New Ace Combat project and the future of the series discussed by developers (2023)

A new Ace Combat series project was previously announced in its 25th anniversary stream, and developers further discussed this new project in the 9th December 2021 issue of Weekly Famitsu.

Participating in the interview were team manager Yasui Akira of Ilca, Sekiya Makoto of Ilca who has been working on the series since Assault Horizon, Shimomoto Manabu of Bandai Namco Entertainment who was producer of Ace Combat 7 and will continue to be producer on the new project, Itomi Kosuke of Bandai Namco Studios who was narrative director on Ace Combat 7, Kanno Masato of Bandai Namco Studios who was art director on Ace Combat 7, Kobayashi Masatoshi of Orca who is a software engineer, Iwasaki Takuya who is CEO of Ilca and Orca and has worked on development on the series since the first game, and Ace Combat series brand director Kono Kazutoki of Bandai Namco Entertainment.

The interview begins with discussing Ace Combat 7 and its release of the JASDF Skin Series DLC. Kanno says that players are participating in multiplayer with all sorts of combinations, which the developers are happy about. He also says that the team is indebted to the JASDF: When development began on Ace Combat 7 in 2015, they interviewed F-15 pilots at Komatsu airbase in Ishikawa prefecture, and that is what lead to them coming up with the theme of “clouds” for 7. Shimomoto adds that they also had playable demos of 7 available before release at JASDF airshows (at Matsushima and Nyutabaru airbases), and that the JASDF skins were also well-received by foreign fans, while Kono says that their ability to do such things is indication of the how Ace Combat has grown as an IP and is now more recognized.

The interviewer next mentions how the BGM tracks for multiplayer in Ace Combat 7 were chosen by polling fans, gathering over 3500 votes. Itomi says that they did not have all tracks from the series available in the poll, and that the developers first chose tracks that would match multiplayer battles before having fans vote.

The interviewer mentions being glad that Transparent Blue from Ace Combat 3 was included, and Iwasaki says that 3 had a very different approach to music from the previous games. This was because the writer, Sato Dai, was also well-versed in music, and came up with ideas for the type of music to be used as he wrote the story. Itomi mentions that when meeting designers and artists from other companies, they mention Ace Combat 3 a lot, and he thinks it had a lot of impact.

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The Cutting-edge Aircraft Series DLC is mentioned next, and Kanno says that the licensers were especially thorough in their checks this time: They always perform checks before release, but using the latest aircraft meant that they were particularly rigorous, resulting in the time taken for them to approve taking longer than usual. He feels that this was at the same time indication that people are recognizing Ace Combat 7 more, and Kono adds that development on a larger scale also means having to live up to higher standards, both for players and others.

The interview moves on to talk about the new Ace Combat project next, with the interviewer asking when the project started. Shimomoto says that it is hard to say, with each team member probably having a different idea of when the project started, but for him it is when they started to discuss what to do for the next game when Ace Combat 7 sales hit 2 million copies. For Kanno it was when the DLC missions were released and well-received by fans, which prompted him to start thinking about the next game. Kono on the other hand started thinking of the next game immediately after Ace Combat 7 went gold, saying that, as brand director, this is what he always does.

The interviewer points out how fans might not be familiar with Ilca and Orca, and asks for details about them. Iwasaki says that Ilca and Orca are companies started in 2010 and 2011, with Ilca specializing in graphics and consisting primarily of CG designers, and Orca consisting of programmers and software engineers. The two being split into separate companies was to help projects go smoother.

At the time there were people in Ilca who were more interested in making videos than games, wanting to make high-end pre-rendered things instead of realtime graphics, and so Ilca handled things like movies for pachinko machines and opening animations for TV programs as well. Yasui and Sekiya joined around then, Yasui having been someone who previously worked alongside Iwasaki in game development, and Sekiya having formerly worked on CG graphics in Casio Entertainment, on things such as Halo Legends.

Meanwhile, Orca was working with Square Enix a lot, such as helping with Dragon Quest X and developing its smartphone companion app. After that both Orca and Ilca were asked to work on Dragon Quest XI too, and they moved to Higashi Shinjuku to be closer to Square Enix.

Eventually, Ilca was hired to do a video for Ace Combat 7 around the time of that year’s Tokyo Game Show, and he also talked to Iwasaki saying that he needed help with development as well due to a lack of engineers, and so Orca took this up, with them sending Koike Toshiyuki, who had worked on the Ace Combat series since the first game and was chief programmer on Ace Combat 3, over to Bandai Namco. This resulted them in building up an environment where it became easier to work with Kono, and they will be working on the new Ace Combat project as well. While the current partnership is under Ilca’s name, both Ilca and Orca are working together.

