rsrandazzo

[23APR18] FSW Closure: We are disappointed, but not surprised...

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Captains,

This morning we awoke to news that Dovetail Games has taken the long expected step of pulling the plug on Flightsim World, their hard-scrabble effort to re-invigorate the flight simulation genre abandoned by Microsoft.  I don't think anyone in the developer community is particularly surprised by this news, except perhaps that it took as long as it did for the inevitable to sink in.

You may recall that I took Dovetail to task eleven months ago, for what we perceived to be Dovetail's position as a dishonest broker within the long established community of developers and consumers of flight simulation. 

(You can read that original post here: )

 

While all of us very much wanted to see them succeed in the development effort, it had became clear that Dovetail endeavored to subsume developers like PMDG by killing off established distribution channels, ending existing developer-customer relationships and forcing all developers to become subservient to their own marketplace established using rigid constraints designed to limit competition.

The end result was predictable, if not entirely inevitable.

You see, from the very beginning, this community has thrived on the concept of individual innovation and success.  The innovators of the late 1980s begat the tools and concepts that lead many of us to begin development for flight simulation in the very early 1990s, and the results of those efforts created companies like Aerosoft, Flight1, Justflight, PMDG, and scores of others that you recognize today.

Each developer and company worked hard to create new ideas, innovate new approaches and create a relationship with the community based on trust, openness and creativity.

Along the way, individuals have sprung up from time to time that attempted to unbalance the community through selfishness or greed, (How many of you remember the Papa Tango fiasco?)  In all of those instances, the community of simmers and developers banded together to keep things moving forward, pointed in the right direction.  Developers acting with the community's best interest at heart have long been supported by simmers, and the marketplace continues to expand and thrive with new entrants, new ideas and innovation.

I don't think you could find a more pure example of free market economics anywhere in the online world.

Five years ago, a group of us were involved in attempting to purchase the rights to FSX and Microsoft Flight from Microsoft with the intent to continue development for the benefit of this community.  None of us had the financial strength to complete the transaction alone, so we joined together (sometimes uneasily) in order to build a marketplace in which all developers would be given a chance to grow and thrive in a living platform.

Our fledgling conglomerate was grossly out-bid by Dovetail Games in part because we just weren't well funded, but also in part because Dovetail leveraged their established, largely positive reputation along with a costly high bid.  They knew from day-one that their plan was to subvert the third party development community and enforce high fees on their own distribution channel that we would all need in order to survive. 

They tried to gain cooperation by assuring us that this wasn't the case, but the reality proved to be different than their promises and many of the long-standing trade names in this community (including PMDG) opted not to play along, which presented the dual problem of optics and finances.

And THIS leads me to the entire point of this post:  I like this community.  Very much.  I like simmers, I like our customers, I like our fellow developers, even those with whom we compete.  (Okay, maybe not that one that stole from us, but that is another story for another day.:ph34r:)  This community, for all of it's trials and tribulations and ups and downs has a way of weeding out the bad actors, the malefactors, the thieves, the cheats and those who would do the community harm.  You often don't see it, but the development community supports one another, communicates with one another, and genuinely enjoys seeing one another succeed and thrive.

So at PMDG, we don't view today's news as negative.  Sure, we feel terribly for the developers who's project was just trashed, because we know what it is like to pour your heart and soul into something for years on end- but this also wasn't THEIR fault...  The fault lies with whomever made the decision that all of us (simmers and developers alike) would follow a concept to certain death, simply because it was held out before us.

This proved not to be the case, however.

 

Edited by rsrandazzo
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Pushing the news of DT's decision to end development on FSW to the side, although I am probably mentioning this in a time and place where not appropriate there are many of us simmers, P3D users alike such as myself that would love to see you guys move forward and onto other platforms, such as - (yes you guessed it) X-Plane 11. For a market that you would dominate with the T7 and 747. However - I am not here to tell you what to do and or be 'that guy', but since X-Plane is growing significantly in popularity especially within the past several months, may you reconsider your plans for the future? 

Unless you have greater plans...   

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Well put! They failed to recognize the importance of a thriving 3rd. Party Developer ecosystem for the success of a flight simulator. 

I believe that XP11’s rise as the consumer-grade successor to FSX also played a big role.

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1 hour ago, rsrandazzo said:

Thiago,

I couldn't disagree more.  :laugh:

FSX is not in active development, AF2 is still in early access and some say it will have the same fate as FSW, P3D is not available in Steam, nor is it sold for entertainment-only purposes.

Perhaps after FSexpo this outlook may change, but, as of today, I do not see currently an alternative for XP11 in the consumer-entertainment segment of the flight-sim market.

