Those hyped and ready to start flying around the DCS: AH-64D this holiday season are going to find themselves a little disappointed as the premier U.S. Army attack helicopter is being pushed back a few weeks into January. Let’s check out the latest status report.
Now releasing in 2022
With just five weeks left in 2021 and the days counting down quickly, its perhaps not too surprising that Eagle Dynamics have decided to delay the launch of the DCS: AH-64D into early 2022. In this weeks DCS World Newsletter, we’ve learned that progress on the helicopter is going well but that key features are still being worked on.
Here’s what they said:
Development on the AH-64D module is going well. However, due to progress on the “George” AI and flight control system components, we have decided to postpone the Early Access release to the end of January 2022. This additional time will allow us to further develop the flight control systems, hold modes, damage model, missions, skins and other items. As a token of our appreciation for your pre-orders, we are increasing your pre-order ED miles up to 8,500.Eagle Dynamics
With critical items still being worked on, it makes sense that Eagle Dynamics wants to push the release a little further down the road. The addition of 8,500 ED miles is a nice acknowledgement that we were all getting pretty excited about the imminent release.
I see the delay as a positive
When the DCS: F-16C was first released, it had some critical issues with some key components including the damage model which was essentially nonexistent on launch and was then added several weeks later. Many, including myself, look back on that release as an aircraft that needed just a little more time before it came out. It has grown into a magnificent module but it did tarnish the reputation of it for many at the start and that surely had an impact on those early sales.
This time around, it looks like Eagle Dynamics have decided to wait and polish some of these key areas before they release the helicopter. This is exactly the kind of thing that is needed in the long term and while I share in any disappointment that others are feeling, it makes sense to me to wait and get these things right.
As with any complex project, there are always going to be things that delay the project and make it take a bit longer than anticipated. Even the best project managers will struggle with complex software releases that sometimes require creative solutions. The AH-64 won’t be the first nor the last DCS World module to be delayed because it needed a little more time in the oven.
So, adjusting my expectations a little, I’m still excited for and optimistic about an early 2022 release for the DCS: AH-64D. It’s going to be a fun helicopter when it arrives! In the meantime… maybe I’ll put in some more time with the Black Shark.