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Rush1169

Are you sure Flight will never "Grow up?"

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It does not seem plausible to me that Flight will not be an upgrade to FSX. In the "Google Economy" a software publisher gives away the intial product with the intention of selling add-ons for those who want enhancement - it's a very good model, no doubt - you get an ENORMOUS number of installations so virtually everyone can try the product, those that like it and want to improve it, can pay.Then Apple comes along and demonstrates another fantastic model: All sales are belong to us and we'll take reasonable care to ensure you're not screwing up our phone/ipad/ipod touch before letting buyers install it.These two models combined (free software with option to pay + gatekeeper) result in a fantasic business model and a fantastic customer experience. It is this direction I believe Flight is going.This is what I think will happen:(1) Give away Flight for free and make it fun and simple. *NEWSFLASH: Free Flight is not the final product, nor do I believe it to be remotely close to what it can be "paid into". I bet you a dollar you'll install it.(2) Provide DLC that takes Flight in the way you want to go. Some will take it in an arcade direction, some will take it in a hardcore simmer direction. The choice will be ours and there will be nearly an infinite number of variations in installed features. Some will have ATC/IFR while some will have VFR. Some will have Navaids, some will not. Some will have lots of arcade missions, some will have more serious missions, while others will have none. Some will have realtime weather, some will have no weather, while others will have something in between.(3) Release an SDK and allow 3rd party developers to sell their product from within Flight. PDMG will make a plane. Orbx will make eye candy. Both will make a LOT more sales and a LOT more money than what would have been made using the antiquated, boxed, fully-featued software model of yore. Users get a much better experience.You see, FSX was the result of FS5. It's been built-upon to the point that "unbuilding it" to fit the modern software pricing, development, distribution, and expansion model was so costly that it made great sense to reboot.Do you really think MS is going to "throw away" it's FSX world coverage? Not a chance. I bet Flight is based on a brand new flight engine, new "add-on" engine, new SDK, new scenery engine, and other new engines that make the whole package. There are people at MS right now writing a "conversion program" that will read the FSX scenery and convert it for use in Flight and soom become DLC. All those airports, buildings, trees, cars, etc just tossed aside? No way. Clouds, rain, wind, snow never to be found in Flight? Preposterous. ATC, IFR, GPS, mixtures, lights, flaps, gear not going to be DLC and simply put on the shelf never to be seen in the next generation of Flight (Simulator)? Microsoft would have to be completely, unabashedly stupid to have the asset but never sell it. . .No 3rd party developers allowed? Laughable. Those were the days of Atari before Activision forced itself onto the scene. Today, 3rd party developers are the LIFE-BLOOD of any platform. Just look at FSX. The problem is, Microsoft has made a great platform (FSX) for which PDMG makes money developing add-ons of which Microsoft gets essentially $0. The is no law stopping such development (rightfully so) but Apple has demostrated a better model where MS can get a cut of PDMG sales, PDMG makes more sales, the customer has a better purchase and install experience with a product that has had at least a solid level of quality control.It's all going to be there and it will be better for everyone. I'd bet a dollar on it. Microsoft could have kept Aces, developed FS11, sold 500,000 copies to mostly simmers and have to start the cycle over. Instead, they go with Flight. It get's installed on 5,000,000 computers. Their 500,000 simmers spend $100+ on simmer-DLC. Their 500,000 gamers spend $20 on gamer-DLC. A combination of simmers and gamers spend $2 on skins/liveries. 50,000 super-hard core simmers spend another $100 on a PDMG plane (and all 5,000,000 users know about it).Microsoft is NOT toying around with Flight and is not going to abandon simmers - there is way too much money at stake in this project. They are simply completly revamping the guts so that this product is sustainable in today's market and will capture a far larger audience of paying users who can take the base-engine in the direction they enjoy the most from arcade to the hardest of hardcore simming.

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MS Flight wasn't made for us. It is marketed and made for a different crowd all together. The pay model they are going with is going to a huge failure. If they are targeting kids, well that "game" will only hold their attention long enough until the next round of Call of Duty starts. If they are trying to appeal to grown ups, how many men will go chasing gold coins in the sky. If they are trying to appeal to women, very few will be interested.Microsoft complaining they don't get a cut of the pie is ridiculous and bad form. Would you expect a mechanic who customizes your car to pay Ford a fee? Or what if Microsoft charged you extra to change your desktop wallpaper image? No. Anyways as stated, their is no SDK, MS will not model the full world, they burned their bridges with the worthy third parties and it is a game. It is what it is.