Edited by GCBraun
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I worry that at some point, Lockheed will decide to a) ask for credentials of  people buying licenses or b) shut development down entirely. It’d be nice if before then, XP gets to a state where PMDG sees it as a viable platform.

Alex Pugh

Edited by Chapstick
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3 minutes ago, Chapstick said:

I worry that at some point, Lockheed will decide to a) ask for credentials of  people buying licenses or b) shut development down entirely. It’d be nice if before then, XP gets to a state where PMDG sees it as a viable platform.

Alex Pugh

All the other top-tier developers are jumping on-board. Unless they are really working on a new fs-platform, I think this will be inevitable in the (near) future. 

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Almost all of my flights are made with PMDG planes. So unless they jump in in a big way I won't be going over to X-plane.

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3 minutes ago, Michael235 said:

Almost all of my flights are made with PMDG planes. So unless they jump in in a big way I won't be going over to X-plane.

Agreed. But for me personally, there's more than the missing PMDG planes, which holds me from going to X-Plane. I solely (well, 99% of the time) fly tubeliners, and X-Plane (in it's current state) is missing a lot of features, IMO.

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1 hour ago, GCBraun said:

FSX is not in active development, AF2 is still in early access .

That's wrong, AeroflyFS2 went out of Early Access around the same time as FSW, i.e. moths ago.

Otherwise I agree, though. I like AeroflyFS2 very much for its visuals and performance, However, if IPACS proceeds with the same pace and is not able to get more 3rd parties (notably plane developers - hear PMDG!) on board *rapidly* they are under acute danger to share Dovetail's fate.

Kind regards, Michael

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Love it!...bet Dovetail are kicking themself now!

They clearly thought they would take the meal from the chef, and throw him the bone....now look, there homeless and hungry.

They came in with an over the top bid, got it, only to have the door to reclaiming the cash, slammed in their face...:laugh:

 

I dunno, seen things like this before where people think this community is weak and stupid, clearly we are not.

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8 minutes ago, pmb said:

That's wrong, AeroflyFS2 went out of Early Access around the same time as FSW, i.e. moths ago.

Otherwise I agree, though. I like AeroflyFS2 very much for its visuals and performance, However, if IPACS proceeds with the same pace and is not able get more 3rd parties (notably plane developers - hear PMDG!) on board *rapidly* they are under acute danger to share Dovetail's fate.

Kind regards, Michael

It may have left early access status, but it still feels like an alpha project. Don’t get me wrong, I have bought it alongside with almost all of its terrain DLC‘s and I want it to succeed, but its development is really, really slow. As you pointed out, the lack of third-party support, especially when it comes to aircraft, also make it really hard for me to justify even using it. 

Edited by GCBraun

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Gents,

A couple of points.  I am going to write them in bold, in hopes that makes them seem important enough to read them:

  1. We have made it clear for some time that our long term plans DO include XPL.  Anyone who tells you otherwise, or who bleats on like a zombie-state-half-brain-dead chimp that we haven't is too lazy to bother informing him/herself as to the what we have stated.  (And to think we posted it right here in this forum to make it easy- and that is STILL too much work for the lazy...)
  2. When you enter this forum and turn EVERY thread into an opportunity to evangelize for whatever sim you happen to evangelize for- you come off sounding like your sim has a massive inferiority complex and people laugh at you.

So please, folks- just...  STOP IT.

We don't care if you like FS2002, FS9, FSX, AS1, AS2, XPL 4, XPL 5, XPL 6.2189, XPL10, XPL 11, FS1, Pro Pilot, P3D, P4D, P5D or Farm Simulator or Goat Sim...

Trust us.  This is our business.  We probably know more about what is happening than you do- and we work with *actual data* not some statistic repeated by a third grader from Public School 93 who wouldn't know a research citation from one that flies.  Your opinion, no matter how many times you repeat it, or no matter how strongly you repeat it without actual facts, isn't going to change the realities of profit margins, or the fact that we only have 24hrs in a single day with an already packed agenda.

Seriously- this reminds me of the FS9/FSX wars, except that the whining this time is worse than a room full of under-slept, over sugared three year olds...

If you find yourself eager to evangelize- just...  STOP.

Don't be that guy/gal.

 

 

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32 minutes ago, rsrandazzo said:

We don't care if you like FS2002, FS9, FSX, AS1, AS2, XPL 4, XPL 5, XPL 6.2189, XPL10, XPL 11, FS1, Pro Pilot, P3D, P4D, P5D or Farm Simulator or Goat Sim...

