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HighTowers

How big (or small) is the flight simming community worldwide?

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Not sure why I was thinking about this, but it came into my mind, wondering how big is the flight simming community worldwide. Its said that it is a small market niche, but how small is small? Probably thinking this for the releases that come up and the difficulty they have to accomplish to break even.

 

Avsim.com has about 100,00 members, and flightsim.com has 472,000 members of which 120,000 are active according to webpage info. Thats just two forums, and there is probably a good number that are duplicated for both forums not to mention all the other forums related to flightsimming out there.

 

Then there is some guestimated number for those that dont register at all but just browse the forums. Therefore no number.

 

We can break this down further, but im guessing the majority fly FSX/P3D. Worldwide, that could be about 1 million flight simmers for any platform. A sizeable city.

 

If there is 500k FSX users and we use very conservative numbers of 1% interest in a new XYZ release product, that is 5000 sales X avg sale price of $45.

Thats revenue of $225,000. Not sure of the development costs as they would be different for each product, but is it really a feasible business done properly? Alot revolves on reputation of course and numbers would be higher exponentially for both revenue and development cost not to mention publishers getting a slice.

 

My numbers could be way off base, but I havnt seen any posts of any kind regarding this estimation. Purely subjective, but some say flight simming is dying, and I beg to differ. I think the core of enthusiasts will continue on and on, and spur more people to revisit flight simming. After all, hardware is catching up which may have been a deterrent before.

 

If it was really bad we wouldnt really see so many addons present and future development.

 

Developers chime in as this would help appreciate your work that much more.


CYVR LSZH 

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I've always wondered too. I'd say only about 10% of those active users are truly active...


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I've been doing research for years trying to get good numbers on the FS community, but those who know keep their cards close to their chest. All I know is that Microsoft thought it was too small to finnish FS11 back in 2009, and I guess the numbers aren't looking any better today.

 

Many veterans of the hobby talk of a decline in activity after FS2004. The hobby can live on for ages as a small niche, but I do lament the lack of support from a huge publiser like Microsoft to attract new blood and make technology platform investments.


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Not sure why I was thinking about this, but it came into my mind, wondering how big is the flight simming community worldwide. Its said that it is a small market niche, but how small is small? Probably thinking this for the releases that come up and the difficulty they have to accomplish to break even.

 

Avsim.com has about 100,00 members, and flightsim.com has 472,000 members of which 120,000 are active according to webpage info. Thats just two forums, and there is probably a good number that are duplicated for both forums not to mention all the other forums related to flightsimming out there.

 

Then there is some guestimated number for those that dont register at all but just browse the forums. Therefore no number.

 

We can break this down further, but im guessing the majority fly FSX/P3D. Worldwide, that could be about 1 million flight simmers for any platform. A sizeable city.

 

If there is 500k FSX users and we use very conservative numbers of 1% interest in a new XYZ release product, that is 5000 sales X avg sale price of $45.

Thats revenue of $225,000. Not sure of the development costs as they would be different for each product, but is it really a feasible business done properly? Alot revolves on reputation of course and numbers would be higher exponentially for both revenue and development cost not to mention publishers getting a slice.

 

My numbers could be way off base, but I havnt seen any posts of any kind regarding this estimation. Purely subjective, but some say flight simming is dying, and I beg to differ. I think the core of enthusiasts will continue on and on, and spur more people to revisit flight simming. After all, hardware is catching up which may have been a deterrent before.

 

If it was really bad we wouldnt really see so many addons present and future development.

 

Developers chime in as this would help appreciate your work that much more.

 

Hate to throw retardant on the fire, but in the grand scheme of things FlightSim as a genre, which is what the big gaming magazines and sites look at, is quite small compared to the tens of millions who actively use games like COD, Modern Warfare and the rest of the 'dismember, gore, shoot-em-up' titles out there. FlightSim, to many, is too 'cerebral' of an activity to really attract the COD fanatics or others of that genre.

 

This is an argument that has been made time and time again, and the answer is always the same; we think we're big, but in reality, we're not.

 

So what? Go out and have fun!


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The entire flight simulation community (i.e., including the people who view flight simulation as purely a game) is significantly larger than the seriously dedicated community. The latter is what probably matters most to payware add-on developers, as the others do not care as much about the enhanced detail and realism in payware products.


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Owen
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I may not be that active on the forums, but I do spend a lot of time flying in FSX.


Jeff Thomson

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Hate to throw retardant on the fire, but in the grand scheme of things FlightSim as a genre, which is what the big gaming magazines and sites look at, is quite small compared to the tens of millions who actively use games like COD, Modern Warfare and the rest of the 'dismember, gore, shoot-em-up' titles out there. FlightSim, to many, is too 'cerebral' of an activity to really attract the COD fanatics or others of that genre.

 

This is an argument that has been made time and time again, and the answer is always the same; we think we're big, but in reality, we're not.

 

So what? Go out and have fun!

 

The reason I raised the question was because I was seeing more posts everywhere of people rejoining FSX, because they got a new computer. Lots of people left out of frustration from frame rates.

 

And for the general thread , I didnt mean to raise a question already discussed over and over. I didnt see really anything that speculated on the size of the flight sim community overall. Especially when devs are having trouble making ends meet. Perhaps its not so bad or they would quit. Most of stayed. Perhaps out of love of the hobby, but if there is that much of a loss, it still wouldnt be worth it. Take the 1% sales numbers to 5% and thats a decent amount of revenue.

 

As for Microsoft backing, it doesnt take much for a company like Locheed to get some attention no matter who does thier marketing. If they release a huge improvement in Flight simming, the word is going to get out, including all those gaming mags and online game sites.

 

 

Yes indeed. Let have fun.


CYVR LSZH 

http://f9ixu0-2.png
 

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You are the .33 then.

Was trying to figure out who that .33 was! Sort of like that 1/2 kid in so many families!


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Now I want to know how many stars are in the sky?

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This is a great topic and something I'd like to know also! I know the flightsim community could be a lot bigger of it were "advertised" better. I work at a flight school and the majority of the students do use FS to practice VOR's etc but almost all of them don't have a clue about the online side of things and forums like this.


Kyle

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This is a great topic and something I'd like to know also! I know the flightsim community could be a lot bigger of it were "advertised" better. I work at a flight school and the majority of the students do use FS to practice VOR's etc but almost all of them don't have a clue about the online side of things and forums like this.

 

That is very interesting. This is what I mean. Theres a bigger potential than what is reached out online. Perhaps the devs and publishers have limited funds to keep it to online marketing only. But if P3D 2.0 is a major breakthrough, I can see a large migration from former flight simmers and a large community that is not online now, join in. This makes addons alot more potential sales.

Aviation as a whole is a large interest group worldwide, and if we ever see performance like todays shooters and other games give, then flight simming is definitly not dead or digressing.


CYVR LSZH 

http://f9ixu0-2.png
 

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So how are you guys going to find out the answer?

 

How is P3D the answer to anything seeing it is not an entertainment piece of software? (No it will not be. MS is not going to say to LM: "OK 2.0 can be sold as entertainment software.")

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There are 263,590.33 flight simmers worldwide.

 

This number is accurate my statistics professor says so also.

 

Regards;

 

Fritz

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