DCS: F-15E’s pre-order roll-out has been…a challenge

Cursed? Unlucky? DCS: F-15E’s pre-order roll-out really has been something and in-case you’re wondering what’s been going on and what we’ve heard from various sources I’ve tracked down what I’ve read and seen to make sure that you’re up to date.

Delays and pricing issues

Today has been a rough one for the launch of the pre-order for the DCS: F-15E Strike Eagle.

There’s already a bit of a curse that this module seems to have endured. A delay from the first pre-order then lead to a shorter delay that came up earlier this week. That pushed the F-15E pre-order out just a bit further than had originally been planned. Of course, this is the pre-order only, and none of these functionally delayed the release of the module itself. But it did play out as a small bit of drama. And that might have been it… but today ended up being a bit more than that.

At first, the F-15E pre-order began with an erroneous price of just $24.00 USD. According to several community members, they were able to purchase it at that price before the issue was discovered and the pricing corrected. ED community manager NineLine confirmed that those who did get it at the unusually low price will get to keep it at that price.

Those that managed to get it on the cheap should count themselves lucky and get to keep it at that price.

NineLine on the DCS Discord

Prior to this message, there was a similar message from NineLine that the pre-order would be refunded but this was ultimately changed. A lucky few seem to have been able to get the F-15E, however, realistically this affected very few people as the issue was supposedly corrected in minutes. I didn’t see it with the discount myself and I saw the post not too many minutes after it went live so this was a narrow window indeed.

The Steam issues

There was also quite a bit of discussion about Steam and the pre-order. None of the messaging in the run-up to the launch of the pre-order discount mentioned that it would be available on Steam.

Some assuming it would, others assuming not, and a bit of confusion ensued. That was made a bit more complicated with the RAZBAM F-15E FAQ on their Discord initially stating that the discount would be offered on Steam which I think was the source of much of the confusion. That later changed and screenshots have been posted in a number of places including here showing the change in language.

Sales through the DCS World e-shop remain continue to be more flexible and with less overhead than Steam thus enabling the greater discount. DCS community manager BIGNEWY said as much in a post here.

The developer chose not to offer the 30% pre-order on Steam due the small margins from the Steam fees + the discount.

The F-15E will of course be on Steam in the future at 20% off when released.

BIGNEWY on the DCS World forums

Steam does take a significant cut from sales made on there plus surely some additional fees so while Steam offers a ton of user level advantages there are some disadvantages to the system as well.

We do know that the F-15E will still have a 20% discount on launch on Steam too so Steam store owners will still see some early access incentives.

The F-15E is not part of the ED Miles program

The ED Miles program has been, to my eye, a successful way to build up loyalty points to be spent on future modules. I’ve used the program a few times myself and its enabled me to purchase some upgrades to aircraft like the A-10C II and Black Shark 3 entirely on points.

Most modules do take advantage of the ED Miles program, however, it was mentioned today that RAZBAM had elected not to use the program with the F-15E. I would assume that there are some costs incurred with this and that RAZBAM had elected to not go with it.

Yes, sorry. RAZBAM opted out of the ED Miles program right now for the F-15E. 

NineLine on the DCS forums

The 30% discount remains generous for a pre-order discount and so it may have been a decision to not make use of the program now and then bring it in later. To my knowledge, no statement has been made either way.

The servers went down too

It wasn’t just you if you tried to sign on earlier and found it difficult to login to the webstore or even some of the other DCS World services. The system appeared to struggle under the load of a significant number of people all looking to pre-order the F-15E on day one and that made the server unresponsive to some and inaccessible to others.

Although that is obviously a problem, it also appears to speak to the great interest in the F-15E and the excitement surrounding the module. My impression is that the DCS World community has grown considerably over the last few years and so the numbers of people crowding the store in 2023 might have been quite a bit more than we saw even back in the days of some other big releases like the F-14 from Heatblur or ED’s own F-16 and even AH-64 releases.

Fortunately, everything appears to be back up and running at this point.

This is a beginning

As I’ve been saying for several days now if not longer, the pre-order is just the start of the process. While it would have been nice to know that the Steam pre-order discount was not going to happen or that the F-15E was not going to be part of the ED Miles program, this is also just day one of the pre-order.

If this had happened at launch I think we’d be talking about more of a problem but as it is we’re at the start of the process rather than mid-way through it. That is the saving grace of this pre-order beginning now and the early access coming a bit later.

Still, this has been a bit of a rough launch with some calling today’s drama a curse and others calling it unlucky. Others too have used stronger language but I don’t think that is called for. Clear, consistent messaging of course remains a key part of any launch and the more we all know ahead of time the better.

Will the curse follow the F-15E into early access or will it be smoother sailing from here? I for one am hoping for calm seas, clear skies, and the sound of two P&W F100-PW-229 engines lighting their afterburners for an unrestricted climb. That day is approaching!


