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JasonD210

How big is the MSFS market

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Does anyone have any figures regarding sales of FS2004 or FSX? I wondering how big (or small) we are.I know games like Silent Hunter and Ship Simulator attract about 50000 -100000. Which is small.But I imagine MSFS was more like 250000?

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Microsoft Flight Simulator in all versions was usually in the top ten of biggest selling 'games' for the PC. It's considerably more popular than submarine sims such as Silent Hunter and Dangerous Waters etc. which themselves are considered quite successful. Here's the breakdown of the top ten US PC game sellers in 2007:1. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade

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...since Flight Simulator typically requires a high end PC to run it effectively, like many other complex 3D software applications, it is in large part responsible for the sales of newer operating systems and peripheral devices, and since the operating system it uses is also a Microsoft product, it is responsible, at least in part, for generating much more revenue for Microsoft than its sales figures alone make up. There is also a good deal of licencing in relation to Flight Simulator too, which is also a source of revenue for MS. The fact that FS is a spur to hardware sales is of particular note in view of the fact that MS have recently mooted the idea of getting into retail, because frankly, there is no better way to demonstrate a PC's processing speed than to have something like FSX running in kiosk mode with all the detail turned up. and of course, now that option is a little less prestigious for MS..As you can see, the bean counters at MS might not be as smart as they perhaps think they are...
I wonder why Microsoft never considered that? Or maybe it did and were clever enough to decide that FSXI still had no future.

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Well, that's why I said 'might, not be as smart', maybe they know something we don't, but personally, I doubt it. Frankly the latest MS head honcho comes across as a bit of a fruitcake to me. Maybe he's a double agent for Austin!Al

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Ah, thanks Al. My estimates were off - Can probably double that figure also if you take Europe into account.

As you can see, the bean counters at MS might not be as smart as they perhaps think they are, and you don't need to be a market analyst to figure out why Austin is probably rubbing his hands with glee at the moment and deciding what colour his new LearJet is going to be :-)Al
^^ Well, I'd rather that spends his money on hiring ex-ACES members instead, because I don't think one man can do what 100 developers were doing. However, what he's done up to now is "not too shabby" ;-) for a one man show, and, if 3rd party developers turn their attention to X-plane, especially in the scenery department to begin with, there is a possibility for them to make up for the 100 or son missing developers...

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Well, that's why I said 'might, not be as smart', maybe they know something we don't, but personally, I doubt it. Frankly the latest MS head honcho comes across as a bit of a fruitcake to me. Maybe he's a double agent for Austin!Al
I'm certain they know far more than any poster here - for example the revenue generated by FS and its variation over time, the future budget to develop FSXI, and its future forecast revenues.

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However, what he's done up to now is "not too shabby" ;-) for a one man show, and, if 3rd party developers turn their attention to X-plane, especially in the scenery department to begin with, there is a possibility for them to make up for the 100 or son missing developers...
Hm, it's not exactly a one man show anymore - 4 people (including Austin) work full time on XP. But still, a factor 25 less than ACES. :(

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Hm, it's not exactly a one man show anymore - 4 people (including Austin) work full time on XP. But still, a factor 25 less than ACES. :(
I don't think there were 100 people working on FSX, that seems way too many. Maybe Microsoft should have cut the team but left it its key people, ie the developer and a project manager, and let the others go. I reckon with a "skeleton" staff of 10 they could have keep development ticking over.If FSX sold 250k copies in the US, at say $49 USD and Microsoft gets $20USG per copy, that's a revenue of $50M USD for an investment of say $5M USD to develop. Plus like someone said, FSX is about pushing the hardware to its max, and new hardware means new sales of Windows 7. It seems a bad decision to can it.But remember, executives are only interested in one thing, their bonuses, and maximizing profits to satisfy shareholders to get their bonuses. They would have a very short term view.

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I don't think there were 100 people working on FSX, that seems way too many.
Actually, at the time of the RIF, there were 130+ employees of the ACES Studio.

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Very insightful analysis Al. I agree 100%.It just makes you wonder what Microsoft was thinking... :(

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I had read that FSX sold 1 million copies. That must been world-wide, I guess.

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Actually, at the time of the RIF, there were 130+ employees of the ACES Studio.
True enough, but then those 130 were divided into four, completely separate teams. They weren't all working on the same project... :(
I had read that FSX sold 1 million copies. That must been world-wide, I guess.
No, that figure is for the 2008 U.S. sales.

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