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darth_damian_000

The status of the flight sim community?

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Hey guys.

 

I wonder, is the flight sim community expanding? shrinking? or is it stable?

I spoke about this topic with a friend, who has been simming for way longer than I have. He says that the number of people simming around the world is in the "hundreds of thousands" area, out of an approximate (and seriously this is just an estimate) of 2 billion people (out of 7 billion) in the world who play games.

 

This topic came up as a result of prices of add-ons. The prices, in my opinion, are in the medium range, with many add-on airports costing somewhere between $20 and $40, add-on aircraft between $50 and $150, and large scale ground scenery $40 - $100. Obviously the higher end of these ranges being the higher quality products. What does that say about supply and demand of such products? In any case, I do understand that these require tons of work and resources, so I would say most of the costs of products are.....reasonable.

 

How would you assess the status of the flight simming community? I am looking for both facts and opinions.

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I'd say growing, for two reasons.

 

Reason 1: Five years ago, FSX was the only sim anybody would talk about (for the most part). Now we have X-Plane 10, talks of X-Plane 11, DTG Flight Sim, P3D, Aerofly v1 and v2, new aircraft developers (like TFDi, A.T.S. in X-plane; even some of the more established developers like QualityWings are less than 10 years old), other sims I'm not remembering, etc etc. 

 

Reason 2: Some of these sims are available on Steam, and future sims (like XP11 and DTGFS) will be on steam too. That definitely brings in new users (even though some of those users may be the Xbox crowd, etc). 

 

Interesting question and interested to hear what others have to say, too.

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Absolutely growing, with major developers such as Lockheed Martin and Dove Tail Games jumping in. (CAVEAT: While Lockheed Martin is providing excellent flight simulation software to our community, their goals are for commercial level simulations - but we still benefit greatly).

 

We have new aircraft and scenery developers coming online ever year, and during the past 12 months I've personally seen a noteable increase in the number of people flying on VATSIM, which indirectly leads to more software purchases, which in turn keeps developers going.

 

Five or so years ago it was sounding like the beginning of the end for flight sim development, with a lot of cries out to developers.  Now the future and growth looks very healthy!

 

While we can always use more software developers, it's affordable flight sim hardware where we are currently lacking (Since Saitek appears to be having significant, though unannounced problems with manufacturing their products).

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Absolutely growing, with major developers such as Lockheed Martin and Dove Tail Games jumping in. (CAVEAT: While Lockheed Martin is providing excellent flight simulation software to our community, their goals are for commercial level simulations - but we still benefit greatly).

 

We have new aircraft and scenery developers coming online ever year, and during the past 12 months I've personally seen a noteable increase in the number of people flying on VATSIM, which indirectly leads to more software purchases, which in turn keeps developers going.

 

Five or so years ago it was sounding like the beginning of the end for flight sim development, with a lot of cries out to developers.  Now the future and growth looks very healthy!

 

While we can always use more software developers, it's affordable flight sim hardware where we are currently lacking (Since Saitek appears to be having significant, though unannounced problems with manufacturing their products).

 

Aren't Saitek owned by Mad Catz now?

 

Mad Catz reduced their workforce by 37% in February, due to terrible sales of the Instruments they made for Rock Band 4.

 

I wonder if this has had a knock-on effect?

 

http://arstechnica.co.uk/gaming/2016/02/rock-band-4-cant-save-a-struggling-mad-catz/

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during the past 12 months I've personally seen a noteable increase in the number of people flying on VATSIM,

I actually have the opposite impression. On a normal weekday the number of clients appears to be around 400-500 when I fly online. A few years ago it was typically more like 700.

 

Peter

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I've noticed a dip in online traffic on Vatsim, especially in the US. I know part of it is the online fragmentation that I wish was not there with Vatsim and IVAO. I don't have any metrics to prove it but just from my own observation.

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I actually have the opposite impression. On a normal weekday the number of clients appears to be around 400-500 when I fly online. A few years ago it was typically more like 700

 

Concur, Peter.  A few years ago, 700+ was the norm, now it's 450-ish.  In a recent interview,  Mathijs Kok reveled that Aerosoft sales have stabilized after a brief surge in 2014, which he attributed to the release of FSX SE.  Moreover, he expressed concern that the majority of FS customer base was over 50; according to him, it's imperative to attract younger consumers.  In short, the FS world is not growing; however, it is stable and that's quite remarkable since the genera disappeared from the main stream 10+ years ago....  

 

If you're interested, you can watch the interview here:

 

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Is steam mostly the reason why younger people got into simming?

 

Who knows.... but it is one more way to discover flight simulators :Party:

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