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rsrandazzo

[08FEB15] P3D Pricing Policy - Some facts on this issue...

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Captains,

 

There is quite a bit of misinformation floating around, so if I may please, allow me to correct a few facts.  (I am not trying to change anyone's opinion here- but at least be mad at PMDG for factual reasons and not something someone made up.  B) )  We occasionally see these moments where a bunch of folks will run off half-cocked with information that they don't even realize is bogus...  So let me set some facts out to make sure we are all at least well informed.

When we announced development for P3D 18 months ago, we were very candid about the fact that our P3D products will be significantly more expensive than our FSX products.  This is true because we envision P3D as the home for our enterprise and professional products, in keeping with P3D's place in the enterprise market.  P3D is a growing, in-development platform that will be constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of the professional simulation market.  With this in mind, it is thus not sufficient for PMDG to finish a product and simply toss it to the marketplace forever.  We will need to invest developer time and effort to continually adapt our P3D products to version changes, as well as adding new features as they come available in P3D.  This is a different approach than we use in FSX, and it is a different approach than is used by most other developers whose products are targeted to the entertainment market only.  Use of developer time is an opportunity cost, and we must carefully weigh the value of placing a developer on one project as opposed to another.  These are economic considerations that must be dealt with because we envision our P3D product line as a constantly evolving, growing, professional development environment.  P3D is a professional tool targeted to professional and academic users and our P3D business model moves us in that direction.

Some have expressed concern about forward compatibility with LM version changes.  We have already indicated that our current product licensing will carry you through at least v3.x and x64bit conversion, which we anticipate taking place in v3.x... based on publicly available information.)  I am unable to predict what will happen beyond this, but at that point we are likely a good 2 years out and we will evaluate what is fair for the marketplace at that time.

Our enterprise and professional products on P3D will have significantly higher license costs ($1,800-$25,000+ based upon what is required) and our enterprise product line will also require the purchase of an annual maintenance contract.  This pricing is directly in line with the professional and enterprise software market and deals with the larger issues of certification cost, intellectual property licensing and liability mitigation.  Our intial plan for P3D included only these market sectors, but we recognize that there are many non-professional users interested in our products who are using P3D and thus we created a license/pricing bracket to meet the needs of those individuals without dilluting our professional and enterprise market.  

Some folks have been upset because they felt that we owed them a discount for purchasing the FSX version.  While we can all appreciate that desire for a healthy discount, i should point out that the promotional pricing being offered right now **is** a significant discount from the base list price that will go into effect on 08MAR15.  We felt that setting the price to match that paid by FSX users was the most fair way to approach the issue.

Apparently there are some folks who are upset that we should have given a very steep discount- and again- we can appreciate the desire for healthy price savings, but there really is no precedent for it in PMDG's market history.  We did not offer a discount for NGX customers who had owned our previous 737 in FS9, for example, and again P3D is an entirely and completely different platform with an entirely different purpose.  Some may recall that in 2007 we offered a very short, two week promotional pricing method (almost identical to the one currently being offered, by the way!) for customers who wished to upgrade from our FS9 747 to the FSX 747, but that program had a specific purpose, was unpopular and created very many problems for customers.

 

To give a different example:  Some of you know, Ryan got me hooked on the Battlefield franchise as a way to blow off steam with some of the members of our team.  I own Battlefield 4 on the PC...  I also own it on the Xbox...  I was not offered any promotional pricing even though I own both platforms.  This is the reality of the software licensing marketplace.  I know some people wish it were otherwise- but at PMDG we live within the reality of it all...

PMDG has always been on the high end of pricing in our marketplace, and we have always required individuals to purchase a new license when moving to a new platform.  While some felt that a discount was "owed" and have since accused us of "treating our customers badly" the reality is that we have always provided top tier products, complete-and-unhobbled products that do not require you to cherry pick functionality, and we have always provided continual, live support while also engaging with our customers directly and honestly in our forum.  I checked our support system today, and for 2014 our average reply-to time for customers requesting support was < 4:15.  We have three employees who's job it is to support customers directly and they do so on issues ranging from Windows to hardware, to FSX, to P3D and all of that is on top of providing support for our own products.  In addition to customer support, we strongly support the growth and completeness of our products with multiple free updates, hundreds and sometimes thousands of fixes, corrections and improvements because we care very much to deliver our customers the finest, no-excuses simulation available on the marketplace- and to that end I feel strongly that we succeed in this endeavor.

