Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

jalexb88

Is it really that bad?

Recommended Posts

This is just my honest opinion:While FSX may be the last version of Flight Simulator as we know it, maybe its not that bad a thing after all. If flight sim doesnt get updated, we wont be forced to spend money updating our computers to its standards. Addon developers will not have to constantly update their products for the next version of FS, and focus on improving the present versions of their software for FS2004/FSX. Anyone Agree?Just a thought Alex CYUL

Share this post


Link to post
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

My money says MS will not give up on a proven money maker. The gaming industry now makes more money than all of Hollywood and the the MSFS was always one of the best sellers so the money is there. But maybe the cost of in-house development just got out of hand and with many companies trimming the fat in these scary economic times, they are doing the same and will pick it up when things get better or farm it out to another developer to keep costs down.

Share this post


Link to post
My money says MS will not give up on a proven money maker. The gaming industry now makes more money than all of Hollywood and the the MSFS was always one of the best sellers so the money is there. But maybe the cost of in-house development just got out of hand and with many companies trimming the fat in these scary economic times, they are doing the same and will pick it up when things get better or farm it out to another developer to keep costs down.
Gaming may be alive and well, but the flight sim genre is dead. Have a look at Falcon 4, ProFlight, Fly!, Jane's F18, LOMAC and IL-2. All of them are either dead or dying.

Share this post


Link to post

I disagree.Eagle Dynamics have just released their first sim DCS:BS, a 95% complete simulation of the Kamov Ka-50 attack helicopter. They're now updating the core engine to support features for their next product: the A10 Warthog.I doubt MS would just axe the entire dev team like that without a VERY good reason. Money is no dobut near the top, if not at the top, but when you look at combined Vista and FSX sales, it's not good. Just check these forums for the number of people who won't "upgrade" to FSX, or can't because they can't afford the hardware required to run it.Vista sales are flagging, too (don't forget that across MS, 5,000 jobs are going in total - ACES were just 93 from what I can find out). MS have been forced to extend support for XP, in addition to continuation of sales of XP licenses over 2 years after they should have stopped.They're not having a good time, and frankly I think the writing has been on the wall for a while. Their software is dropping in quality and getting more expensive to buy/run (don't forget the reasons many updated their rigs - to run FSX!). Open Source is starting to get a grip now, too.Interesting times for sure.Best regards,Robin.

Share this post


Link to post
My money says MS will not give up on a proven money maker. The gaming industry now makes more money than all of Hollywood and the the MSFS was always one of the best sellers so the money is there. But maybe the cost of in-house development just got out of hand and with many companies trimming the fat in these scary economic times, they are doing the same and will pick it up when things get better or farm it out to another developer to keep costs down.
I think if Microsoft was going to keep up the product, they would have kept the team together for up to 18 months and fired 1400 other employees instead. They would have then directed the Team to finish up on FS11 (which was rumored to be released around the Fall of 2010 - okay about 18 months from now), release it and then fire them, thank you very much. I have a hard time believing the economy will remain in a recession for another 18 months and 5000 employees in a company like Microsoft is really a small number. As of 2008, Microsoft had almost 90,000 employees. So why FS and the Aces Team? Why were they cut? Can just six employees finalize and package FS11 for distribution by the headquarters? The Aces Team members and contractors have spent over 2 years already on development of the new FS version. Why is Microsoft throwing all that labor out the window? For these reasons, I predict we will see an update to FSX incorporating the FS11 changes or a new product produced by the remaining members of Aces. Personally, I think FS has gone as far as technology can take us and there won't be a reason to conduct further development after FSX is updated or FS11 is released. Just too many commercial addon developers who are always improving the product even more. The basic engine should last for many, many years.Best regards,Jim