Funny you mentioned Goat Sim, since Sheep Sim is obviously the better one of the two. The hairs of the sheep are WAY better portrayed than the ones in Goat Sim. Also, the eyes of the sheep twinkle in a much, much more realistic way. And Sheep are - and will always be - the better looking ones.

More importantly - of course - the tailflex...need I say more?

:happy:

 

Edited by rheinis
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3 hours ago, rsrandazzo said:

How many of you remember the Papa Tango fiasco?

I remember it very well Rob.

And I remember I could almost feel the disgust and disdain for DTG in your post 11 months back when you voiced your concerns (hidden behind a cordial reply of course), hehe.   You clearly saw this for what it was, a money-grab by a holier-than-thou company who mistakenly thought we'd all (meaning both Devs and customers) flock to their temple and pay homage to the new flightsim deity (from their point of view).  

I pretty much figured that if they couldn't get big name Devs to bow to them, it was only a matter of time before they lost interest in a product that they would have to invest considerable time and money to develop the planes and other software to the level of PMDG and other established devs.

I wonder with the final straw was that made them drop the project like a hot rock?  Maybe a staff meeting where the dev team told leadership that they just can't poop out a 747 to PMDG's level just because leadership thinks a plane is a plane and it should not be any harder than developing a Piper Cub?  OR even if they could poop one out, most of the hard core simmers wouldn't touch it because it has no supporting software to go with it on their platform...so there goes any real revenue stream because Joe Gamer who has FSW and only wants to see if he can fly under the golden gate bridge is not going to pay anything over $10 for any DLC for a silly flying game.

Like most, I knew this platform was doomed from the start....it was only a matter of when.  I did think it would at least last through the next Christmas season though.

Its just sad to think where a new platform could have been by now if your group of respected devs won that bid....I know one thing...your focus would not be exclusively on profit margins and underhanded ways to force other devs to utilize your distribution channels and methodologies. :blink:

 

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1 hour ago, rsrandazzo said:

<snip>

We don't care if you like FS2002, FS9, FSX, AS1, AS2, XPL 4, XPL 5, XPL 6.2189, XPL10, XPL 11, FS1, Pro Pilot, P3D, P4D, P5D or Farm Simulator or Goat Sim...

<snip>

 

C'mon Rob what about Flight Pilot Simulator: 3D for iPhone?! By excluding that from your extensive and clearly non-exhaustive list, are you saying that the secret project we've been testing ("FPS:3D4iOS 747 v3 QOTSII") is out the window? What are you going to announce at FSExpo now?!

In all seriousness, I'm glad that you've acknowledged the DTG development team in all of this. I doubt that any of them signed up to work on FSW because they were passionate about creating a market-dominating distribution channel with which to "clip the ticket" on this community's existence and the labours of third-party devs.

I imagine they were all - at least on some level - interested in flight simulation, and wanted to make a better product for the community. I hope that those people find work opportunities which allow them to use their talents elsewhere.

I would also hope that this whole experience will demonstrate to other prospective entrants that the community is resistant to cynical monetizing efforts. The developers that have truly shaped our landscape have done so out of a passion for the end product. My sense is that the community by-and-large like it that way, and will vote with their wallets accordingly.

 

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I moved from FSX:SE to P3Dv4 to benefit from the 64bit platform, sorry to see DTG go if they had updated FSX to 64bit I think they would have more success with them owning the commercial rites, would have been a good platform for beginners to flight sim, and likely well supported.  

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It’s sad to see a platform discontinued, I’m sure plenty of hard work was put in, but it still had a long long way to go. I wasn’t a fan of the DLC method they chose and I guess was a helping hand in the downfall of the sim. I did, however like what they accomplished with the clouds, and the rain effects, but as said still had room for improvement.  I feel for the programmers who may find themselves out of work.

I only picked it up out of curiosity when it was on sale, it was never my intention to use it for more than that, unless the big players got involved (which obviously never happened)

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LMAO all these ppl here comparing the d*** of their beloved sim and RSR just like shut the hell up.

LOVE IT.

Edited by 30K

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Does this mean that whatever developing rights that were purchased and owned by DTG will be up for bid, and possibly acquired by another company?  

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I know DTG since the early days when they started under the Railsimulator.com brand. To keep the long story short, the brand name might have changed but the attitude and work ethics behind the scenes never did. Although I do feel sorry for those who were trapped by their false promises but deep inside I am happy these con artist are out.

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6 hours ago, rsrandazzo said:

Thiago,

I couldn't disagree more.  :laugh:

Robert, was it really necessary to laugh or show the laughing face? It implies arrogance on your part. Can't you simply respect that Thiago has an opinion that you disagree with and leave it at that?

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