Speaking of our forum- we have had a number of folks come to the forum to vent their disappointment.  We have always allowed this in our forum and we continue to do so.  We do set some ground rules, however- and those ground rules have been in place since our first software product release in 1999.  We don't allow anyone to be unkind, we don't allow anyone to spread falsehoods, we don't allow anyone to be abusive and we don't allow anyone to troll.

Anyone who comes to the forum or our facebook page who wants to engage other simmers and/or us in factual, calm, respectful conversation is always welcome- even if we don't agree with you and even if your opinion is different than ours.  We cannot allow folks who simply wish to vent anger or troll/incite arguments to participate freely however as this diminishes the value of the forum for all others.

In short- I am sorry if our policies on pricing do not make everyone happy.  We have communicated them to you candidly for 18+ months- and we will continue to do so.  We continue to work on many great things for the simming community in FSX, P3D and Xplane- and we look forward to delivering these things to you!

 

I hope that helps with the understanding.  I'm sorry if some individuals feel that we have not done enough to support them, but we have always appreciated your support- and continue to do so- even if we don't all agree.

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Amen bro.  thanx for the clarifications.  There will always be some though, that. . . . . . .

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Thanks for the clarification, this answers my query (now deleted) from last night.

 

Time to break out the credit card......

 

Regards,

 

Jamie

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Thanks for clarifying that. Since mid-2014, I knew that due to licensing issues, the P3D version would cost more than FSX. Today, I decided to get the P3D version of the 777-200LR/F and the 777-300ER Expansion (originally, I was going to get the 737-NGX for FSX, now it might take a while (mostly after the FSX-SE installers are available) but either way, I got the P3D version) and everything was fine, it was downloaded fine, it installs great and the activation works well (I only used it briefly and saw no problems but I might do a full flight next week). I'm also looking forward to the future (when P3D becomes 64bit). I like to ask one question just to confirm, when P3D becomes 64 bit, will the 777 be a free update or a fee?

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I think it makes perfect sense, companies like PMDG and A2A who make type rating/checkride level training products for a simulation platform marketed toward real flight training.

As soon as you enter the 'real world' training market, potential liability costs go through the roof, and PMDG and A2A must protect themselves.  Everything in real world flight training is absurdly expensive, like everything else in aviation, thanks to this lawsuit happy world we live in. 

 

P3D users here chose to shoehorn this professional flight training software into their flight simulation entertainment setup, which is fine, we all have every right to make choices like that, but we must accept the fact that professional flight training software will always cost a lot more, both for the developers, and for us.  

 

I have a Piper Seminole systems training program that I got 15 years ago while attending ERAU, it is a pretty basic program, probably not worth more than $20-30, however it still retails for $200.  Welcome to the world of professional flight training folks.

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Thanks for this post, Robert. I really don't understand the NGX and FS9 737 example to be honest, though. Those were technologically entirely different developments from what I understand, whereas the 777 for P3D is mostly just a re-license. That's where the disconnect is for me and probably others.

 

At any rate, I do think your P3D pricing is starting to miss the mark for one of Prepar3D's purposes though: education. Academic products for students normally come at a discount or in a price range that students can afford, and I think you guys missed the mark here on that.

 

I really appreciate your products, but they're really not a price point that is justified for me anymore.

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Cory-

 

We didn't "miss the mark" here.  We chose not to support that market due to the costs we would incur from our licensing partner and through the added risk mitigation costs associated with insuring that capability.  Financially it made no sense so it was discarded.

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Great! I love the comparison with battlefield (apples and oranges )  I'm just glad Orbx and others don't follow this same nonsense!

  • Upvote 2

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I'm on the fence about this product. Can someone explain to me the benefit of moving to P3D with this aircraft? 

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I'm on the fence about this product. Can someone explain to me the benefit of moving to P3D with this aircraft? 

 

It's just a different platform -- P3D does some things that FSX can't. Feature-wise, the T7 exactly the same as the FSX version, AFAIK. 

 

 

Great! I love the comparison with battlefield (apples and oranges )  I'm just glad Orbx and others don't follow this same nonsense!

 

While it's nice that Orbx provides one license for all the platforms, they don't have to deal with the same partner licensing and liability issues that PMDG has to. And this is coming from someone that doesn't entirely agree with PMDG's approach. 

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Great! I love the comparison with battlefield (apples and oranges )  I'm just glad Orbx and others don't follow this same nonsense!

 

Don't you see that you are comparing apples and oranges yourself? Orbx is scenery (mostly) and PMDG provides high fidelity aircraft. Vastly different business.

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Great! I love the comparison with battlefield (apples and oranges )  I'm just glad Orbx and others don't follow this same nonsense!