Share this post


Link to post

While I agree about Vista I think one of the biggest myths out there is the lack of fsx sales.You can google fsx sales-Ms reported that fsx has been the biggest seller of all fs titles.Phil reported this on his blog:http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2008...-franchise.aspxI don't think Phil lies-and I also don't think acceleration, esp, and train simulator would have gotten the go ahead if fsx sales over 2 years ago had been dismal. I think though some wish so however exact opposite is the fact.I do think that a bunch of bean counters such as I experience in my business came in-put the spreadsheets on the 'puters and said the following:In the 1980's -fs cost about the same as it does now (not including inflation) and came out every 2 years. All add ins were made by MS adding increased profit. Looking at inflation and the loss of exclusivity we are in the red.In the mid 1990's fs came out every two years and cost about the same as it does now (not including inflation) but the engine was upgraded with the combat flight series adding additional profit on the odd year cycle maximizing profits while the fs engine was upgraded.After 2000, the combat flight sim was discontinued and now fs had a 2 year cycle. After fsx the cycle (due to increased sophistication needed from users ) was now put on a 4 year cycle. Acceleration and Train Sim were put out in the interim to profit during this 4-5 year transition to the next fsx.The bean counters said: the price of fsx if has decreased greatly during this 30 year cycle due to inflation. The time frame for releasing fsx has increased two fold. Even though interim titles can be released to take up the slack they will not maximize the profits we need. The downturn in the economy is the coffin nail. End of story.Imho...

Share this post


Link to post
So why FS and the Aces Team? Why were they cut? Can just six employees finalize and package FS11 for distribution by the headquarters? The Aces Team members and contractors have spent over 2 years already on development of the new FS version. Why is Microsoft throwing all that labor out the window?
Either it is a big mistake or FS isn't profitable (enough). Plenty of people haven't got the new version this time around. Just check these forums, and look at the demand for FS9 products (e.g. PMDG MD-11).Best regards,Robin.

Share this post


Link to post
Either it is a big mistake or FS isn't profitable (enough). Plenty of people haven't got the new version this time around. Just check these forums, and look at the demand for FS9 products (e.g. PMDG MD-11).Best regards,Robin.
..and I say instead of reading the ravings in some of the forums-you might want to look at the number of posts in each forum since fsx came out and google fsx sales instead...If fsx was the disaster you wish it would have ended a few years ago.Perhaps you can investigate the number of total Pmdg sales and we can compare it to the total of fsx sales?

Share this post


Link to post

Imagine MS had cut ACES Studio right after FS98 came out. We'd never live to see FS2004 or FSX. 95% of people would have given up the hobby that still evolves around a 10-year-old sim and the rest of us would be playing with nothing better than FS98 right now. Is it really that bad? yes it is.Jason

Share this post


Link to post

Well, we don't know what is going on behind the curtain... Maybe they have a plan and investors stand already by. Maybe they don't and are the top contenders for the next Darwin award. Mismanagement is the last thing you need in difficult times. FS was and is an earner, no doubt about that.Btw, a few days ago i purchased the Ka-50 Black Shark combat sim. It's well made - there are companies out there able to create a nice flight simulator...

Share this post


Link to post
Imagine MS had cut ACES Studio right after FS98 came out. We'd never live to see FS2004 or FSX. 95% of people would have given up the hobby that still evolves around a 10-year-old sim and the rest of us would be playing with nothing better than FS98 right now. Is it really that bad? yes it is.Jason
Windy-I agree.Look at the forum here on Avsim-the Pro Pilot forum is still here 10 years after the sim was cut-and there is really no hardware around today that can run it. It was and still is a tight nit group-but now the sim is gone, the hardware to run it is gone and there is a desert except for fond memories.I have gone thru several other sims facing this death-the Flight unlimited series, Fly, Pro Pilot-and in the 1990's I considered them vastly superior to FS-like many fs9'ers today my fs copy then was collecting dust.But there was always the knowledge then that even thought these "young" players tried to compete and lost-that the might of Microsoft would always be there to assure a flight sim.Now this is gone.I fully expect another couple of years of great simming on fsx-but in 4-8 years I don't expect anything different than what you see with Pro Pilot, Fly, and Flight Unlimited-pretty much nothing.Yes I am upset-as I know at some point in my life I will lose my medical like all, and be relegated to flying on a desktop. I was looking forward to that.It looks like this may also be lost.I guess I could try knitting-my wife loves it-but I don't really see myself doing it..

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think Microsoft has permanently given up on FS. I think they will bring it back. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to look back on this time, say, 5-6 years from now.

Share this post


Link to post

Whatever the case may be, someone can reap the market, or a chunk of it. There are so many ideas, available codes and pieces of software here and there, technical developments streamlining complex calculations and even individual initiatives (e.g. Matthieu Laban) that the only problem really seems to coalesce all this. The new thing is that, now, there is a market to take rather than a monopoly to break...