15 Comments Add yours

  1. CanadaOne says:

    Ha! I knew you would be painfully fair, and you did not disappoint. 🙂

    According to most of what I read on the forums, it was the fact that no one mentioned there would be no pre-order on Steam that caused a great deal of the problem. Someone knew this prior to the first planned pre-order and said nothing. They also knew it on Wednesday for the second planned pre-order and said nothing. Now at the third and actual pre-order, the news is given out, at the last minute, and in a staggeringly unclear fashion. With pics and counter pics of posts from other sites saying “yes it will” followed by “no it won’t”.

    Why did RazBam announce this on Discord? They don’t sell planes on Discord as far as I know,. They sell planes at the main site, but they were nowhere to be seen there today as far as I know.

    Talk to the customers clearly and make sure they hear what you say and know what is going on. Keep the paying customer informed and part of the process. That’s the ballgame.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      I do my best 🙂

      You are right that they should have said something about the plans with Steam. It was made worse by having conflicting and later corrected information on the RAZBAM Discord (I made sure to mention) that lead some to believe, quite fairly, that it would be available. Although ED’s communications made no mention of one for Steam… that was probably a misstep in that omission doesn’t always say as clearly as a direct statement.

      RAZBAM seem to communicate a lot through their Discord these days. I don’t see them on the forums as much and some of their devs haven’t posted anything in quite a long time. It is an area that is under serviced to be sure.


  2. Stewmanji says:

    Ohhh to have been one of the lucky few to snag it for $24.

    Great recap on your part!

    That said, I honestly think this is a situation in which the community is making a mountain out of a molehill. Well, maybe a series of large hills out of a few bumps. We’re pretty good at that.

    The Steam situation is probably the one that’s gonna haunt Razbam (and maybe ED to some extent) the longest. Definitely an avoidable situation with some better communication but mistakes happen. Hard for many a Hoggit-goer to process, but it’s true.

    Bigger picture, I totally understand why ED keeps DCS on the Steam store from a visibility standpoint, but man, time and time again it causes them so much pain because of pricing issues like this. Plus the 30% cut for Steam has to be brutal in a genre like this. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t I suppose.

    Oh well…I have full confidence that the pitchforks will be raised for the weekend but will move on to the big “controversy” in a few days/weeks time.

    Until then, keep up the great work Shamrock! And here’s to a great F-15E launch…it’s gonna be amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      Yeah I generally agree. I think communication could have been better and that remains a challenge but on the whole it’s going to be forgotten and we’ll be on to something else. Absolutely agree.

      Thanks for the kind words! I aim to keep everyone as up to date as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. harryvoyager says:

    I’m ok getting it for $56 USD. Modules of this scale are usually $80 after launch, so 30% off is a pretty solid deal.

    It is impressive the amount of interest the F-15E has generated. It is a legendary aircraft for certain. And I recall Jane’s F-15E Strike Eagle being a big success in its day. It is good to see we’re getting a worthy successor after all this time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. padinn says:

    It really put a wet blanket for me on a day that was supposed to be celebrating a major milestone. Just communicate better. Debsting if I should swap to standalone, but I have like 47 steam modules (literally)


    1. EagleOverlord says:

      You can transfer all your modules


      1. padinn says:

        I know, I tested it. Hard to decide if I want to given i have so many on steam. I do have a steam deck and valve index.


  5. Firdimigdi says:

    A saga unfolds. I don’t know if I can take so much first world consumerist drama in a single serving.


    1. padinn says:

      People can have valid disappointment in a poor product launch and recognize on the scale of things it doesn’t mean all that much much.

      I have a $5,000 simrig. I can afford an extra eight bucks. This was the first full module product that a friend who just got into DCS planned to buy. It doesn’t leave the best impression.

      It’s pretty easy to avoid too. Just say its up at 20% off on steam due to fees.


  6. schurem says:

    omg the crying and wailing. What a nothingburger. People are once again showing themselves in the fairest light. Bravo DCS comunity, proud to be pard of y’all! (/s)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CanadaOne says:

      That’s a fair comment. But it’s also fair to notice that RB/ED are a mirror image of the customer base and can be just as excitable and childish. They wail and cry in their own fashion, there is no doubt of that.

      Two sides of the same coin. I think that’s also a fair comment.


  7. Urgent Siesta says:

    Classic DCS “drama”…

    Tempest in a Teapot.


    1. ShamrockOneFive says:

      There is a lot of sound and fury. Ultimately this will all move past us.


      1. Urgent Siesta says:

        I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think it’s “amusing” the price was $24 for a few mins, and since it’s not the first time that’s happened, the e-comm team needs some form of disciplinary action.

        And kudos to ED for being willing to eat the price instead of cancelling the transaction.

        Of all the commentary I’ve read, I have yet to see anyone taking Steam to task for their apparently byzantine pricing rules and high percentage cut of transactions, etc.

        Like, wake me if Strike Eagle turns out to be another Viper launch (which ain’t gonna happen) or some such actually worthwhile topic of debate. Otherwise, the Community has just gone completely overboard on this (even by their own standards of conduct).

        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 )

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