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Cruachan

Be careful what you wish for: a cautionary note

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1 hour ago, BillW said:

I don't have the trust in Microsoft that some of you do. I believe the new product will be bug ridden and we're going to go through an extended period of user based fixes.

With all due respect, Bill... name me a single, high-end software product of this magnitude and complexity released by any company ever that was bug-free.  I'll wait...

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15 minutes ago, eaim said:

if the devs look at the bigger picture, yes they might have to take a financial hit over the next 2/3 years

Nobody can live without income for 2/3 years.. can you? 😉

Reality is, some will go out of business or change the type of their business to survive. I can take the hit and wait because I have a full time job on the side (and it is my current approach). Although it will be very difficult to justify to your family having 2 full time jobs (I put over 35 hours a week to FSReborn) and no see any extra benefits from such efforts for such a long time.

But this is not the case for many. Just Imagine running an office / business with no income for 3 years, having to pay salary to your developers, maintaining servers, bills, accountants, etc. they don't care you have no income. People have a misconception of how much money really 3rd party developers do with the FS industry. No all of them are rich as you guys think, you can count with your left hand finger the ones that are. The rest just do this either for an extra cash or just to barely live with it. The last two categories will move somewhere else if there is nothing for them in the business for such a long time, would you blame them?. So the danger here is, when the skills sets move somewhere else it will take a very long time to be able to get these back.

And yes an SDK would be helpful to at least help to plan ahead.. as it stand it makes the situation explained above even worse..

I am not blaming anybody here for their decisions.. but it is what it is.. don't demand miracles from 3rd party devs, they are humans like you and they have needs like you.. this is the point I am making, just my two cents.

S.

 

 

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24 minutes ago, simbol said:

Nobody can live without income for 2/3 years.. can you? 😉

Reality is, some will go out of business or change the type of their business to survive. I can take the hit and wait because I have a full time job on the side (and it is my current approach). Although it will be very difficult to justify to your family having 2 full time jobs (I put over 35 hours a week to FSReborn) and no see any extra benefits from such efforts for such a long time.

But this is not the case for many. Just Imagine running an office / business with no income for 3 years, having to pay salary to your developers, maintaining servers, bills, accountants, etc. they don't care you have no income. People have a misconception of how much money really 3rd party developers do with the FS industry. No all of them are rich as you guys think, you can count with your left hand finger the ones that are. The rest just do this either for an extra cash or just to barely live with it. The last two categories will move somewhere else if there is nothing for them in the business for such a long time, would you blame them?. So the danger here is, when the skills sets move somewhere else it will take a very long time to be able to get these back.

And yes an SDK would be helpful to at least help to plan ahead.. as it stand it makes the situation explained above even worse..

I am not blaming anybody here for their decisions.. but it is what it is.. don't demand miracles from 3rd party devs, they are humans like you and they have needs like you.. this is the point I am making, just my two cents.

S.

 

 

I wasn't saying to have no income for 2/3 years, I was saying expect to break even or have smaller profits, the bigger profits will happen further down the runway as the FS user base explodes. Anyhow some devs might get content out not very long after release of MSFS so money might come rolling in sooner.


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19 minutes ago, eaim said:

Anyhow some devs might get content out not very long after release of MSFS so money might come rolling in sooner

Problem is, if people stops buying now -which is what is happening- the reality is, you have no income for such time. You might be able break even now on the cost of an add-on you finished but that doesn't allow you to survive until MSFS is ready.

Picture yourself as a 3rd party developer:

  • You have no SDK now... you can't start even to understand what you can develop for the future platform.
  • When you finally get the SDK, you can see IF you can build for the new sim. However you have to learn the new SDK, self train yourself, etc. before really developing anything.
  • You developing time not necessarily will align with the release from MS -if they release on time-. This is due to many variables, for example A.- Certain study level add-on's takes years to be done. B) Certain add-on's requires the platform to be finished in order to be tested.
  • Despite of the above, many add-on's will be unable to be tested properly. You see when you finish any product you give it to beta testers that can actually have a go. However If the MS platform hasn't been released, you can't find anybody to beta test for you as it is not available for them.
  • etc.

The list goes on..

So your original post regarding not having income for such time, is actually very accurate.. and it is the feeling across the 3rd party community..

As an example I am putting aside now money to pay my accountant around 1,000 USD a year for 3 years with no income, just to keep my company alive until the new freaking simulator is ready so I can "START AGAIN".

Regards,
Simbol

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Just now, simbol said:

Problem is, if people stops buying now -which is what is happening- the reality is, you have no income for such time. You might be able break even now on the cost of an add-on you finished but that doesn't allow you to survive until MSFS is ready.