Share this post


Link to post
..and I say instead of reading the ravings in some of the forums-you might want to look at the number of posts in each forum since fsx came out and google fsx sales instead...If fsx was the disaster you wish it would have ended a few years ago.Perhaps you can investigate the number of total Pmdg sales and we can compare it to the total of fsx sales?
Geofa Just some info..right or wrong but they do quote the source..one million copies of FSX sold through Decemebr 08 since the release. Regardshttp://www.gamespot.com/news/blogs/rumor-c...true&page=1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks for the link....Kinda hard to dispute the facts-except the bean counters with their spreadsheets seem to prevail...I know my math is rusty but 1 million times say $40 US a copy seems fairly profitable....

Share this post


Link to post
This is just my honest opinion:While FSX may be the last version of Flight Simulator as we know it, maybe its not that bad a thing after all. If flight sim doesnt get updated, we wont be forced to spend money updating our computers to its standards. Addon developers will not have to constantly update their products for the next version of FS, and focus on improving the present versions of their software for FS2004/FSX. Anyone Agree?Just a thought Alex CYUL
Tell this too the guys in the Train Sim hobby who were still trying to get more life out of a ten year old product.

Share this post


Link to post

I use FS9 with an eye toward FSX ,even with the latest news.When I use FS9 I have Sky and cloud Non Stock FS9Weather addonAircraft payware or addonAirports payware or addon airport textures addons grass,trees, addons ai aircraft,ships addons water AddonTerrainMeshAtcMy point is how much of the stock flight sim am i using ?The FS9 that I originally installed has little to do with what i use now and all this applies to FSXI think we are just recently beginning to see what FSX can really do and with people like PMDG creating new aircraft, that , from what i have read perform superbly I just hope that the addon developers Will still see MSFS as a viable platform in two years time if Microsoft do the unthinkable and try and convince us to buy an XboxMark

Share this post


Link to post
GeofaJust some info..right or wrong but they do quote the source..one million copies of FSX sold through Decemebr 08 since the release.Regardshttp://www.gamespot.com/news/blogs/rumor-c...true&page=1
Do they quote what the development cost were for FSX ?My VERY ROUGH estimate ( and it is probably far out, but is a start)100 employees ( Think it is more like 150 )52 weeks a year40 hours a week$200 / hr ( wages + expenses + overhead burden)3 years100 * 52 * 40 * $200 * 3 = $124.8 MILLIONIf they only sold 1 Million copies at say $25 a copy to Microsoft, that puts them $100 Million in the RED.Anyone get better figures ??Geoff

Share this post


Link to post

Only figures I have are from Phil's Blog that says fs9 did not do as well:http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2008...-franchise.aspxBy the way $200/hr for wages?My lawyer/accountant doesn't even charge that. My airplane-maybe close...I guess I am in the wrong business as what I do for a living has about the same odds as being a major league football player-and I don't make that?!Where do you get that $200/hr figure?I have the feeling though in a bad situation right now-there must be some fsms employees reading this having a good laugh..

Share this post


Link to post
I have the feeling though in a bad situation right now-there must be some fsms employees reading this having a good laugh..
As it happens, contract employees are actually paid a higher rate than FTEs...Of course contract empolyess have no benefits, no perks, et cetera, so work out to a lower cost per seat than FTEs...From my conversations with several (former) ACES folks, they made it very plain that they weren't paid anywhere close to what some folks might imagine. Keep in mind that FTEs were salaried employees, and frequently worked 60/100 hour weeks during "crunch time..."...while the contract empolyees put in their forty hours and went home on time M-F...