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Would you expect a mechanic who customizes your car to pay Ford a fee?
He would if he was a franchise dealership with the 'Ford' logo stuck outside. That's the revenue MS is after (of course).What they do with the cash remains to be seen.

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(2) Provide DLC that takes Flight in the way you want to go. Some will take it in an arcade direction, some will take it in a hardcore simmer direction. The choice will be ours and there will be nearly an infinite number of variations in installed features. Some will have ATC/IFR while some will have VFR. Some will have Navaids, some will not. Some will have lots of arcade missions, some will have more serious missions, while others will have none. Some will have realtime weather, some will have no weather, while others will have something in between.
What you are describing here is a nightmare for software developers and add-on makers. It is bad enough that FSX has RTM, SP1, SP2 and Acceleration, each of which broke some backward compatibility.Now imagine your theory of mass confusion about what exactly you purchased and what each add-on in the store requires. Then add to this that MS will be making additions to Flight, just as it did to FSX, The more combination of flavors of Flight that are out there, the greater the chance of incompatibility by way of slowdowns, crashes or weird bugs.Some people have mentioned hidden features that can be purchased a la carte in the future, but I don't see why these features would not be beta tested now. It is my view that if these features will be available, they will be available to everyone for free. It is the data that we will have to buy as DLC.There are a few guys who posted some hints about having multiple betas, which I take to mean that perhaps some people have access to an advanced interface which already has some of these features. I wouldn't put it past MS to hide any scary simulator features from people who scare easily.

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Microsoft is really strange in regards to how they pick and choose their battles. The ZUNE for example was a disaster from the get go when it tried to go up against the ipod, but they kept marketing it and tried to shove it down the consumers throats with no success. Then MS had a grip on the joystick/steering wheel market-- yet they stopped making them. MS used to make addon's for Flight Sim, but dropped that as well.

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What you are describing here is a nightmare for software developers and add-on makers. It is bad enough that FSX has RTM, SP1, SP2 and Acceleration, each of which broke some backward compatibility.Now imagine your theory of mass confusion about what exactly you purchased and what each add-on in the store requires. Then add to this that MS will be making additions to Flight, just as it did to FSX, The more combination of flavors of Flight that are out there, the greater the chance of incompatibility by way of slowdowns, crashes or weird bugs.Some people have mentioned hidden features that can be purchased a la carte in the future, but I don't see why these features would not be beta tested now. It is my view that if these features will be available, they will be available to everyone for free. It is the data that we will have to buy as DLC.There are a few guys who posted some hints about having multiple betas, which I take to mean that perhaps some people have access to an advanced interface which already has some of these features. I wouldn't put it past MS to hide any scary simulator features from people who scare easily.
You are correct. Even recently with Battlefield 3, if you pre ordered you get special weapon upgrades and a map--- which made the playing field uneven and caused an uproar.

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For sure we know MS will use the DLC model. So, assume they offer a "pro pilot pack" for $69 which gets everything back to at least FSX standards in all areas plus improvements to some areas (as we would expect in an FSXI release). One download and you have a full-fledged FSXI exactly as it would have been released had ACES continued operations. Would you buy it? Since I've bought every version since FS4, I can confidently say that I would and I'll assume most of you would too. So, that puts their sales @ 300,000 (just a guess) downloads @ $69 - no boxes, no distrubution, no manufacturing, no shrinkage, no defects, just bandwidth - they are already ahead. Now add in all the other potential content for less-than-hardcore gamers and simmers. . .Oh, and don't forget about all the counterfiet copies sold or freely passed around, that'll stop.MS *knows* there are 200,000 to 300,000 "full priced" buyers waiting for the full version. They know $15,000,000 is waiting for them and they are not going to shelve a 25 year old, proven product. They are going to capture another $30,000,000 from the less hard-core simmers too which was not possible with an FSXI traditional release, nor are they going to just pick the "low hanging fruit" for $20M and be done - all the content and features already exist for that extra $15M, it just has to be converted to the new engine.FS is based on a very old engine and it's time to rewrite it from the ground up for all the reasons mentioned in this and my OP. MS is an expert with FSX and an expert at moving it's content and features to it's new engine. It will do it and you can expect it. Yes, Flight is a game for casual gamers and it's also, by design, a true sequel to FSX via DLC. It will happen. Just like how you can take a modern game engine and make many, vastly different games. Flight is a new game engine for flight and can be made into many vastly different experiences.