Picture yourself as a 3rd party developer:

  • You have no SDK now... you can't start even know what you can develop for the future platform.
  • When you finally get the SDK, you can see IF you can build for the new sim. However you have to learn the new SDK, self train yourself, etc. before really developing anything.
  • You developing time not necessarily will align with the release from MS -if they release on time-. This is due to many variables, for example A.- Certain study level add-on's takes years to be done. B) Certain add-on's requires the platform to be finished in order to be tested.
  • Despite of the above, many add-on's will be unable to be tested properly. You see when you finish any product you give it to beta testers that can actually have a go. However If the MS platform has been released, you can't find anybody to beta test for you as it is not available for them.
  • etc.

The list goes on..

So your original post regarding not having income for such time, is actually very accurate.. and it is the feeling across the 3rd party community..

As an example I am putting aside now money to pay my accountant around 1,000 USD a year for 3 years with no income, just to keep my company alive until the new freaking simulator is ready so I can "START AGAIN".

Regards,
Simbol

I understand that things are difficult for devs at this moment in time, as collectively you are in a sort of limbo.

As for me personally I will continue to buy some P3D/Xplane add ons, I'll just be more selective, indeed I spoke to you at Cosford Simbol and purchased your AI Lights Reborn Professional addon, so I'll continue to support devs that produce quality Flight Simulation add ons that appeal to me.

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6 minutes ago, eaim said:

I wasn't saying to have no income for 2/3 years, I was saying expect to break even or have smaller profits, the bigger profits will happen further down the runway as the FS userbase expodes. Anyhow some devs might get content out not very long after release of MSFS so money might come rolling in sooner.

@eaim Hi, 

I admire your optimism! However, my gut tells me that the evolving scenario is likely to be very different. Nothing would please me more if future events proved me wrong, but it’s the here and now that’s important for the future of flight simulation in all its diversity. Without our support and encouragement, disenchantment will prevail. Consequently, many great developers will feel undervalued and underappreciated, pack their bags and move onto something else, never to return. That cannot be good for the hobby.

Regards,

Mike

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Just now, Cruachan said:

@eaim Hi, 

I admire your optimism! However, my gut tells me that the evolving scenario is likely to be very different. Nothing would please me more if future events proved me wrong, but it’s the here and now that’s important for the future of flight simulation in all its diversity. Without our support and encouragement, disenchantment will prevail. Consequently, many great developers will feel undervalued and underappreciated, pack their bags and move onto something else, never to return. That cannot be good for the hobby.

Regards,

Mike

I understand how some people are being cautious with Microsoft after the way they left in years gone by, however this time they seem to have possibly learn't from their mistakes and trying very hard to make amends with the FS community.


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Microsoft are the lifeblood of flight simulation, FS1 to FSX, FSX Steam edition and the basis for P3D. Over the years they have generated millions of dollars for third party developers. Without MS we would not be conversing on Avsim! Because it (probably) would not exist. How about having a little faith in the company that has brought us this far? And is now ready to take the next leap forward. How about showing a little respect for the company that championed flight simming for thirty odd years and are now about to make everyone's dreams come true.

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23 minutes ago, eaim said:

I understand how some people are being cautious with Microsoft after the way they left in years gone by, however this time they seem to have possibly learn't from their mistakes and trying very hard to make amends with the FS community.

@eaim we can but hope that is true. However, I do question why they are promoting the new sim so far ahead of it’s release if not to undermine or, indeed, eliminate any competition.

On a more positive note, this advance ‘warning shot across the bows’ might be encouraging that same competition to raise their game. I, for one, would be delighted if MS failed to dominate the flight sim world as they have in so many other areas of the software industry. Credible challenges from the likes of Lockheed Martin and Laminar Research would be very welcome.

Regards,

Mike

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4 hours ago, Bobsk8 said:

I can't wait until the day when many people invest a ton of money in MS2020 and DLC for it, MS decides that it isn't generating enough income like they did with Flight, and shut it down. And if you don't think MS would ever do something like that, you are living in a dream world. 

Are you for real? MS is a business and the bottom line always figures prominently but to wish failure of a new platform and for people who want something new to lose their money and take a financial hit is, frankly, abhorrent.

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Tony K.
 

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Hello all,

An interesting post and one with lots of ramifications.

