I’ve seen some questions recently about the future of Tank Crew and I thought it’d be good to revisit the future of the series as we can see it right now. With Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorovka essentially complete and one Collector Vehicle on the way, inevitably, everyone wants to know what comes next. So, let’s explore that a bit! Why do I think that there will be a future for the series and what might it be? Get your speculation hats on and let’s have a look.
Tank Crew seems to be doing well
Although we’ll never know exactly what sales are like, we can read between the lines a bit.
I’ve seen more people playing with Tank Crew in multiplayer than ever before. Every night that I go on a multiplayer server with tanks, there are usually a bunch of dedicated players enjoying it. On a server like Advance and Secure or Finnish Virtual Pilots where tanks are mixed with aircraft, it’s really impressive to see.
Although I can’t find the quote to attribute it right now, Jason Williams, the Lead Producer for the IL-2 series, has also indicated that Tank Crew is the fastest growing of their titles. Stats inclined folks will be quick to jump and say that something like that doesn’t really mean anything unless we know by how much its growing. But I take a slightly different meaning from this. The fact that we’re hearing that it likely means that it’s doing well and that there’s reason to be optimistic.
Features are also still coming for Tank Crew. Recently we’ve seen the new dynamic vehicle damage feature show up along with the new tactical codes system. Both originated as updates for the tanks first and then are migrating to the aircraft second.
The third party brought in to help 1CGS create the tanks for the project are also still on the job right now. They are still creating the Sd.Kfz. 10/5 Flak 38 Collector Vehicle for the sim. They may also be producing some of the vehicles for Battle of Normandy although developer updates are unspecific as to the studio creating them (saying only that they are a third party).
I choose to read all of that as being potentially good news for the future of Tank Crew with third party’s actively involved in creating new objects and because the objects are being created at such high levels of detail. That would make them ideal to use as backdrops for future Tank Crew titles.
What would they do?
There’s a couple of ways that Tank Crew could evolve. It could potentially evolve in a bunch of different ways over the course of the next few years if sequels are developed.
Tank Crew – Clash at Prokhorvoka was historically aimed on the battle of Kursk and specifically the Prokhorovka sector. Unlike some other tank focused titles that are out there on the market, Tank Crew brings the same approach to their scenarios that 1CGS’ aircraft titles do. They are historically focused on what was there as a primary objective and finding a balance of options as a secondary component. Any future title is likely to follow the same pathway.
A western front focused follow-up may be one way forward for the series. This would match with the Bodenplatte and Normandy titles and allow for that critical interaction between air and ground that Tank Crew does better than almost anyone else. A western front themed follow-up may also be attractive to western audiences bringing in well known American and British tanks such as later models of the M4 Sherman and putting them against later war German tanks giving types like the Panther more of a chance to shine. Fighting could be set on a purpose built map focused on the the Battle of the Bulge, an area that is on but just on the edges of the Rhineland map in IL-2: Battle of Bodenplatte.
Another way forward would be to stick to the eastern front and take the battle forward or backwards in time. Although most people have asked about we later war tanks, I’m sure there are some that would find appeal in the earlier models of the Panzer III, the Panzer II, the earliest T-34, KV-1, and T-28 could be on tap as well. Or we could see a jump later in the eastern front war and bring in late T-34-85 models or even the mighty IS-2.
Tank Crew seems to be drawing in new players, bringing in people who may not be interested in flying but who are interested in a detailed armored warfare simulator. Tank Crew is slowly making a name for itself and I think a follow-up expansion will bring even more attention to the series. There are a lot of options for the future and at least one of these ideas will surely play out.