Archived

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

Tom Allensworth

The Facts Emerge

Recommended Posts

Posted on our front page this afternoon: There has been a lot of speculation, rumor and simple guesses as to what Microsoft is going to do with the Flight Simulator

Share this post


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

What about VATSIM, IVAO and the plethora of other peripheral attractions that we now benefit from? Imagine paying to connect to VATSIM for an hour or two of supervised flight. Spend some time thinking about the ramifications of this, and it only gets scarier. We have a simple new reality to face up to; Microsoft has changed their business model as regards the flight simulation genre and we are seeing the first steps of that new model taking hold. We can assume that a

Share this post


Link to post

While I hope this statement gets a reaction from MS

Share this post


Link to post

I wont be buying in to it, sad news for fsim in general and all this community used to stand for, over to Xplane for me, hopefully it will be able to raise its game

Share this post


Link to post

Honestly, this is a very good thing that has happened. The way I see it, MSFS is an old, outdated simulation engine, and really hasn't changed in a significant way in decades. What I think would be an amazing thing to come out of all this is if the developer of X-Plane opened up that simulation to be much easier to code add-ons for, and for all 3rd party publishers of MSFS add-ons to switch to that platform. X-Plane has always been light years ahead of MSFS in terms of the most important part of the simulator - simulating flight through real world physics calculations, instead of table based lookups. If you took that, and married it to the immensely talented and dedicated MSFS 3rd party community, I can't imagine that anything MS cooked up would even be able to compete.iPhone-like App Store for MSFS? Give me a break... without this community, who else is going to code for that? Good luck MS... you've clearly made a very bad decision here, one I sincerely hope you regret 10 years from now.

Share this post


Link to post
While I hope this statement gets a reaction from MS

Share this post


Link to post
Tom very rarely (if ever) publishes 'unsupported conjecture'... if you read MS statements so far published, this fits.DJ
conjecture....For MS to build a successful subscription model

Share this post


Link to post
Tom very rarely (if ever) publishes 'unsupported conjecture'... if you read MS statements so far published, this fits.
True, but this forum and its participants hold each other to a high level of journalistic standards when posting speculative items. I think it's fair to put a bit of an asterisk on the story until such time as we hear from Microsoft itself... not just their former/terminated employees. This isn't to say it isn't true, or somehow a portion of the story, but we will never know the whole story with all the appropriate and accurate details until MS says something. That said:Microsoft is not pulling FS2004 out of your hands.Microsoft is not pulling FSX out of your hands.Microsoft is not the only flight sim publisher in existence. Despite rumors to the contrary, the sky is not falling. I just saved 20% on my car insurance. (which I will likely apply towards active sky advanced)

Share this post


Link to post

Hi Tom, and everyone.While they may be thinking of going Live, it's not going to last very long, if they try it. A flight Simulator is not something that most younger / Live users will get into. Their best approach would be to put it on hold, for a while, wait and see if the Hardware / Sales improve, and resurrect it later. The last release, FSX, did not have significant added feature to justify updating to, especially given the additional hardware resources needed to operate.Maybe this is an opportunity for another sim like Fly!!, to come back? With a few improvements that could be a great sim, again. TV

Share this post


Link to post

Some thoughts about this.Some of the current console / live games allow users to create free swapable content. Its mostly user created levels but there is a possibility of free user generated content in this buisiness model.Any serious 3rd party developer will have problems with this future. Now we have discussed MS future plans and the use of X-Plane but there is little mention of Flightgear.Is there anything in the EULA of flightgear that prevents payware add-ons? If not then there is a tremendous opportunity to use Flightgear as a base to build a new franchise. If you can keep the addon scenery or aircraft closed source you could bundle your add-on with its own highly optimized Flightgear engine. That way the current 3rd party developer would be in full control of everything.