Kono says that the business partnership is due to the project, and a result of him talking with Iwasaki and saying that they should work closely together on it. Ilca then started hiring, but Kono felt that it was difficult to see how Project Aces was involved, and so they announced the new Ace Combat project and how they were looking for people to work on it.

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The interviewer asks what kind of people they are looking for to work on the project, and Iwasaki says that they hope that by gathering people with all sorts of talent, the development itself will change, and that they will help come up with new ideas.

Sekiya says that while many think of Ilca as a company that does not handle development, most of the projects they handle include everything including development, and several games will be released within the next 1-2 years that were developed by Ilca. While Ilca did initially specialize in visuals, 90% of their work in recent years has been game development: However, none of the games have been released yet, and so people are not yet aware of what they have done.

Yasui says that Ace Combat cannot just be fun and interesting, and has to be something that works on an international level, and that he hopes that they can get people who understand that. The number of developers that can work on consumer games that are worldwide titles are limited, he hopes that they recognize what a big chance it is to work on it. Kono adds that they want people who want to make new content with the latest technology, and Yasui says that while they are already able to use Unreal Engine 5 and make realtime cutscenes instead of pre-rendered ones, what he wants is for them to surpass even those standards, saying that there are few developers that can reach that level. Kono says that they are looking not just for people with experience in game development with Unreal Engine, but also people who have worked with cutting-edge technology on movies and other visual media.

Iwasaki says that while the staff who made Ace Combat 7’s pre-rendered movies have already been gathered, they are all quite old, and their knowhow should be passed on to not just people in the gaming industry but also those in the movie industry.

Kono worries that they might have emphasized wanting young talent too much in the anniversary stream and made veterans feel unwelcome, and Yasui says that they want both young talent and veterans.

On the engineering side, Kobayashi says that while they have to aim for AAA standards, he thinks that they will have the funding to do so from Bandai Namco, and what he would like to see from new staff is people who will not make any compromise and do whatever it takes to achieve something that they are satisfied with, even if it means delaying things to make them better, and that this is the mindset of the current members.

Kobayashi says that the kind of engineer they want is the type who know what they are lacking in and can look things up themselves, without needing someone to tell them what to do; the sort of person who only follows orders would probably not fit in. Kanno chimes in, saying that this means the kind of person who, despite being an engineer, would go around researching how clouds or the sea look.

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According to Yasui, big development projects usually result in people with firmly-defined roles, such as “this person only has to makes trees”, but this has never been the case with Ace Combat: The engineers always tresspass on each other’s domains and work together to make things better.

The interviewer next asks for details on the new Ace Combat project, and whether it will be Ace Combat 8 Shimomoto says that the goal of this project and partnership is not to just make a single game, but to gather the human resources needed to keep going for another 25 years: As such, this is about not just the next game, but what comes after it.

Kono says that while it will still take some time to determine what the end result will be, the project is in fact at a stage futher ahead than fans might think, with them looking at past games and setting technical goals.

Itomi comments on how chaotic the situation is right now, with all sorts of ideas going through the developers’ heads, who are struggling to find the right answers. Usually, when modellers and artists are hired, they end up joining the project at a point where it has already advanced to some degree, but anyone who joins the project now will get the rare chance to learn how difficult it is to start something from scratch. And if anyone who has ideas joins, they may get the chance to make their ideas come true.

The interviewer next asks about when the next game will take place, if it does in fact take place in the Strangereal world. Shimomoto says that all the games in the series with the exception of 3 have taken place at a time corresponding to when it was developed in the real world, and Kono says it is hard to comment on when the game will take place. Kanno says that right now, they are actively trying to not focus on small details and look at the bigger picture, as they need to make something for an international audience, and that this is the entire point of the new Ace Combat project. Kono adds that while they cannot give any concrete details, the project’s aim is to make something for an international audience that also lives up to user expectations, based off what they did with Ace Combat 7, and that they will not make something that betrays expectations.

Finally, the interviewer asks if the interviewees have anything they want to say to Ace Combat series fans.

Shimomoto says that the project has only just started, with them still in discussions, and that they hope to able to recruit both veterans to lead the next generation, and young talent who will form that next generation. While fans will have to wait a bit more, he hopes they will look forward to what is coming.

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Itomi says that they are currently at a stage where people are thinking about what the project should turn out to be like, and that they hope to recruit people who want to try creating something.

Kono says that announcing the new Ace Combat project first is akin to telling players that they have no idea what will happen next, and he finds this terrifying as the series brand director, but having Ilca and Orca on it reassures him. They have to work together to make the project work, and he has pledged to make it a success, and so he hopes that the recruitment of new talent works out.

