Comments about future Pacific content in the IL-2 series

Back a few years ago, Jason Williams, newly minted as Lead Producer for the IL-2 series, made it public knowledge that the series was heading to the Kuban river area as a precursor to taking the series to the Pacific and the Battle of Midway. Then, plans changed and the series went to the Western Front instead. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Jason on his thoughts about the Pacific. Now, we have a new update that helps cover the current state of efforts.

References remains an issue

It’s not just the A6M Zero (at the front of the image) but also the D3A Val and B5N Kate that the series needs to replicate. These are harder to find information about.

When it was announced that IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte was next and that the Pacific themed content would be delayed, many were disappointed that the series was not able to make the jump to the Pacific. Going to the Western Front at least changed the script but I know quite a few regular readers were really hoping to see the series go to the Pacific – it was a winning formula for Pacific Fighters before it.

The issue then as it is now remains the dire need to have resources and information not just on the basics like how fast a given aircraft can fly but also how it’s systems work. IL-2 aircraft have relatively deep system modeling that helps gives them their realism and I can see it being awfully hard to make some of this stuff up.

In this most recent update on the issue, Jason Williams goes into detail on the efforts to amass the information needed:

Since I last spoke about this issue, I have had three different Japanese speaking people do research for me in Japan to help me find needed and known references that will help the team build some Japanese planes to our usual standards and no one came back with anything super useful. I have personally spent quite a bit of my own money and amassed quite a large library of books on Japanese planes and they come close to what we need, but not quite enough.

Jason Williams

Jason goes on to explain that it isn’t just the A6M Zero that makes the product. His team needs information on other less well known types. If we consider the Japanese aircraft set for Battle of Midway, the D3A ‘Val’ and B5N ‘Kate’ are both essential counterparts to the TBD Devastator and SDB Dauntless.

Building a A6M “Zeke” is not really the issue, there are enough references to build one for Sturmovik, but some of the other main-line but less-famous Japanese planes are more difficult. Committing my team to a product that only has a flyable Zero and a host of flyable American planes is not really a marketable option for our business model. We prefer to continue to build a full plane-set for each of our products. That’s what sells best for us.

Jason Williams

Jason perhaps knows the business model behind IL-2: Great Battles better than anyone and I have to agree that the success (and occasional failure) for the original Pacific Fighters was not just in the American and British aircraft but also the Japanese types that were included in the series.

The Battle of Midway wasn’t just Zero’s and Wildcat’s dogfighting and frankly the aircraft I was most excited about in the lineup were the Dauntless, Devastator, Val, and Kate and the Avenger. IL-2 series is always at it’s best when multiple aircraft with multiple roles are available to fly

The quest is not yet over

The end of the update from Jason essentially maintains what he has said for some time now – that the support he has received has been helpful, that the efforts to dig up new information continue, and that he hopes to be able to return the series to the Pacific yet.

I can imagine that the process to get to this point is long and troublesome and that the research information needed needs to build to a boiling point where suddenly the series becomes viable.

I still hold out hope that we can sail the Pacific at some point in the future.

Jason Williams

As always, I remain hopeful as well and I think it’s great that Jason can share as candidly as he can about the trials and troubles of trying to make this happen.

With IL-2: Battle of Normandy underway now and the future prospect of the series being able to market to newer virtual pilots with complete sets of content featuring the Eastern Front (Moscow, Stalingrad and Kuban) and Western Front (Normandy and Bodenplatte) with over 30 and 20 aircraft respectively, I still hold out hope for not one but several Pacific themed titles. The theatre is ripe for great new simulator experiences including carrier operations and I hope we’ll be able to do that. My fingers are crossed!

Read the whole update from Jason Williams right here.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. bigalrico says:

    And once again I am speechless and grateful through the openness. To know that also in this matter some things have already happened warms my heart. (And of course that a zero would be feasible ❤ 😉 )
    Despite the sources I hope that they will find enough data about the different types with enough time. Of course we will have to wait and see and hope that it pays off for Jason who seems to invest a lot in it himself.
    I think that after Normandy we might get an early scenario (Battle of France/Spanish Civil War maybe?) or even a late 44/45 scenario on the Eastern Front to get the latest developments on the Russian (Yak-3 :D) and German side (Ta 152 <3).
    After such a thing my hope would be great that we might go to the Pacific afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blue 5 says:

    Great guy, great team, Great Battles.

    See what I did, there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Yes, I saw what you did there and it’s great! 😄

      Like

      1. Blue 5 says:

        Komedy geniuses FTW!

        Like

  3. 79vRAF says:

    The biggest issues with Pacific Fighters was the complete lack of torpedo bombers, It’d be a real shame to have to do the same again. The Avenger was a real loss. I know it got implements in Mods later on, but I don’t like to use Mods; I’ve just never been comfortable with them in any sim.

    A Pacific add-on with the level of VR support that is available in BoX would be superb. It needs to be able to represent the aircraft of the US Navy, the Royal Navy and the Imperial Japanese Navy. I would argue that there is also a good case to look at campaigns like Burma that will be able to utilise some existing and planned aircraft such as the Hurricane Mk II and the P-40, with an AI C-47. It would still need some new aircraft and things like the Ki-43 and Ki-46 would be essential too. I do not know how easy/difficult these would be to get info on, but having the Betty, Blenheim, Beaufighter, and others would be on a par with having North Africa for me. It’s rare to find any attention given to the RAF in the Far East; but then the RAF didn’t always give the RAF in the Far East the attention that it needed as it was not the priority theatre.

    The Far East has a lot of unexplored potential, it doesn’t just have to be about the carriers…

    Like

  4. Rainer Diabl says:

    I don’t care about a Pacific scenario at all, I’d rather have more late-war scenarios on the west- and eastfront, as well as content in Italy and North Africa. Also large bombers like the B-17 or B-24 would be amazing. I miss the anti-bomber operation campaigns from IL-2 1946. Especially the tank branch of the game would benefit from the theatres I mentioned.

    Like

  5. Alex says:

    The Technical Air Intelligence Units (TAIC) of the Allies analyzed captured Japanese aircraft during WWII and created detailed reports about them (including flight tests). For example, this report: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/japanese-aircraft-performance-1918429185 .

    I wonder why these English-language reports are not enough to model the Japanese planes. Obviously Jason and team have already scoured these resources, but it’s strange that the intelligence collected by the Allies for the war effort is not enough to model these aircraft in a flight sim. They know better than I do, though.

    Like

    1. bigalrico says:

      Well these reports were made with previously damaged machines, i’m not mistaken. Which in itself can falsify the results from a completely intact machine. In addition, I mean that the tests were not done with the full engine power (to not ruin the repaired machines). This means that these reports are only partially usable and do not necessarily reflect the real performance.
      Also I don’t know for which types these tests were made and which 1C wants to insert at the end.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s