Share this post


Link to post
conjecture....For MS to build a successful subscription model

Share this post


Link to post

Just my opinion here, and I'm only commenting on these things if they come to pass and strictly for fun :) Seems subscriptions are the future.. Look at Anti virus, some games, a lot of other software as well. I read several years ago MS floated the idea of our operating systems going subscription. There was such a backlash from both users and pc makers, they "temporarily" shelved the idea. I just wonder who does there math down there at MS. Live downloads are mostly maps for FPS, cars or tracks for racing, etc. Most only cost $10 and even though there is no doubt alot of work is put into these addons, they are no where near the complexity, size, and COST of Flightsim add-ons. Nowhere out there is there anything to compare in what we have enjoyed for FS, companies the likes of PMDG, Eaglesoft, Real air make amazing addons that take years and cost a lot of money to create. So along comes MS thinking they will get a some kind of profit like this? If MS takes a percentage, or as the post above sorta reads, they "give" a percentage to our developers, how are the devs going to create an MD-11 like PMDGs without raising their costs to cover MS's "take"? So we now have a $40 addon becoming a $60 to $80 addon. How many Live users are going to shell out that? $10 bucks for a map for say a 300,000 users of an extremely popular FPS is one thing, how many FS people do you think are going to be on Live to pay $80 for a new addon for FS? None except the few hardcore FS users who may or may not see some merit in this new system and have money to burn. Will MS allow addons to be installed without Live? Who knows, but if they are looking to make a profit, it would be doubtful. Why should Devs use the live service, pay MS their percentage, when they could do it without MS taking a cut? MS would have to enforce Live use or would risk losing any and all profit they hoped to get from Live. I'm sure it would be a copyright thing but I'm no lawyer :( MS may have forgotten this idea along the way to their new idea for FS. If they drive up the price of addons, addons will more than likely go by the wayside as either the devs cannot make a profit or the cost's have exploded to rediculous proportions driving away the paying public. At the very least the quality and sophistication of what we have enjoyed will be gone. We'll all be flying cubs :) I can see the reasons why MS would go subscription for FS, I honestly can. $ 50 initial purchase FS whatever software$ 5 per month subscription rate ( I'm guessing here, you could say Live will be free, but Xbox Live is not. You could also say most subscription games are closer to $15 per month so until we know more in say a few years this is just a guess)$5 x 12 months = an extra $60 a year from every subscriber to FS whatever. So we have good business sense here, instead of $50 income, we have $110 income for 1 year of use, 2 years, $170 income etc etc What will this extra cash cover? Networking costs mostly for any type of online play may be available. The rest is profit or one would hope to be invested in future tech. Something to think about, most maps, cars etc are created by the original developer of said racing, FPS or whatever. Is MS going to create addons the likes of PMDGs? uhhh, you decide, myself I cannot see this. Business wise, it makes sense, for us though, it's another bill alot of us cannot afford :) and what may or may not be an expensive and substandard replacement for FSX or '04PS: This is strictly a for fun post :) No flaming intended :( I'm thinking worse case here and in no way do I know what MS has up their sleeves .Larry

Share this post


Link to post

Just another thought:Let's say MS -was- planning on changing the nature of FS to be as it has been proposed on Live with an iPhone-like (iTunes, really) store.Why let ACES go?Andrew

Share this post


Link to post
While they may be thinking of going Live....
When I see "Live" I wonder what does that mean? Because I'm not sure.Live is MS

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not sure but Aces was a fairly large group, wasn't it? Cut your higher paid employees, claim to be making a new game and hirer lower wage workers? Is that legal? I have no idea really :( I can not understand it either, you would think if they were happy with Aces, they would at least keep a core group around to "invent" this new FS. LarryI have only used Xbox Live, and agree with you as far as I know. But is Windows Games Live actually a multiplayer service such as Gamespy? Gamespy is/was both ad and subscription driven. Does Live have ads? I only use Steam now and consider it far suprior to anything else out there :)Larry

