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MarkRey

FS9 add-on cost discussion

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Anyone can charge any price for anything as long as it's clearly advertised - caveat emptor is my motto and it's served me well.RegardsMark

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wewll its worth what u think it is...if you think an addon is not worth your time from reading reviews, well then its not worth my 5 dollars either, because simply put, I will not fly it.. even if it was free...but there are planes out there (let me say PMDG 744/F series) and imo its worth the 50 dollars to me... i'm willing to pay it... and maybe even more... when I *think* its too much, thats exactly when its too much :)

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Hi,'A fool and his monet are soon parted' is a motto I have lived with for manet years now and I have no intention of changing. I can't afford to anyway.Pay the price and if you think afterwards it was too much you shouldn't have bought it!Andy.

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Developers set the price: customers decide if they are prepared to pay it or not. It's as simple as thatThe ultimate choice is the customers and their collective decisions determines sales, revenue and profits/loss of any product. Questions such as "is it too expensive?", "how many are sold", or "what did it cost to make?" are irrelevant in this context.

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I bought my first boxed 'plane recently - the PMDG 747, which if I'm not mistaken is the highest-priced addon aircraft currently available, and whatsmore from a famously over-priced store. I knew I could get it cheaper downloading or shopping elsewhere but I still laid out the cash. My impatience, my decision and no regrets.Something I'm happy to pay for in payware is the developers' willingness to accept and correct any bugs, failures, errors or whatever.When a developer either refuses to accept that there's something wrong or refuses to correct it, that's when I feel ripped off.(Now, if I could only figure out what to do with those two different A310s sitting unused on my HD, I'd be a lot happier.)

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I was wondering how development costs figure into the end price.Take a product like Vauchez's Portland scenery, which by most standards, is a high quality add-on. It costs about $32. How many units of a product like this get sold? A thousand? Five thousand? I'm curious what the expected return is.The flightsim add-on buying community not really that big. And we communicate a great deal in these forums. Good news and bad news posts spread the word like fire. You would suspect this would guide the developers in some way but it doesn't seem to be the case. My curiosity arose from the Aeroplane Heaven Lancaster. I paid $45 for it, a premium add-on price, yet the plane was low res with mushy textures and most models didn't even have a VC. Also, the 150 meg plane DL was followed by a 115 meg patch. Now, given that we are a tight fairly community, and people have somewhat similar expectations of quality & price, how can one company market a clearly substandard product for a super premium price when it is clearly below the quality of other products costing a third less or more? Do they think we won't notice? Do they care?The Shockwave WWII Fighters collection, for example, sells for about $30 and you get five gorgeous planes (Shockwave makes nice stuff!). But you can DL one plane at a time for $18.99 each. How does the developer figure that five planes bought together on a CD in a box (both of which cost money) should cost $30 when a DL of the same products one at a time should cost nearly $100? That's no small difference. Why wouldn't they sell the individual planes for $9.99? You'd figure they'd sell a ton of them at that price, and still make more money than in the boxed set.I'm also curious if in a year or two, when FSX is ironed out and flies well with add-ons, if the developers will still be asking premium prices on FS9 add-ons. I'm sure some will, but I do admit to wondering how they justify asking $30+ for a three year old add-on for a four year old flightsim. It almost seems like stubborn pride.In any case, I'm not really complaning, I'm just endlessly curious.

