F OPIES OIK: FIVE CU V O M R IL2 ST OF PREY BIRDS
GAME INFO IL-2 STURMOVIK: BIRDS OF PREY Publisher: 505 Games in collaboration with 1C Company Developer: Gaijin Entertainment (Xbox 360, PS3) DiP Interactive (DS), SME Dynamic Systems Limited (PSP) Formats: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, DS, PSP Release date: 4th September 2009
The games market is a broader church than ever. It encompasses everything from grans and toddlers singing pop songs to vast, rich, online communities of hardcore gamers losing themselves in other worlds. The flight combat genre has traditionally belonged at the hardcore end of the scale. It is a sector where depth and detail count. And it’s a sector that has been most closely associated with the PC. One of the leading franchises over the last eight years, has been IL-2 from Russian publisher, 1C. It has earned a stellar reputation amongst critics and gamers based on the richness of its visuals, the accuracy and its range of planes and combat scenarios. Now it is coming to consoles and, as it does so, is opening up to a far wider audience, acknowledging the mainstream nature of the changing market, adapting to become more accessible (instantly accessible, in fact), but retaining the elements that make it a true flight combat sim and a fans’ favourite. IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey will be published by 505 Games in collaboration with 1C Company on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PSP. It is based around large-scale aerial combat over the main military operations of World War II. Players take the controls of fighters, battle planes or heavy bombers and participate in some of the most famous conflicts and daring missions. There are six main theatres of war: Stalingrad, Berlin, Sicily, Korsun, The Battle of the Bulge and The Battle of Britain. All are represented by the most realistic landscapes ever seen in any flight combat title. The advanced environmental visuals are complemented by equal levels of realism in the planes themselves and an all new damage effects engine. Players can see real time damage to their aircraft, such as holes in wings and trail lines during dog fights. One of the distinguishing features of IL-2 is the sight of literally hundreds of airplanes in the midst of a huge firefight. It’s a game that is detailed, challenging and accurate, but it’s also breathtakingly spectacular. Another nod to the new console audience is the ability to scale the gameplay according to skill levels. In Arcade mode, players can jump straight into the action with some automatic assistance for plane control and combat. In Realistic mode this assistance is turned off for a better ‘feel’ to the handling and combat. In Simulator mode is not for the faint hearted as the action and flying is as real as it gets with total control of the planes flaps and trim and only the cockpit view to play from.
IN THE COCKPIT Acclaimed PC Flight combat Sim comes to consoles (PS3, Xbox 360, DS, PSP) 50 thrilling missions from famous historical battles from World War II Fully scalable gameplay from ‘arcade’ to ‘realistic’ ‘simulator’ Cutting edge highly-detailed visuals Realistic sound and original music from legendary composer Jeremy Soule Over 40 accurately recreated planes to unlock and pilot Up the stakes with up to 16 player Multiplayer across 4 modes
With over 50 missions to participate in, while piloting over 40 aircraft through some of WWII’s most famous aerial battles, it will satisfy a huge audience.
IL COMMUNICATION 505’s sales director, Ralph Pitt-Stanley, tells us about the strength of the IL-2 franchise and the potential of Birds of Prey on consoles… Can you tell us a little about the history of the IL-2 franchise? Originally developed by 1C: Maddox Games in 2001, IL-2 Sturmovik is one of the most established and well-loved brands in flight-sim gaming. Previously a staunchly PC brand, with numerous iterations under its belt and franchise sales to date of 2m, the latest offering, IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, sees this much vaunted property explode onto next-gen consoles in high definition and bring the epic airborne battles of World War II to the handhelds for the first time. Is it a very different game on console? In developing IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey we were very keen to open up the game to a broader, more action-orientated console audience. The fans of the original PC titles speak excitedly about the level of control they had over planes and the detail and historical accuracy which permeated through every pixel. The first challenge was to ensure we did not lose this level of realism. To achieve this we went to one of the best console developers in Russia, Gaijin Entertainment. The result is a fully customisable and scalable gameplay experience which gives the player total control over how they play IL-2. The three main settings – Arcade, Realistic and Simulator – each provide a different challenge. Arcade Mode allows you to jump straight into the action with a minimal knowledge of piloting your plane, the AI providing auto correction for the flight controls, auto aiming and firing correction and four combat views. In Realistic Mode you have to aim and fire without the automatic weapons correction and with
and longevity in IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is unsurpassed in the genre. With over 50 missions to participate in, while piloting over 40 aircraft through some of WWII’s most famous aerial battles, it will satisfy a wide audience.