Share this post


Link to post
X-Plane has always been light years ahead of MSFS in terms of the most important part of the simulator - simulating flight through real world physics calculations, instead of table based lookups. If you took that, and married it to the immensely talented and dedicated MSFS 3rd party community, I can't imagine that anything MS cooked up would even be able to compete.
Then......................How come as a pilot, plane owner, etc..........I don't like FLYING X-Plane!!!! And I own versions 8 & 9 as well as running the demo's for years!Sorry---------------But it's X-Planes over hyped & mythical flight model, that's going to need some drastic changes before I can really cross that bridge.3rd party developers for MSFS have run rings around "blade element theory" for years...L.Adamson

Share this post


Link to post

Hi,For some reason, I am not surprised at all about Microsofts standpoint.Just take a look HERE about my thoughts back in May 2007 regarding the future for MSFS. :(

Share this post


Link to post

Although there may be some lack of certainty in the article, it basically fits the facts as we knowthem:"Microsoft has closed Aces Studio......decision was made to align Microsoft

Share this post


Link to post

Excellent reporting Tom and thanks for getting the info out of your "Sources". I'm personally not going to call FS "dead" for the PC until 2-3 years from now when the commercial addon developers have stopped producing FS products too (for the PC). I had a great ride and learned a lot about aviation and know I will learn much more in the next two years or so. I had a strong feeling MSFS was nearing the end of the development rope as FSX was just a basic engine and all of the improvements/enhancements were being made by addon developers. Few individuals liked the default aircraft, the weather, the AI, the landclass, the mesh, the textures, airport scenery and especially default aircraft lighting that came with the basic FS engine. Major improvements were made by the addon developers (both commercial and freeware). Maybe if Microsoft had developed a system like the NBA, the NFL, or PGA where all add on products have to be officially sanctioned by Microsoft the product would have lasted longer. Maybe not. Anyway it was fun and I truly appreciate all you personally have done for the flight simming hobby. Respectfully,Jim Young

Share this post


Link to post
We have a simple new reality to face up to; Microsoft has changed their business model as regards the flight simulation genre and we are seeing the first steps of that new model taking hold. We can assume that a "live" version will entail online subscription costs per month or year, and additional add-on's will cost us.
I hope they fail at such a business model. They probably won't since there's always a level of consumer that will accept anything shoved down their throats carte blanche, but I think such a model of conducting business stinks. I certainly won't participate in any more betas for them--any invite will go in the trash. I used to separate my feelings for Microsoft corporate and ACES. Now I can feel comfortable Microsoft is run by just another bunch of corporate goons who'd probably sell the rights to their parent's homesteads if it drove up stock prices a point.Regards,John

Share this post


Link to post
X-Plane has always been light years ahead of MSFS in terms of the most important part of the simulator - simulating flight through real world physics calculations, instead of table based lookups. If you took that, and married it to the immensely talented and dedicated MSFS 3rd party community, I can't imagine that anything MS cooked up would even be able to compete.
"Light Years?" ROTFL! That the X-Plane community is still able to still sell that line amazes me. A number of us have tried both sims and multiple generations thereof. Lacking from X-Planes real world physics calculations is a sense of inertia from my POV, which I think MSFS had captured very well and made easily adjustable. Any PC based flight simulation is just that--a simulation. The method of how an aircraft is simulated isn't as important as the end result. I've flown some of the most twitchy real life aircraft out there--LSA trikes and fixed wing. MSFS nails the feeling spot on of flying those aircraft and from what I read of GA pilots they feel MSFS captured the realm of larger GA craft better than X-Plane as well. If Austin actually heeds the well meaning comments of those who've pointed out the weaknesses of his flight dynamics, I might revisit X-Plane. OTH thanks to Microsoft I have a gross mistrust of investing any more money into the hobby. They've proven any business will dump their customers for this "new world order" of subscription based software regardless of market share. If they succeed I have no doubt any competitors will try their hand at subscription based software sales as well.John