Share this post


Link to post

This has been an interesting series of comments, but I would like to add my own perspective on this.I have been a MSFS user for years and have gone from the stick images to today's high resolution graphics and function. I current use the LDS 767, along with ASA, Radar Contact which I am a beta team member, MyTrafficX and FSX. My current setup works VERY well. I am please with almost every aspect of the FSX base, if the world stopped right here I would not be unhappy.However the one thing that has been missing in the FSX world are scenery, aircraft and utility addons like there were in FS9. If the MSFS base is to remain static for the time being, then developer's should come forward and start doing thier software work on the THIS base. Our community has always gravitated to innovated products that added excitement to the MSFS base. There seems to me that the excitement about new rendering engines, although appealing, has kept a lot of 3rd party developers from putting their outstanding talents into working on the current base issues ie, look at the number of US airports that have done for FSX.I cannot speculate on the business plan of Microsoft, but I am sure that it does not have its head in the proverbial "sand", they are aware of what the FS franchise has meant to the worldwide gaming community. When ever Mincosoft decides to start work on the next version of MSFS there will be great optimism from all of us. Having said that, what I believe must happen NOW is for the world of 3rd party developers to step up to the plate and release a host of innovative and exciting products for the current FSX base. The financial rewards plus the excitement will at least reduce the "sky is falling" atmosphere that surrounds the ACES layoffs.These are VERY challenging times for everyone, Microsoft is no different than the thousands of other companies that are feeling the pinch of the current economic downturn. However in every dark cloud is a ray of hope and for those of us in this community that could mean lots of good 3rd party products. I hope this possibility will come to fruition.Bob JohnsonDallas

Share this post


Link to post
Only figures I have are from Phil's Blog that says fs9 did not do as well:http://blogs.msdn.com/ptaylor/archive/2008...-franchise.aspxBy the way $200/hr for wages?My lawyer/accountant doesn't even charge that. My airplane-maybe close...I guess I am in the wrong business as what I do for a living has about the same odds as being a major league football player-and I don't make that?!Where do you get that $200/hr figure?I have the feeling though in a bad situation right now-there must be some fsms employees reading this having a good laugh..
I don't know where he got that figure. The big news here...and these quotes are right..is the local GM plant....used to be Saturn....each employee cost between 70 and 80 dollars an hour to keep and that is one of the highest figures if not the highest figure for an hourly employe...that includes legacy cost....retirement....health care...and so on....the actual money to the worker...in his pocket would be around 30 dollars and hour. So if it is double that....which I doubt....for MS it would not come up to those numbers. I would venture to say the cost number would not exceed 100 dollars per hour for the whole package....but that is just a guess.....but no way 200. Still a million copies is not that much....I don't think in the gaming world.....when you read about a lot of other games. I don't know how developers make money...or should I say make a good living off of doing add ons for FSX. The guy that owns Orbx...at least I think he is the guy that owns it.....says in his forum at FTX that he has a million dollar investment made in FTX. Be that Australian dollars or US dollars...lot of money.....thus requires lots of scenery to be sold. I guess what I don't know is just how many thousands of copies of an add on are sold. Just makes one wonder. God bless them all though...I sure like my add ons.

Share this post


Link to post
I know my math is rusty but 1 million times say $40 US a copy seems fairly profitable....
The closer look doesn't make it so profitable. Assuming there were roughly 40 members of ACES and every employee in software industry costs these days around (payroll + benefits) $120,000 - they were burning close to $5 mln a year. $40 a copy is NOT Microsoft's profit - it is retail price, also considering that many buy the standard edition I think MS may get $20 a copy out of it. So these 1 million sold copies can only pay for 4 years of development - I think the idea of the BIG profit evaporates fairly quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Btw, a few days ago i purchased the Ka-50 Black Shark combat sim. It's well made - there are companies out there able to create a nice flight simulator...
DCS keeps getting mentioned, and for good reason. They've proven MS is not the only one who can develop high-end realistic flight sims. However I'm afraid that studio is way too engaged in it's current DCS franchise to even consider taking over the MFS code. But I'm tempted to think there are those who are both capable and willing out there.btw.. maybe it's all you FS9-huggers who actually strangled FSXI before it was born*runs for cover

Share this post


Link to post
This is just my honest opinion:While FSX may be the last version of Flight Simulator as we know it, maybe its not that bad a thing after all. If flight sim doesnt get updated, we wont be forced to spend money updating our computers to its standards. Addon developers will not have to constantly update their products for the next version of FS, and focus on improving the present versions of their software for FS2004/FSX. Anyone Agree?Just a thought Alex CYUL
I agree ... to some point.Is is surely a bad thing for the Aces people who lost their job.But, if there is no new version now for some years to come, this will give more stability and time to add-on developers for sure.And NOBODY knows what will be in 3-4 years from now.Guy

Share this post


Link to post