Update #2: Stunning reversal! As of June 9, World of Planes is no longer a joke - it's real!
Update: Well, now we're a bit embarrassed. It seems that our April Fool's Day filter still needs a few improvements: Gaijin recently revealed that this game announcement was meant as a joke. That doesn't stop us from hoping that somebody somewhere is actually developing a massive flight sim game, however.
Wings of Prey creators, Gaijin Entertainment have announced that they're working on a new online flight sim set in World War 2. It's called World of Planes, and will let hundred of planes fly together in one game. World of Planes will stretch across Eastern, Western, Pacific, and Mediterranean theatres of war, and allow players to upgrade their planes as they level up, and take part in three month long wars to defeat enemy countries, gain ranks and earn new flying machines.
Gaijin Entertainment say that World of Planes is intended as a serious sim. Realistic damage modelling will calculate the angle of impact of incoming bullets, and accurately model which ones will ricochet, and which ones will do serious damage. You'll be able to carefully tune their engines with a screwdriver, and tailor the exact set-up.
A global career mode will let you fly planes from Germany (from early Bf-109 till early jets), USSR (including jet BI-1), RAF (from Spitfires to Gloster Meteor), Japan and the USA. You'll then be able to take part in real time wars. It's possible to defeat countries by bombing ground targets, eliminating infrastructure and obliterating ground troops. Pilots of the winning country will then gain extra ranks, and the war will start again.
Release is still a way off, but there are plans for a closed beta this Autumn. The idea of massively multiplayer war in the skies sounds pretty exciting, and the Wings of Prey and IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey developers know a thing or two about making air sims. Would you be interested in becoming a World of Planes rookie?