Kanno says that the power of expression in video games has grown, and that it is now an age where artists have to be bold. Advanced game engines being used for all sorts of games means that making a game normally just results in a normal product. He believes that the project will be a success if they can do something so revolutionary that it can chance how someone looks at the world.

Sekiya says that he hopes that the new Ace Combat project will let people know that Ilca is game development company.

Yasui says that a big mission is to make an organizational structure that will let the project succeed.

Iwasaki says that when he first got involved with Ace Combat, he thought about its identity, and came to the conclusion that it is a game that is unparalleled at conveying the fun of flying through the sky, fused with the world made by Kono and others, human drama, and 25 years of history. He thinks that it is their duty to work to polish that foundation, and says that they will do their best to have players fly into a new sky as soon as possible.

Kobayashi says that Orca is a company comprised mostly of engineers, and that there are engineers who can make the ideas of project planners and designers come true. Finally, he says that they intend on making things even better than what the publisher asks of them.

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Also see:

Ace Combat Series 25th Anniversary Interview (Part 1/2)

FAQs

Is a new Ace Combat coming out? ›

The ACE COMBAT™ 7: SKIES UNKNOWN – 3rd Anniversary Update has been released on August 2, 2022!

Is Ace Combat 8 confirmed? ›

The next Ace Combat game (occasionally referred to, but not confirmed, as Ace Combat 8) is currently in production. It will be developed in a joint collaboration between ILCA and Bandai Namco Entertainment's internal Project Aces team. The game will be a next-generation game running on Unreal Engine 5.

Will there be an Ace Combat 7? ›

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is an arcade-style combat flight simulation video game developed and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment.

Is project wingman a copy of Ace Combat? ›

Gameplay. Project Wingman is a combat flight action game similar to the Ace Combat series in which the player flies a combat plane into battle and destroy enemy targets. The player can choose from a wide selection of planes inspired by real-life combat planes and equip the plane with special weapons.

What is the fastest plane in Ace Combat? ›

MiG-31M Foxhound | Acepedia | Fandom.

Who is the best Ace Combat pilot? ›

Erich Hartmann, with 352 official kills the highest scoring fighter pilot of all time.

What country is Belka based on Ace Combat? ›

This is because the German-speaking country of Belka, which acts as the main antagonist until some point in the game, is loosely based on Nazi Germany and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

Who was the last ace fighter? ›

50 years ago, between May 10 and August 28, 1972 Captain Richard “Steve” Ritchie, Reidsville, NC 's native son, became the only United States Air Force pilot to achieve Ace status (*). He will likely be the last. “Ace” is the title bestowed on those downing 5 enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat.

Who is the best ace in Ace Combat series? ›

The famous ISAF pilot Mobius One takes the top spot on today's list. Mobius One is an ace pilot who helped win the Continental War for the ISAF against Erusea.

What is the oldest plane in Ace Combat 7? ›

The F-104C Starfighter—"the last manned fighter"—is the earliest-generation jet aircraft in Ace Combat.

Who shot down Harling Ace Combat 7? ›

Georg is described in his Japanese bio as being "involved in the Trigger incident". Similarly, Trigger's bio reads that "in the wake of a certain incident, he is sent to a penal unit". Putting these two blurbs together implies that Georg was responsible for the murder of Harling.

Does Mobius 1 appear in Ace Combat 7? ›

Mobius 1 is the unnamed protagonist of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. He is also a playable character in arcade mode in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War and in VR mode in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown.

Who is Prez Project Wingman? ›

Project Wingman (Video Game 2020) - Madeline Dorroh as Hitman 1 WSO, Prez - IMDb.

Is Ace Combat 6 canon? ›

Every event featured in Ace Combat media is considered to be canon by default unless it contradicts information presented in other Ace Combat media.

Is the A-10 in Project Wingman? ›

There's no A-10 at the moment, but there is an aircraft with cannons strapped to the jet. Like... All of them.

Who is the most successful fighter ace in history? ›

Erich Alfred Hartmann (19 April 1922 – 20 September 1993) was a German fighter pilot during World War II and the most successful fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. He flew 1,404 combat missions and participated in aerial combat on 825 separate occasions.

What's the fastest jet in Ace Combat 7? ›

These engines provide the DarkStar with an incredible top speed that exceeds Mach 5 (6,100 km/h; 3,800 mph); with additional tuning parts, the DarkStar can reach speeds of 3,500 knots (6,500 km/h; 4,000 mph), surpassing the MiG-31B Foxhound and making it the fastest aircraft in Ace Combat 7.