PITT-STANLEY: “Gamers are crying out for a good, solid air combat title”
airspeed correction turned off (meaning that the plane’s physics are more realistic, including stalls and spins). You will also need to calculate the distance and speed to successfully engage enemy aircraft, which also have a more complex damage model. Simulator Mode is for the IL-2 Sturmovik aficionados and is the IL2 they know and love: even fewer automatic corrections and total control over the aircraft using the flaps and trim and only the cockpit view. You must fly using only what your eyes see, while balancing the aircraft controls and making tactical combat decisions in a split second. Do you think there’s a big market for flight sims on consoles? Absolutely. There is a real opportunity to tap into a huge installed base of gamers who are crying out for a good, solid air combat title. The important thing is that IL-2 is not just a flight sim, but an aerial combat title which caters for all skills and gaming abilities. We call it Call of Duty in the skies! The WWII genre is still massively popular and the level of realism
What are your sales expectations? If there’s one thing we know about this industry it is that there’s a direct straight-line correlation between quality and sales. The higher the quality, the higher the sales and considering what we’ve delivered and the marketing, PR and sales assault which is about to ensue worldwide, we are confident that this will be a big seller at launch. What are the prospects on the handheld formats, do you think? The handheld formats are a great prospect for the brand. On the PSP there is a huge audience of adrenalin junkies who hanker after fast, frenetic gameplay which IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey delivers in spades. On the NDS, there is a large demographic segment of males aged 16-34 who are undersupplied with AAA action games which boast amazing graphics and format specific gameplay. They will be able to get their IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey fix on the go. What are your marketing plans for the title? The team at 505 Games knows that when you’ve got a game as good as IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey in your arsenal, the worst thing you can do is not to back it with AAA marketing. For us, it’s time to back it in earnest, and give it the best chance of success. The primary strategy is to convey the intense nature of the gameplay and show off the genrebusting graphical detail through every visual medium on offer.
PSM3 “It looks incredible. Honest to goodness, jaw on the floor incredible.”
The mass market potential of IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is highlighted by a marketing strategy that covers off core gamers at pre-launch and launch phase with impactful online and print, as well as broadening the audience later down the line with a strong second wave involving TV...
XBOX WORLD 360 “IL-2 Sturmovik is as real as it gets.”
A comprehensive two month campaign includes high visibility DPS ads, driving the consumer to pre-order campaigns with retail partners, followed up by impactful DPS ads throughout launch month. Titles include Official PlayStation Magazine, Official Xbox Magazine, Games TM, Play and X360.
GAMEZONE “IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey is well on its way to breaking new ground in the flight/combat genre.”
INC GAMERS "Damage detail like I've never seen before, dogfights over familiar and beautifully realised scenery, and missions which compel you. I love this game."
Extensive pre-awareness activity driving consumers direct to online retail sites, followed by high impact launch activity and frequency driving executions from launch through to the end of September. All creatives will capitalise on the stunning visuals of the game and video formats will be utilised wherever possible.
To broaden the audience, 505 will execute a heavyweight 30” TV campaign, targeting males 16-34, across all key channels from late November to mid December.
O ST NE U O RM F OV FIV IK E : B CO IR PI DS ES O OF F PR ILEY 2
505 is offering you the chance to win one of five copies of IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey, on the console of your choice. To be in with a chance, simply answer the following:
Q. Which of the following is a bird of prey: A. Dove B. Hawk C. Jordan Send your answer (and indicate your console of choice) to firstname.lastname@example.org