I, for one, will jump in to MSFS after a short delay to get some feedback. However, what we seem to be forgetting is that P3D is going to be released soon(?) with new engines. XPlane is soon to release the new Vulkan engine. Lets us not forget, that both these companies are very aware of the competition which is going to come from MSFS and, in my opinion, are not going to release something which is markedly inferior to the MSFS offerings. I am not going to abandon either of these platforms, in exactl;y the same way, I have not abandoned FS2004 which I still use occasionally. (if only to really appreciate what P3Dv4 and XPlane11 standards)

Lets us also not forget, that both P3D and XPlane with the new engines may require re-purchase or at least updates when released.  This too, has an impact on third party developers in exactly the same way as the MSFS.introduction. ie do we stop buying aircraft, sceneries or utilities, whilst we wait for these new releases.  Again, in my opinion, the answer is that, probably the majority, will spend with a great deal of caution, and based on immediate need.  I would guess that the same applies to a lot of hardware sales ... people who have broken systems will probably upgrade now, but, there are lots of simmers who are currently sitting on the fence, to see what the new hardware requirements are going to be.  

So, for sure, third party sales are going to be suffering somewhat, and I think that is to be expected, AND, also expected by the third parties involved. The good thing is that, when all three of these new platforms are released, all these Devs are going to be very busy and happy chappies again. My hopes are for and best wishes are that ALL our dedicated developers can weather the lull and stay in business.

My one wish is that we could at least, get some further information regarding the P3D and XPlane updates in the same way information is flowing from Osobo and MS. However, I am very happy with what I have at the moment but the anticipation is excruciating.

I think we have so slow down our expectations somewhat, because we are not fully aware of what is coming in the future. As consumers, we have little or no say, in what is actually finally released to the public. We do, however, have remarkably more input to all platforms and asserting our requirements, particularly in comparison to the  past releases of FS2004 and FSX.

Onwards and upwards guys and girls ... our future is very vedry bright.

Regards

Tony

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7 hours ago, Flamingpie said:

Can we trust anyone, including 3rd party developers, to do anything when their modus operandi is, as always, driven by commercial considerations...?

Seems a little paranoid, but help me understand where this "caution" comes from?  I assume it applies to all developers including Microsoft, Asobo, add-on devs, etc.?

This is a genuine question that I hope you can expand on ... I'm not meaning to isolate you as I've seen comments like this before from others as if software engineers are somehow "bad" or not to be trusted because they want to earn money? 

Maybe it's the very few top executive tiers you see from companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple with huge salaries and compensation packages that has created this contrived picture of developers?  I can assure you those at the top of the executive chain at Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook haven't touched a line of code in many decades.  They are IPs (Idea People) with money to bring their ideas to reality and get to reap the rewards (or failures).  Software Engineers are the people that turn the IPs into reality and hopefully can make a comfortable living at it.

It does puzzle me that people will be fine with soccer players earning $127 Million, Basketball players for earning $40 Million/year, F1 drivers $70 Million/year, head investment banking traders $15 Million/year, Actors earning $239 Million ... but when it comes to software engineers who do a lot more and have to know a lot more than how to throw/bounce/kick balls around or "pretend" ... we're somehow not to be "trusted"?  

So what exactly is it about what we do that isn't "trust worthy"?  What is bad about being paid for working? (aka commercial considerations).

Cheers, Rob.

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1 hour ago, speedyTC said:

Are you for real? MS is a business and the bottom line always figures prominently but to wish failure of a new platform and for people who want something new to lose their money and take a financial hit is, frankly, abhorrent.

Hi Tony,

I’m quite sure that Bob does not wish to see the FS2020 project end in failure. On the contrary, in common with the rest of us I suspect he is rooting for its success, but not at any cost. We are all too well aware that MS have history in this area so, right now, we cannot be certain how this will all pan out. MS have chosen to return to Flight Simulation, but are doing so using methods that could be interpreted as being overly aggressive marketing. As things stand, this is likely to threaten the future commercial viability of existing 3rd Party Development for rival simulators as users withdraw their support.

There is a lot at stake here. My earnest hope is that MS will engage with 3rd Party Developers and will decide to do so in a way that actively encourages ongoing development for all simulators, including their new kid on the block. Failure to do so will sound the death knell of our hobby as we witness the demise of a thriving and innovative 3rd Party industry when it becomes financially inviable for them to continue. 

It will be a sad day if MS ignore what should be considered as being just and fair by choosing to ride roughshod over everyone else simply to secure and underline their commercial predominance in the market place.

The jury is still out.

Regards,

Mike

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I already re-negged on my initial thoughts lol....

So far I've bought 2 addons for XP11 and 1 in P3D haha

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4 hours ago, speedyTC said:

Are you for real? MS is a business and the bottom line always figures prominently but to wish failure of a new platform and for people who want something new to lose their money and take a financial hit is, frankly, abhorrent.

Nobody is wishing failure. Work on your reading comprehension, and your logic, why don't you. I have seen this happen before, and there is a  good chance it will happen again. MS is not going to lose money on any venture they try. They will pull the plug first. 


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