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As the saying goes, "One man's garbage is another man's treasure."It definately holds true in this hobby.My standards are very high these days.... I fly ONLY from the virtual cockpit ( via TrackIR ) and as such DEMAND a smooth, FPS-friendly , fully-functional VC.When it comes to airliners, I think the PMDG 747-400(with or without the freighter) and the Level-D Simulations 767-300 are (currently) the best planes that fit (close enough anyways) my needs. Both of them are FAIRLY okay on the framerates ( though the PMDG hits borderline ) and are pretty functional. They both also have acceptable gauge refresh rates. They both have things I wish the other had. I feel that the Level-D 763 is priced much better but I DO feel that the PMDG 744 is worth it ( if you fly long-hauls often ).When it comes to General Aviation, I feel that the Digital Aviation Dornier Do-27 is the top of the line. Close runner-ups are the Digital Aviation Cheyenne ( doesn't model failures and maintenance ) and the Real Air Simulations SF260 Marchietti. Following those are probably the Dreamfleet Beech A-36 Bonanza and their Beech B-58 Baron. I do like the Real Air Simulations Spitfire / Scout package but just don't fly those very often. An oldie but a goody is the Aerosoft Beaver. Pretty much their only REAL decent release ( for planes, not scenery ). All of those planes listed are reasonably priced ( as GA planes should be ).Concerning scenery, obviously FlightScenery's FlightZones 1 and 2 both top the charts in both categories ( price AND quality ). Immediately following FlightScenery has to be FlyTampa's airports. Their packages are close runner-ups and are also pretty cheap ( though they only do 1 airport with each release as opposed to FlightScenery's which cover multiple airports in a package ). I think that the Aerosoft Frankfurt is a decent buy as well. A different type of scenery but still definately considered a true scenery package would be Holger Sandmann's work ( granted, he doesn't always work alone, Bill Womack and Jon Patch [ and others ] ). Misty Fjords, Tongass Fjords, Vancouver+, all of Holger's freeware meshes... they are all amazing. Worth every penny if you like to do VFR flights following a sectional.Non-specific scenery is a whole different matter. Add-ons like Ultimate Terrain, Ground Environment Professional etc... These are good and bad... UT makes default areas look better but there's always addon compatibility issues with specific scenery add-ons. I don't use UT ( have tried it, didn't like the extra effort required to make all of my other add-ons work, just a personal thing ) but I think it's not too bad of a price. I have not yet tried Ground Environment Professional because it's priced at $50 and that's just over my limit at the moment. I have heard nothing but positive reviews though so it IS on my next-to-buy list. Lastly, I'd say ActiveSky is a must-have utility for every virtual pilot... be it an airline pilot or a bush pilot... it's priced very reasonably and adds SO much depth to your flying experience.Anyhow, like I said though... every person has their own views. I know lots of people love that newly-released Tiger Moth. It's over $40 so only the true Moth fans will buy it but I hear it's nice. The Eaglesoft Development Team has come up with some really nice planes. I have owned their Cirrus SR-22 and thought it was okay but very VERY hard on my framerates ( I hear there's a patch out now? dunno ). Others have spoken very highly of their other releases but they just don't fit what I'm looking for.Some people love the Captain Sim / PSS products. I don't but hey that's just me. I've been burned by Captain Sim ( in a legit transaction they refused support but that's another story ) so I refuse to even glance at their products now. I have tried a few PSS products and don't like them but that's not to say you won't so don't base your purchase decision on my personal experience :(That's about it. ;)

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Why are flight-sim add-ons different from any other free enterprise market? There aren't any (at least that I see) monopolistic powers involved, or anything else which makes the market function improperly? Just because we are a "small" community (honestly I don't think we're so small that simple market forces aren't effective), we should all agree on what is good and bad? I guarantee you that for every add-on you are unhappy with or would not buy, there is someone out there right now using it and loving it.

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I think this thread will run for a while (and should be mailed daily to all software developers) and already a comment by CanadaOne has hit a chord.I think many of us take too much of this for granted: when we're pleased with a purchase we enjoy it, and when we are disappointed we make some noise but soon give up. And I think we should be more active in our responses to good or bad deals.Recently I was looking for some new scenery to broaden my horizons, and I discovered that big lump of land that is the USA.Flightzone Portland - WOW! - speechless.Fly Tampa KSFO and KMDW - excellence of the highest order.Oceanflight (ex-Simflyers) bundle - OUCH! - Oh dear, that was a mistake. (Very clever, sell the old stuff under a new name.)So I started looking for customer reviews - I was at simMarket - and really there were very few. And there ought to be lots: this is after all a community, and a pretty small one, and we ought to look out for each other. (Sorry if this sounds a bit "Hello flowers, hello trees"). When we need help we don't hesitate to forumpost, and there's always a hardcore of people who seem to do nothing else but help others with advice and ideas.But there's a distinct lack of "Beware This Junk" and the alternate praising of excellence.And the forums often don't help: recently I was strong-armed for being too vociferous about a shoddy product, and it smelled too much like Not Wanting To Upset An Advertiser for my liking.Let's have more of those posts praising or warning about products, and let's hope the developers keep an eye on our opinions.