Who is the deadliest pilot ever? ›

20 May 2022. Erich Hartmann, sometimes referred to as the 'Black Devil', is the deadliest fighter pilot in history, having downed 352 Allied planes during World War Two over the course of some 1,400 missions.

Who has the most fighter pilot kills? ›

Erich Hartmann is the most successful fighter pilot of all times – with 352 kills. A number that will never be surpassed. His nickname „Bubi“ means „little boy“ – and it's easy to find out why he was called like that. He was also called „The black devil“.

Do Jets still dogfight? ›

The truth is, today, dogfights are a thing of the past, thanks in no small part to the period of relative stability the globe has enjoyed in the decades since the close of World War II.

Which country is Ustio? ›

Ustio, officially the Republic of Ustio, is a small landlocked nation located on the Osean continent. It is bordered by Belka to the north; Recta and Ratio to the east; Sapin to the south; and Osea to the west. Ustio's capital, Directus, is situated near the center of the nation.

What country is Emmeria based on? ›

Strangereal Countries Counterparts: | Fandom. Emmeria = U.K.

What country is Yuktobania based on? ›

Erusea Represents In Real Life/World | Fandom. So I Know Osea is USA, Yuktobania is USSR/Russia, Belka is Fascist Germany and Ustio is Austria/Swiss/French.

What is a female pilot called? ›

Women have been involved in aviation from the beginnings of both lighter-than air travel and as airplanes, helicopters and space travel were developed. Women pilots are called "aviatrices".

Who was the first black ace? ›

(September 6, 1919 – January 27, 2010) was an African-American fighter pilot in the 332nd Fighter Group, commonly known as the Tuskegee Airmen, during World War II.
...
Lee Andrew Archer, Jr.
Nickname(s)Buddy
BornSeptember 6, 1919 Yonkers, New York
DiedJanuary 27, 2010 (aged 90) Manhattan, New York City, New York
10 more rows

How many kills is an ace? ›

The term "ace" is unofficially bestowed on those pilots and weapon systems officers who have shot down five enemy aircraft. The label became popular among military pilots during World War I, when French newspapers christened Adolphe Pégoud as l'as after he downed several German airplanes.

Is the ace more powerful than the king? ›

In games based on the superiority of one rank over another, such as most trick-taking games, the ace counts highest, outranking even the king.

Is cipher a Mobius 1? ›

Some Ace Combat fans have argued that Cipher and Mobius 1 are the same person. No evidence exists to support this theory, and Kazutoki Kono confirmed that they are two different people.

Is a Joker better than a ace? ›

Object of the Game

When the two jokers are used, they are the highest-ranking trump cards. The spade suit is comprised of 15 cards: the Big Joker (Full-Color Joker) outranks the Little Joker (One-Color Joker), which outranks the ace of spades.

What was the Darkstar in Top Gun? ›

The real-world mockup of the fictional "Darkstar" hypersonic jet seen in the opening sequence of the 2022 film "Top Gun: Maverick" is on display this weekend. While not an actual hypersonic aircraft (not confirmed as such, anyway), the mock jet looks real enough for most passersby to mistake it for the real thing.

Is the 707 a heavy? ›

Certain variants of the narrow-bodied Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8 were considered "heavy" based on MTOW. Of special note here is the narrow-bodied Boeing 757.

Is trigger a girl in Ace Combat 7? ›

Appearances. Trigger is a male Osean Air Defense Force pilot, a member of the Long Range Strategic Strike Group and former member of Mage Squadron.

Can you save President Harling? ›

The operation to rescue Former President Harling has failed. Sadly, there is no hope he survived. Trigger, you are suspected of assassinating the former president.

Who shot Labarthe? ›

As a result, Argus ordered all Osean forces within Anchorhead to eliminate Erusean General Édouard Labarthe. While Karl and Labarthe were being extracted by helicopter, an Osean F-16C Fighting Falcon shot down the transport, killing everyone on board.

Who Shot Mother Goose one? ›

It was assumed that Trigger accidentally shot it down as he was the closest fighter at the time, when in reality it was shot down by an unmanned F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Is Mihaly Yellow 13? ›

Prior to the Continental War, Mihaly trained Yellow 13.

Who is Mobius One? ›

Mobius 1 (メビウス1 Mebiusu Wan) was an Independent State Allied Forces Air Force pilot and flight leader of the 118th Tactical Fighter Wing (Mobius Squadron); he is the player character of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. His signature aircraft is the F-22A Raptor.

What does rank s mean in Ace Combat 7? ›

The S rank on this mission asks for a combined score and time bonus of 44,000 or more. The max Time Bonus is 27,640 if you complete the mission in 9 minutes (09'00"99) or less, which means you should aim to clear the mission in a total of 9 minutes or less while scoring at least 16,360 points by shooting down enemies.