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o, assume they offer a "pro pilot pack" for $69
Sadly, I think the way MS treated our friends at ACES, Tom A. and other website owners, the developers and finally the fans were both cowardly and in poor taste. Not an ounce of respect has been given or shown to anyone. I don't know that with all that has transpired that I would feel like buying anything more from MS.. just don't know.

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Then it milks the third party devs by skimming and taking percentages and nickel and dimeing us to death for all its going to be worth.
Absolutely not "milk[ing] the third party devs by skimming. . .". Pretend you own PMDG. You spend $500,000 to develop 737NG. Now you have to market the product (a *very* signiciant expense) and you have either have to buy, build, or rent a website to handle the distribution. Now multiply that times EVERY 3rd party developer - all paying for their marketing and distribution, essentially each duplicating each other's efforts. The development wasn't "hard" because that's their passion - it's getting it sold that is the hard part.With the new model, PMDG releases the 737NG. MS tests it out, looks at the code for "gotchas" or unstable techniques, and then SHOWS EVERY SINGLE INSTALLED USER the product, handles the commerce and distribution, and sends PMDG a check. That is not an example of "milking" the 3rd party - that is an example of economies at work and will result in MORE PDMG sales and MORE profit for PMDG to develop MORE planes. It is a win-win.Consider the guy who works alone and makes a near perfect C152. He can "send it to the app store" and wait for checks -or- he can borrow $20,000 to *maybe* do enough marketing to get enough sales to get back his $20K if he's lucky.

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I say beware of false ‘Prophets’ (unfounded speculation) to the Flight Sim community and to Microsoft I say beware of false ‘Profits’ as far as Flight goes !

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Guest comma

I definitely agree with Rush1169 and it is so refreshing to read good analysis.I would add one thing to the Freemium + Appstore experience and businessmodel : the "pay for what you use" direction.I really like this idea. Those crying for no ATC in Flight Free version just can't project themselve in a paying addon world where those who would like ATC could buy ATC and those who don't would not HAVE TO.This is how you come from a 8_0$ software to 0 $. You add the brick you want after, you pay only for what you use.I also LOVE the fact that MS could get the most of its money from download (no CD press, no physical boxes, no shelve, this is past thing we don't want to see that again). And I love the fact it would earn an interest on every sold addon SO THAT THE TEAM CAN KEEP UP ON UPDATING ENDLESSLY.Common captains, it's 2012, who need a boxed DVD out of date in one month, seriously ?-- About MS Strategy at the global level, pay attentionPeople may not know it, but Microsoft is very bullish in this direction (cloud computing - pay for what you use) regarding is business activities. I could speak about Office 365, but i'll speak of Azure. Microsoft Azure is PAAS in the Cloud for web distribution, it is so far a MAJOR SUCCESS among web companies. No need to buy dedicated servers anymore, you buy virtual server on demand and in time frames, you pay per hour ! No investsment, no licencing, no patching, this is brilliant and this is the future of web server. Some may not realize but I think this is the same strategy for gaming, and Flight might be the very first attempt from MS in that direction.But I guess some pilots might have some difficulties to think further than their own limited views. They should stop winning at "M$" (so childish symbol) for once and see what Flight has to offer when it comes.

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Guest comma

Azure has nothing on AWS. ?Oh, I know, you're going to explain me that AWS is "far better" blah blah blah. In fact everything from MS would be BS ? Except you're certainly using its software everyday, and that your favorite game might be.... FSX.But I won't argue on this, if you're saying any is better than the other it is that you don't know both because it is absolutely not the same thing. AWS is IaaS, Azure is PaaS. But enough talk with uneducated kids.Regarding FSX demos, I suspect you've never been to Sint Maarteen, because it is a so small island you need 15 min on a C172 to fly around. Hawaii is a far greater island. Other thing is FSX demo has only 2 or 3 missions. But, anyway, what are you doing on Flight forums if it is only to comment on a BS game ?