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>I think many of us take too much of this for granted: when>we're pleased with a purchase we enjoy it, and when we are>disappointed we make some noise but soon give up. Honestly I can't remember the last time I purchased an add-on and was genuinely disappointed. It has been said time and time again, but people need to avoid impulse buys and do their research. I see so many threads that start out, "I just bought product X and I have a question about it". It turns out to be something which they could have asked before they bought.

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"I was strong-armed for being too vociferous about a shoddy product, and it smelled too much like Not Wanting To Upset An Advertiser for my liking."If you have an accusation to make, make it. Don't know who "strong armed" you or why you believe that, but I really take umbrage to the implied accusation that AVSIM is patrolling the forums and eliminating messages that might offend our advertisers. If you think that of us, then you don't need to be here, obviously.

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>If you have an accusation to make, make it. Don't know who>"strong armed" you or why you believe that, but I really take>umbrage to the implied accusation that AVSIM is patrolling the>forums and eliminating messages that might offend our>advertisers. If you think that of us, then you don't need to>be here, obviously.I'd have to back up Tom here. .. and ask anyone, I'm hardly a kiss-a**. I've posted my fair share of negative comments about products with no ill-recourse. Granted, you have to do so with class. I outright altered a known corporate logo (see my first post in this thread) when I got burned and I lashed out. I got warned then and haven't done it since. I mean, I can't blame them though, it was pretty bad. :(Anyhow, I definately agree that more people need to voice their opinions ( but try to keep them objective -- though difficult at times ) on various add-ons. Reviews are great but any ONE review is based on ONE person's experience. Everyone's experience differs. As someone said in this thread, one add-on that one person claimed as awful another claimed was great.

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Thanks for the feedback Northridge.And like JGreth123 said, "one man's garbage is another man's treasure." Ain't that the truth.I am of the opnion that if the developers were more interactive with us paying flightsimheads, they would better understand their market and they would make more money. If they had more money, they could produce more and better products. As it is, from what many people post, some companies really have a "You're lucky we made this plane at all!" mentality instead of a "What can I do for you?" frame of mind.Also, IMHO, prices are too high across the board. I think lower prices would lead to better sales and more profit through volume.Wouldn't it be better to sell 2000 units and make $5 on each than to sell only a thousand and make $10 on each? Since the cost of duplicating a DL sales product is close to zero, there is really no increased cost to the company and odds are they'll have more people using their product and visiting their site to look at other planes for sale.For example, the Shockwave HE-219 looks like a five star plane according to all the reviews. Most people would love to have it in their hangar. I would. But at $32 some of us average folk have to consider the price and wonder if that's where we'll spend our limited flightsim funds. That's a lot of buyers possibly walking away. If Shockwave lowered that price by 50%, do you think they would make up for lost unit profit through increased sales?Again, we have to take into account what it costs to make the plane and how many they think they will sell. Is it possible they think they will only sell X amount of the plane regardless of cost and therefore structure the price accordingly?(I'm mentioning Shockwave because they have an excellent customer reputation and put out a great product. So they make a worthwhile example to use in this case.)

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Tom,I am not making accusations but stating a fact. And why on earth would you automatically assume that I was referring to Avsim? There are many other flightsim forums out there.For your peace of mind: it was not Avsim.Regards.

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There is no rule that says if you halve the price then number of sales will double - that's just wishful thinking. If a product is priced at $50 and sells 1000 units then the revenue is $50,000. If the price is reduced to $25 but the sales increase to 1500 units then the revenue falls to $37,500.For any product there is a factor called "elasticity of demand" by economists. This is an indicator of how total revenue changes with changes in price. Unless the elasticity is 1.0 or greater then increasing price will reduce revenue. Without knowledge of the market for individual products there is no way to know the value of elasticity in advance. So speculation about the effect of price changes without any evidence is pointless - especial when it's assumed that the Shockwave (as an example) doesn't know its own business.

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Because you posted that in an AVSIM forum without clarification. Why wouldn't someone conclude you were referring to AVSIM?

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mgh,Is it me, or are you being a bit aggresive? I was just asking an honest question that I'm sure many other flightsimheads have asked themselves.And I thank you for your answer. it does explain a few things.Also, I never said Shockwave does not not its business, I simply used them as an example for a question. Please note that I have had positive things to say about Shockwave in all my posts.