What is the best jet in Project Wingman? ›

F/E-4. Probably your best first choice in aircraft. Decent speed and maneuverability, three slots for plenty of special weapons, and a good selection of those weapons too. The F/E-4 can handle pretty much everything Project Wingman throws at you.

What happens to everyone at the end of Project Wingman? ›

In the final phase, the player will be healed for a certain amount of health depending on difficulty, while Crimson 1 gains a new health bar. Both the player and Crimson 1's health bars will be visible at the bottom of the screen.

Did Project Wingman sell well? ›

Project Wingman has gone from a Kickstarted indie game to the number two spot on Steam's top-sellers list, just behind Cyberpunk 2077.

Are Ace Combat planes realistic? ›

Mastering the flight controls of the A-10 in DCS (like my good friend Mason) might make you well-versed in the real complexities of operating a combat aircraft, but Ace Combat's analytical value is harder to divine. To be clear to those who haven't played the game, it isn't very realistic.

How many planes does Ace Combat 6 have? ›

In total, Ace Combat 6 features 15 playable aircraft, the lowest aircraft count in the numbered series.

Who is the main character in Ace Combat 6? ›

Players take on the role of an unnamed Emmerian ace pilot and squadron leader who has the callsign "Talisman". The player's wingman, Marcus Lampert, goes by the callsign "Shamrock" and fights alongside Talisman throughout the entire game.

Does the A-10 have missiles? ›

A-10s usually fly with an ALQ-131 Electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod under one wing and two AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for self-defense under the other wing.

Will the A-10 be replaced? ›

The U.S. Air Force had stated the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II would replace the A-10 as it entered service, but this remains highly contentious within the USAF and in political circles. With a variety of upgrades and wing replacements, the A-10's service life can be extended to 2040.

Is the a-10 stealth? ›

The A-10's design lacks stealth, and that means it would have to change dramatically to evade radar. Original artwork by Rodrigo Avella — Make sure to follow him on Instagram! The A-10 Thunderbolt II's design was largely finalized by 1972.

Will there be an Ace Combat for PS5? ›

Ace Combat is our first pick of the best ps5 air combat games of 2022. It was developed and published by Bandai Namco studios.

Is Ace Combat 7 the last Ace Combat game? ›

As of 2021, the Ace Combat franchise has shipped over 17 million copies worldwide, and has established itself as one of the longest running arcade flight action franchises.
...
Ace Combat
Latest releaseAce Combat 7: Skies Unknown January 18, 2019
6 more rows

Will Ace Combat 5 be remastered? ›

Bandai Namco has since clarified that it is not a remaster, but instead a port of the PlayStation 2 original, running natively on the PlayStation 4 at higher resolutions.

Is Ace Combat 7 realistic? ›

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown isn't very realistic at first glance. Mastering the flight controls of the A-10 in DCS (like my good friend Mason) might make you well-versed in the real complexities of operating a combat aircraft, but Ace Combat's analytical value is harder to divine.

Is Ace Combat a AAA game? ›

Like many of the top AAA games releasing this year and the last, developers rendered Ace Combat 7 with Unreal Engine 4.

Is Ace Combat 7 open world? ›

Despite the simple idea here (fly plane, shoot other planes), Ace Combat 7 has a ton of variance. One mission asks players to reach a certain score in open-world destruction.

What is the actual size of modern combat 5? ›

Storage: 4 GB available space. Sound Card: DirectX compatible.

Why was Ace Combat 6 Xbox exclusive? ›

On April 27, in an interview, producer Hiroyuki Ichiyanagi stated that the choice to make it an Xbox exclusive was made after research on new game hardware by Project Aces; as well, he commented that the decision was partly made because it was believed that fans had been kept waiting "for a long time", commenting on ...

Can you still play Ace Combat Infinity campaign? ›

Players are given more details on the OLDS and the QFA-44 units (and their pilot, the Butterfly Master) in a cutscene following the final mission, but Kazutoki Kono has confirmed that there will be no further campaign missions.

Who is Mobius 1 Ace Combat? ›

Mobius 1 (メビウス1 Mebiusu Wan) was an Independent State Allied Forces Air Force pilot and flight leader of the 118th Tactical Fighter Wing (Mobius Squadron); he is the player character of Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies. His signature aircraft is the F-22A Raptor.

Who is the villain in Ace Combat 7? ›

Colonel Andrei Markov is the main antagonist of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. Markov is an ex-pilot of the Russian Air Force, having received the title "Hero of the Russian Federation" for his valiant efforts.

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