IL-2’s Lead Producer, Jason Williams, has responded to some questions on the forum surrounding the future of Flying Circus. With more squadron groups organizing events in Vol 1, there’s a core community that has built up around this release for the IL-2: Great Battles Series but it’s future in the form of a Vol 2 is still somewhat in the air. Jason wasn’t able to tell us everything but he does respond to the question about as directly.
Is there a future for Flying Circus?
The burning question right now is if there will be a Flying Circus Vol 2 and if so, what will it entail. First, Jason answers about as directly as he can on the issue of if there will be a second volume of the series.
No decision has been made yet. Infer from that what you will, but I cannot get into confidential info, my bosses would get quite angry. My desire is to always make more products, I create products, that’s what I do. Any new products have to make business sense for not only us, but our partners who share in the work. The concept of FC1 presented an opportunity to take a larger than usual gamble and do an experiment.
Flying Circus was an unexpected announcement back when it was announced as nobody expected anything World War I for quite some time. Now it’s here but clearly it’s been a gamble and it seems unclear if that gamble has paid off just yet.
The biggest drag on Flying Circus I think was the lack of single player content although that has already changed since release with a single player mission package, a 6-mission mini campaign (for both Sopwith Camel and Fokker Dr. I), and utilities like Pat Wilson’s Campaign Generator, and the Easy Mission Generator by Vander available to fill in plenty of content. Look no further than Wolfpack345’s mission 1 of the Kaiserschlacht Campaign playthrough to see how good that experience can be.
For 1CGS’ part, more may be coming and some incentives to buy Flying Circus may come eventually, but it sounds like the future is, at least in part, in our own hands:
I can add some more non-Career SP content (which I have stated already) and adjust the price when I can, but the question becomes how bad does the community want an FC2 to happen? The only way that it will get a green-light is if FC1 proved there was an appetite for more WWI. And even if we say yes we want it, does our partner want to do it? Do I have the resources to make what the community says they want after FC1? So there are many moving parts to this.
There’s more to Jason’s statement which I encourage you to read in full, however, I want to highlight one last piece.
As I said many times, this was my only option to do anything WWI related any time soon, so I went for it and thought a lot of flyers who owned ROF or owned IL-2 would be interested. No matter what happens, I don’t regret it, FC turned out very nice and it’s fun to fly. Everyone worked hard on FC1, so I hope I can move forward with another one. Time will tell. Please don’t ask me when. It could be next week or next year, I really don’t know right now.
In summary, no Vol 2 right this moment but Jason hasn’t ruled it out and it could come any time or it might never happen. I have some thoughts on that too.
Where we go from here?
I’ve been reading between the lines on these comments and others from Jason and 1CGS in general over the years. One that I didn’t have to really read between the lines on was that they knew that the Rise of Flight community strongly desired to be brought up to speed with the latest technology and that Flying Circus was their way forward to do that. The biggest of the killer features, VR, is just not something that the old Rise of Flight can do and so this was Jason’s way to try and make that happen for the community. While many in the Rise of Flight community have come over and more and more are running events with their multiplayer squadrons, it’s clear from the comment today that either not enough bought in or it’s on the edge as to whether there was enough.
I’ve seen comments as recently as this week that some folks are going to stick with Rise of Flight because there are more aircraft, it has a bigger map and more campaigns. That of course is all true and if Rise of Flight, as is, satisfies your WWI flying desires, then that’s not a bad thing and I always advocate for options. More than that, I keep an open mind to choices of everyone to buy and fly whichever sim they want to fly and to spend or not spend as they wish – nobody should pressure anyone into making a purchase they regret. I wrote a while back that Rise of Flight was in some ways ahead of it’s time and it still makes for a compelling package.
For me, however, the improved AI, the visuals and enhanced performance benefits of the new engine, plus the integration with the rest of the IL-2 series all make it hard for me personally to go back. I acknowledge that the initial release has a weak spot for single player content but I also have attempted to point out all of the great ways that this flaw can be mitigated and I firmly believe that over time it will further diminish as more people create single player content for the title.
It’s also true that the title has only 10-aircraft, although that’s more than what Rise of Flight started with, and so, just was with IL-2, it’s very hard to compare old with new when 10-aircraft goes up against over 100 as in the case of IL-2: 1946. Given enough time and releases, Flying Circus can have just as many as Rise of Flight … but that needs the community to buy in.
There’s a chicken and egg phenomenon at work here. If not enough people get onboard with Flying Circus, it may not have a follow-up. If Flying Circus isn’t compelling enough in Vol 1 then not enough people are going to buy it. It’s a conundrum and one that I hope gets worked out… because I really want to see more aircraft types, bigger maps, and more of everything from Flying Circus. But that’s just me and I’ll leave it at that.