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Tom Allensworth

The Facts Emerge

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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

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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

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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

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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 The way I see it, MSFS is an old, outdated simulation engine, and really hasn't changed in a significant way in decades.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.

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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

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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)

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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