Share this post


Link to post
If Austin actually heeds the well meaning comments of those who've pointed out the weaknesses of his flight dynamics, I might revisit X-Plane. OTH thanks to Microsoft I have a gross mistrust of investing any more money into the hobby. They've proven any business will dump their customers for this "new world order" of subscription based software regardless of market share. If they succeed I have no doubt any competitors will try their hand at subscription based software sales as well.
A few quotes from Austin:"With or without Microsoft, I believe that X-Plane is by far the best flight-sim on the market, and the development of new versions that we have going on behind the scenes right now... ooo boy, what's coming next will blow everything away that you have seen so far.""Plane-Maker is very user-friendly, and if you can just enter the GEOMETRY of the aircraft in Plane-Maker, then X-Plane will predict the way the airplane flies FOR YOU, so you need NOT enter aircraft performance into X-Plane, like you need to with MS... X-Plane does all of that FOR YOU. The X-Plane aircraft visual system is based on this geometry you enter in Plane-Maker by default, and can be over-ridden with incredibly detailed 3-D models if you like.. 3-D models that can be easily exported from AC3D."From many years of personal experience, I know that X-Plane definitely is NOT the best flight sim on the market in terms of flight dynamics, and that Plane Maker isn't near as powerful as some believe. In fact, X-Plane "old timers" will always point out it's many defiencies. At best, it's only going to provide an "in the ball park" approximation of what the real aircraft may or may not do. I've found that many X-Plane models don't fly near the specs or actions of their real life counterparts, and are vastly inferior to what's been offered for MSFS by third party vendors with many years experience. And add this to the lack of feel when it comes to inertial, dampening, power to weight, and mass...............and you get the drift.At this point, "the best flight-sim on the market", is still all hype, as it's been for so many years. Unfortunately, you can never really mention other models on a truely devoted X-Plane forum with out getting ridiculed, censored or deleted. Many X-Plane followers haven't tried MSFS for years. And although I still prefer MSFS, at least I've tried X-Plane for so many versions.In reality, Austin might just have to except the facts, that X-Plane isn't as outstanding as what he claims. I'm sure that 3rd party vendors for MSFS could make improvements for X-Plane if they really got into it, but who would take the credit?L.Adamson

Share this post


Link to post

Hmm, I may be alone, but being a 3rd party developer myself, I actually love the idea of an iTunes like store for FS. Live could be an absolute blessing for MSFS - I'm not buying into that whole doom & gloom. Times change, the Internet has changed how businesses operate over the last few years, time for video games to change as well and go with the times.Yes, the end user may have to pay more for additional airplanes and scenery, but the great thing is that you can pick and choose. Build you custom FS by picking your own components. And in rgds to freeware, as people have pointed out other games on Live are doing this already.Maybe I'm just more of a half full glass person.

Share this post


Link to post

Well I can only think that the making a flight sim that is not for todays hardware idea has finally been vindicated.Since there will not be anymore flight sims from Microsoft-(at least what we are used to and expect), thank God Aces programmed many areas of fsx that presently are not being used yet (like scenery down to the lowest level resolution). This gives many years to fsx-and if a sizable market continues to develop and exist maybe at some point the bean counters will realize they have made a mistake...I find it ironic that in 2001 the 9-11 attacks came close to shutting the franchise down-yet it survived; only to be finally brought down today not by terrorists but by bean counters.The shame not only comes from the destruction to flight simming but real real aviation. How many pilot's of today cultivated their interest and love for aviation by being exposed to fs? Perhaps it is time for organizations like avsim, aopa,eaa etc. to band together and protest-on all levels. (Aopa just had a wonderful safety replay of a fatal flight using fsx to simulate the event. How sad to lose such a valuable learning tool for real pilots-real aviation loses out also.Last I was at the eaa museum in Oshkosh they had a whole room with ms simulators-to excite young people. The air museum in San diego has a wonderful MS sim right in the front for the same reason.).

Share this post


Link to post

For my 2 cents worth I think this "Live" FS thing will be Microsoft's second biggest embarassment next to Microsoft BOB.

Share this post


Link to post