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I don't care for the M$ FLIGHT "missions", whether it is 2 or 3 or 23 gold coin "bing"-ing missions that is totally irrelevant and besides the point.
You have no idea what all the included missions are like. You're judging a Flight Simulator by what you saw in a poor quality CES video (that was being demonstrated by a gamer/marketing person)... and by what some disgruntled Beta Testers (who were more interested in impressing their little friends than in keeping the NDA).... and by MS PR promotional stuff that was made specifically to attract gamers.

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Guest jahman
No 3rd party developers allowed? Laughable.
No. You really need to read ORBX CEO John Venema's post. His message to MS: "Thanks MS, for all the fish."
Those were the days of Atari before Activision forced itself onto the scene. Today, 3rd party developers are the LIFE-BLOOD of any platform. Just look at FSX.
You would think MS ought to know that...
Microsoft is NOT toying around with Flight and is not going to abandon simmers - there is way too much money at stake in this project.
Firing ACES and then rehiring for Flight a few months down the road does not exactly convey an image of MS firmly behind a product.
So, assume they offer a "pro pilot pack" for $69 which gets everything back to at least FSX standards in all areas plus improvements to some areas (as we would expect in an FSXI release). One download and you have a full-fledged FSXI exactly as it would have been released had ACES continued operations.
Except, of course, if MS were developing said FSXI DLC, they would have made the announcement by now. But thet haven't.
Would you buy it?
Of course! I'd pay $500 for it, of it fixed all FSX bugs and improved frame rate significantly on multi-CPU, multi-GPU hardware!Cheers,- jahman.

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they would have made the announcement by now. But thet haven't.
that is indeed what confuses me after all this negative press in fora, blog and facebook...

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Yeah, except an island - regardless of whether or not it is "far bigger" - doesn't make up a "FREE" FLIGHT simulator GAME.I don't care for the M$ FLIGHT "missions", whether it is 2 or 3 or 23 gold coin "bing"-ing missions that is totally irrelevant and besides the point.
Then go fly FSX, why are you even here, just to make trouble nothing else.

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Then go fly FSX, why are you even here, just to make trouble nothing else.
He is here to balance the lemming-like attitude of some of the posters here.

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Guest jahman
He is here to balance the lemming-like attitude of some of the posters here.
+1! :Big Grin:Cheers,- jahman.

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No. You really need to read ORBX CEO John Venema's post. His message to MS: "Thanks MS, for all the fish."
John said "I doubt that a belated SDK will arrive quickly enough for us to hold any interest now." When the SDK is available and you learn what it takes to adapt your product to Flight and see 100,000+ sales standing-by as you write payroll checks for 25 people every week, I'm sure interest will return. . .

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Absolutely not "milk[ing] the third party devs by skimming. . .". Pretend you own PMDG. You spend $500,000 to develop 737NG. Now you have to market the product (a *very* signiciant expense) and you have either have to buy, build, or rent a website to handle the distribution. Now multiply that times EVERY 3rd party developer - all paying for their marketing and distribution, essentially each duplicating each other's efforts. The development wasn't "hard" because that's their passion - it's getting it sold that is the hard part.With the new model, PMDG releases the 737NG. MS tests it out, looks at the code for "gotchas" or unstable techniques, and then SHOWS EVERY SINGLE INSTALLED USER the product, handles the commerce and distribution, and sends PMDG a check. That is not an example of "milking" the 3rd party - that is an example of economies at work and will result in MORE PDMG sales and MORE profit for PMDG to develop MORE planes. It is a win-win.Consider the guy who works alone and makes a near perfect C152. He can "send it to the app store" and wait for checks -or- he can borrow $20,000 to *maybe* do enough marketing to get enough sales to get back his $20K if he's lucky.
+1 an initial idea that seems to work and it can be tested with both partys in the same page and both willing to let go of the MONEY MAKING state of mind and test the grounds first if it does not work just dont do it but dont be negative about it without trying . once again it looks like its alot better to keep making money on your own instead of trying a diferent way..

