Flying Circus is still early access. Give it some time to launch and then go on sale and it’ll be an easier impulse buy. I’m doing my best to report on every sale and I think those 66% off deals for Battle of Stalingrad for example are outstanding value.

      Like

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