A2A have exactly the same pricing policy for their P3D products as PMDG do. EA released Battlefield 4 base pack for the PC at a pretty hefty price tag and then consequently started charging people for new maps and other DLC they produce. And if you then want to play Battlefield on the Xbox you have to buy it all again, it doesn't matter whether you have exactly the same product for the PC. FSX and P3D are two totally different platforms just like the PC and Xbox for Battlefield so Roberts comparison is entirely true. At the end of the day they are not forcing you to purchase any of their products.

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My only surprise regarding PMDG's pricing and the entire sim world in general is how inexpensive products are. The realism and overall quality of products, and particularly PMDGs is astonishing for what you pay. The only other way to get a similar aviation experience is to go to qualified training sims or fly real world and the price differential is huge. I still fly real world and the fully costed price of one six hour trip in a nice SR22 approaches what an entirely new rig costs plus a ton of software. Just my two cents, but the sim world is a huge bargain.

 

Walter Berger

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Here is the thing, when you make something for 'entertainment' you are not obligated to make everything 'correct'....ie procedures, systems, performance...etc.  Most people wont know the difference.  

 

However when you go into real world training, you are obligated to ensure all training materials are correct and teach correct methods, because if there is an accident where lives are lost, a lawsuit-ee can claim that they used your training product, you could possibly be found liable and have to pay out.  Juries have awarded some big lawsuits, even with some cases that were on very shaky grounds to begin with.

 

Do you have any idea what a lawsuit like that would do to a small addon company?  LM can afford an army of lawyers to protect them, most of these small flight sim companies cant, so they must protect themselves now with appropriate product pricing.

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Great! I love the comparison with battlefield (apples and oranges )  I'm just glad Orbx and others don't follow this same nonsense!

Quote from myself.

 

After watching the Froogle news just now I have done a 180. If what froogle said holds true and the 777 P3D cost covers future upgrades to P3D versions then I like it! In fact i just got a copy :)

 

Froogle news ------------------->>>>>>  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm73TRXRyhI#t=124

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Makes perfect sense p3d is evolving and so to will the pmdg products as rob stated, if you cant afford it stay with fsx simple, we all knew was going to be dearer

 

Robert

 

Do i understand correctly that the products we purchase for p3d will be continually updated with new functionality ie not just the odd service pack but continual updates in line with p3d or is it only the enterprise purchase, thanks

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I think the decision by PMDG to not issue a discount puts me at a crossroads.

 

As a non-professional customer, where should I be investing my money? P3D or FSX?

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I think PMDG has missed the Mark on this one.  What about other high end developers like the Majestic Q400 get a dual Licence.  Its not a complete Remake off the 777 but if I buy for P3D im Paying full price again!  It would be good if we could pay a fee to transfer our existing licence across to P3D and cancel the FSX one

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I have been working with p3d since v2.0 and have been waiting for pmdg to release a plane 

for it.I am just glad it is not 200$ and i can get it for 90$. I have all the planes for fsx but just cant fly 

them any more as p3d just works so much better. Looking forward to getting it next week.

 

Thank you pmdg

 

Ted Kiser

 

p.s Robert has been very up front from the beging so when the ngx comes out i guess i will have to re buy it

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My take on this pricing issue is this: It amazes me that a developer of a product such as this announced that the pricing for their product was going to be sub $200, and now, it is out, and the original price is sub $150, and as if that is not kind enough, for one whole month, the product is on sale for sub $100, and people are still complaining!

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one small problem Robert, on the product page for the P3D 777 it states that ..

  • This PMDG 777 license is for personal use only, not for professional or training use.

This should probably be changed if you are saying that P3D is for the professional or enterprise user.

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one small problem Robert, on the product page for the P3D 777 it states that ..

  • This PMDG 777 license is for personal use only, not for professional or training use.

This should probably be changed if you are saying that P3D is for the professional or enterprise user.

 

 

This is correct. The professional and training licenses are not yet available. Refer to the original post. This is explained.

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This should probably be changed if you are saying that P3D is for the professional or enterprise user.

 

I am a professional that uses P3D for my personal use.... it's not an either or interpretation.  The only problem arises if I were to use the application in a workplace for example, or in a training school.

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I look at it this way..I am paying 12cents/day for next two years to enjoy this...now it looks affordable to me..

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I paid 300 dollars (here in Australia) to sit for an hour on Level D 777 Simulator (for the first time).

I am not a pilot just a home simmer and the moment I looked at the controls in front of me, deep in my heart I was grateful to PMDG for what they have reproduced on a desktop. I felt like I knew every bit of that cockpit.

 

Thank you again for your products. They are priceless.

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