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He would if he was a franchise dealership with the 'Ford' logo stuck outside. That's the revenue MS is after (of course).What they do with the cash remains to be seen.
Not quite, We purchase the cars from the manufactuer to sell to customers and we purchase parts for servicing the cars off of the manufactuer. As far as servicing goes, the manufactuer makes money on the parts but they get nothing out of the labor since dealers are independant franchises. In fact Ford pays us sometimes a higher rate ( they decide how long the repair takes) than customers pay for waranty repairs and we are allowed a certian level of profit selling their parts back to them for waranty repairs.Since MS has no parts to sell to companies like PMDG they have no revenue stream from the add-on's we buy.

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For sure we know MS will use the DLC model. So, assume they offer a "pro pilot pack" for $69 which gets everything back to at least FSX standards in all areas plus improvements to some areas (as we would expect in an FSXI release). One download and you have a full-fledged FSXI exactly as it would have been released had ACES continued operations. Would you buy it? Since I've bought every version since FS4, I can confidently say that I would and I'll assume most of you would too. So, that puts their sales @ 300,000 (just a guess) downloads @ $69 - no boxes, no distrubution, no manufacturing, no shrinkage, no defects, just bandwidth - they are already ahead. Now add in all the other potential content for less-than-hardcore gamers and simmers. . .Oh, and don't forget about all the counterfiet copies sold or freely passed around, that'll stop.MS *knows* there are 200,000 to 300,000 "full priced" buyers waiting for the full version. They know $15,000,000 is waiting for them and they are not going to shelve a 25 year old, proven product. They are going to capture another $30,000,000 from the less hard-core simmers too which was not possible with an FSXI traditional release, nor are they going to just pick the "low hanging fruit" for $20M and be done - all the content and features already exist for that extra $15M, it just has to be converted to the new engine.FS is based on a very old engine and it's time to rewrite it from the ground up for all the reasons mentioned in this and my OP. MS is an expert with FSX and an expert at moving it's content and features to it's new engine. It will do it and you can expect it. Yes, Flight is a game for casual gamers and it's also, by design, a true sequel to FSX via DLC. It will happen. Just like how you can take a modern game engine and make many, vastly different games. Flight is a new game engine for flight and can be made into many vastly different experiences.
+1

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:(

that is indeed what confuses me after all this negative press in fora, blog and facebook...
Except, of course, if MS were developing said FSXI DLC, they would have made the announcement by now. But thet haven't.
They haven't announced it yet. But look at the fire storm of publicity it has caused. Perhaps a great marketing ploy? After all if they deliver what we want after all this controversy, they would have huge number of loving fans!
Not quite, We purchase the cars from the manufactuer to sell to customers and we purchase parts for servicing the cars off of the manufactuer. As far as servicing goes, the manufactuer makes money on the parts but they get nothing out of the labor since dealers are independant franchises. In fact Ford pays us sometimes a higher rate ( they decide how long the repair takes) than customers pay for waranty repairs and we are allowed a certian level of profit selling their parts back to them for waranty repairs.Since MS has no parts to sell to companies like PMDG they have no revenue stream from the add-on's we buy. If you accept it
When you buy a car you own it. A software does not change ownership because what you buy is a license, not the software itself. MS will always own it. As owners of your hypothetical car they can demand that you service it the way they want it. Its the same concept as a lease, When I leased a car many years ago, they required that I do not modify it or use aftermarket parts in repairs. The only aftermarket parts they accepted in "their" car were break pads, filters, windshield wipers and tires.

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Guest jahman
John said "I doubt that a belated SDK will arrive quickly enough for us to hold any interest now." When the SDK is available and you learn what it takes to adapt your product to Flight and see 100,000+ sales standing-by as you write payroll checks for 25 people every week, I'm sure interest will return. . .
WHEN and IF the SDK becomes available...Now is a matter of waiting game to see who blinks first, the third party developers or Microsoft.
+1. Now we're making progress! :Big Grin:Cheers,- jahman.

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WHEN and IF the SDK becomes available...Now is a matter of waiting game to see who blinks first, the third party developers or Microsoft.
I am among the many who are upset that an SDK is not apparently part of the deal. However, we put too much emphasis on the current well-known, top-level developers. The greater utility of the SDK is that it allowed amateurs to also contribute and, perhaps, evolve into contributors to the commercial market as well.I don't like the notion that only the well-known and established 3rd-party devs might get a shot at an SDK once/if it surfaces. Now, many comparisons to what apple does with iOS are made, and I think they are valid. With that, I would not have qualms with paying some fee to access the SDK that is on par with what Apple charges ($100 per year).

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