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If you sell 1000 units at $10 each, you support 1000 users.If you sell 2000 units at $5 each you get to support 2000 users.So costs should vary with quantity sold even via download, unless your support staff works for free. Of course you support your 2000 users with thousands of copies of a few generic e-mail responses...seems to work for Captain Sim.RegardsBob ScottATP IMEL Gulfstream II-III-IV-V L-300Santiago de Chile

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. . . because most of us who frequent Avsim and its forums on a daily basis know, and understand that Avsim does not engage in such practices. Avsim's moderators have - in my mind - consistently been the most honest and forthright in all matters where commerce is concerned, Tom. A number of other sites may have, but do not adhere to that "arm's-length" policy. Your site is probably the Standard of the industry. He was only trying to be - in his way - polite and diplomatic - perhaps not wishing to cause potential embarassment for Avsim. . . and so I would (humbly) ask that you ease up just a little bit - maybe try not be quite so thin-skinned. One can sometimes unknowingly hurt the people who most respect and care about us.Best Regards,pj

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CanadaOne,Your example of the Shockwave HE-219 is interesting. Now, I consider myself to be reasonably knowledgeable in aviation, but I honestly had to Google that plane to even know what it was. I would have guessed that it was a Heinkel. Anyway, you must realize that with a plane like this, they are dealing with a niche market *within* another niche market. The first being flight sim add-ons at all (many MSFS customers never purchase one commercial add-on), then on top of that you have another niche of sort of obscure WWII warbirds. Now, I won't buy this add-on no matter how low the price. Why? I know nothing about this developer or their products, but that doesn't matter. I simply have no interest in these kinds of planes. I'm going to take a guess and assume that there are lots of other people out there who would not be particularly interested either. So, would cutting the price in half double sales? I would safely say absolutely not. It might not even increase sales at all.

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Don't you think that if Shockwave and all the other developers believed they could increase their profits by reducing their prices by 50% they'd have done it by now?

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mgh,The world is full of curiosities and curious practices. There is no guarantee that a person or a company will always behave in their own best interests. A third person observation, or question, fairly asked, is not out of line. And I am trying to be fair.You are a flightsim add-on buyer as am I, I assume, and therefore your opinion counts for at least as much as mine. Is it you opinion that prices for add-ons are not open to question, or do you see the buyer as someone who may be subjective about add-on prices and debate them either in the forums or with the companies?What about quality vs. price? What are your thoughts on add-on value, company responsibiltiy to the buyer, and refunds for DL products?Thanks.

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>What about quality vs. price? What about it? We make these decisions every day. It has been discussed numerous times, there is no way to objectively measure "quality" for each and every simmer. One persons "highly detailed add-on" is "too complicated" for someone else. It is the buyer's responsibility to do all these things you ask. Want to find out about a company? Just do a simple search of the major fs related forums. Also, read their own support forum *before* you buy (if it is open). Look into refund policies before you buy...These things do not take more than a few minutes really and can save you a ton of time and headaches down the line.

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I was simply asking other people's opinions. This is an interactive flightsim forum after all. I feel like I've peed in someone's Corn Flakes for even mentioning the subject of add-on pricing.For my part, though the issue is very subjective, I think we can draw up enough analogies between our expectations and add-on prices to have a reasonable base for comparison and conversation.For instance, given your knowledge of the market and your experience with different add-ons, whould you agree that any add-on plane over $40 should be *excellent* in several areas; skin res, FM, VC, for example? Including a clear advisory regrading possible FPS performance on older systems? Or do you think $40 is not the top end of add-on plane prices and there is room for higher priced aircraft add-ons?I'm not complaining, trolling, or flamming, I am seeking flightsimmer's opinions, like yours, about a big part of the flightsim hobby.

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I'm not upset by your discussion, rather I am just trying to say that what you ask is impossible. There can be no minimum standards that you suggest. Who would decide them, let alone enforce them? It all comes down to comparing add-ons, and that can be tough. When you get down to details everything is a little different, and individual expectations vary wildly. Someone who flies exclusively in the VC is going to be very interested in a virtual cockpit quality, while a 2d panel person is going to care much less. It would be wonderful if every add-on excelled in every area, but that is difficult, especially when you start throwing performance into the mix as well. Each add-on varies and it is up to each individual to decide what is "worth it" or not.

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