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Guest Adrian Wainer

How many copies of MSFS get sold?

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Just out of curiosity, how many copies on average does Microsoft sale of their flight simulator? I would especially like to know about how many copies of FSX they have sold.I am mainly just curious about how large the flight simulation community truly is. I think we all assume their are millions of people who fly MSFS, but for all we know there may be only about 30,000 of us or so. I have no idea. I got to thinking about this when I started playing "Steel Beasts Pro" (the tank sim). There community is rather small since the game costs about $125. So, now I am wondering about how large the MSFS community is.

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>There community is rather small since the game costs about $125Well. . let's see.. it's about half the price of Steel Beasts Pro, so I guess the MSFS community should be, well. . maybe twice as many? :-lol:-lol:-lol:-lol:-lol:-lol

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The size of the video game market is HUGE !!!!http://www.theesa.com/facts/index.phpYou're not going to find much about individual game sales volume - #'s - because it is closely held marketing information.ESA ranked FS2004 as the #18 Computer Game in number of units sold in 2004 - the last year I can find.I know some people in retails and they see FSX as selling at near the same rate as FS2004 did.The FS2004 User data use survey is a hint of the community composition. A summary may be on this site but the key point was the vast, vast majority of people with FS have never added anything to their FS setup.If the FS community which visits forums and downloads addons is about 30,000, then the FS market must be about 2.5 to 3 million.I know ten people in the company where I work who have FS/ FSX.Two are real pilots - one in our jets, one PPLThe jet pilot downloads stuff and flies a bit (though he's really an X-Plane fan).The real pilot has never downloaded anything.Of the other eight - two have downloaded / purchased an addon form the web/ visited a FS website.Most of the other six have a couple addons - which were purchased over the counter at Fry's. But they don't do web downloads - freeware or purchase.I do more flying hours in FSX in a month than the rest do in a year, combined.

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He he he, I work with a bunch of developer geeks and they can't understand why I like FS's so. They tease me about it all the time. Until the one day I actually opened a briefing with Flyhalf's Farewell to FS9 video. Jaws dropped. They had no idea what customization capabilities are built around FS. When I mention "SDK", then they start to understand.I always beleived that those of us who visit or frequent the FS boards are a very very small percentage of the group who have had some version of a Flightsim loaded. Don't forget, these can actually be used as training tools or custom installation that we may not even have imagined. On top of that, many many folks just read these forums without ever creating a user-name and posting thread one.Honestly though, sometimes those sales statistics such as FS9 @ #18 all-time are just hard to beleive. You would think more people would post here when that many copies are sold.

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We have over 657,000 members in our library. Even if 10% of those are duplicate users (65,700), that is still over 590,000 individual users. We have nearly 40,000 registered members in these forums. That doesn't include those who "lurk" or just read the forums. I suspect that the registered members here represent just 10% of the actual readers. So, some where between 400,000 and 500,000 is where I would estimate the online users of Flight Sim to be. Now, extrapolate that to estimate the global population? I could not even begin to pin that one down. :)

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Now, take the mind blowing numbers Tom mentioned, X the profit amount that Bill G. gets.........Man someone made a BOAT LOAD of money this year. This doesn't even account for all of the other MS products. I am in the wrong business ;) I was too busy trying to be a rock star when the computer went big, not to mention smoking too much...well you know. Too long ago to remember it all. :)

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Don't forget the illegal copies. I believe that around 20% of the people that post in these forums and around 50% of those who don't post use illegal copies of FS. So the revenue isn't sometimes what we think it is. Of course these numbers are just a guess, but maybe not far from from the real ones.

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It might be prudent to think twice before accusing 20% of us here of being pirates. I don't know where you dreamed this up but you may want to clarify it a bit...or just cut-to-the-chase and apologize to the members of this forum.Doug

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I don't know where the poster gets his assumption from, but as a member of a an IPR Protection and Anti-piracy committee in an Asian country, I can offer your these numbers: We assume that in the whole of Asia for every registered copy of Windows XP there are 23 unregistered copies in use on the marketWindows Vista 62Microsoft Office 182Computer Games ...... Japanese titles 29... American & European titles 273... made by Microsoft 312Irrelevant bits removed, numbers are averages of multiple estimates. These numbers are based on anti-piracy raids, estimates by the European and the American Chambers of Commerce, and the Justice Departments or similar government agencies of Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Malaysia. Microsoft uses internal numbers which are sometimes considerably higher and based on evaluation of online traffic, registration, customer service hotline contacts etc. It's very difficult to reach absolute figures, but 20% of users is the very very low end of the estimate in any case :)

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Oh, come on. I'm not accusing anyone, hope abulaafia's post clarifies it a bit for you.

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It doesn't clarify anything. We all know there is a problem in Asia. But, trying to extrapolate that to the whole of the membership here is rubbish. You've accused 20% of us here of running pirated copies of FSX. Either prove it or retract it. Doug

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FS9 @ #18 all-timeNot #18 all time - #18 of Computer Games in 2004.All the statistics show the top console games outsell computer games by a couple orders of magnitude.

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"We all know there's a problem with Asia"Kind of the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it, Doug? You've just suggested that "a known percentage" of Asians are running pirated copies, based upon another posters "unproven" figures. Being in the IT world in North America for the last 27 years - I also think that a probable 20% of Avsim users run pirated software is a fair assumption, and it means nothing. I can't prove it, either, but I'm not retracting it.

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> It doesn't clarify anything. We all know there is a>problem in Asia. But, trying to extrapolate that to the whole>of the membership here is rubbish. You've accused 20% of us>here of running pirated copies of FSX. Either prove it or>retract it. >>DougI don't think he needs to apologize. His estimate of 20% is probably even too low.These are statistics on piracy in various countries:http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_sof_...are-piracy-rateUS has the lowest piracy rate at 22%, and considering that AVSIM has members from all over the world and not only US, I'd say it's statistically impossible that less than 20% of AVSIM members are pirates. Like it or not.Marco

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That source shows that the world-wide weighted average is over 57% This suggests that the original suggestion of 20% is way too low given AVSIM's membership is world-wide!

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All of these percentages and numbers floating around are great, however there are more FS Fan sites other than AVSIM, right? I mean come on let's not get too big of a head here, although this is the only (GREATEST!) FS site *I* use, I imagine others may have the same dedicated group who just don't set foot here at AVSIM?

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>> It doesn't clarify anything. We all know there is a>>problem in Asia. But, trying to extrapolate that to the>whole>>of the membership here is rubbish. You've accused 20% of us>>here of running pirated copies of FSX. Either prove it or>>retract it. >>>>Doug>>I don't think he needs to apologize. His estimate of 20% is>probably even too low.>>These are statistics on piracy in various countries:>>http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_sof_...are-piracy-rate>>US has the lowest piracy rate at 22%, and considering that>AVSIM has members from all over the world and not only US, I'd>say it's statistically impossible that less than 20% of AVSIM>members are pirates. Like it or not.>>Marco>>QuoteI'd say it's statistically impossible that less than 20% of AVSIMmembers are pirates. Like it or not.UnQuoteHi Marco, There are lies, there are #### lies and there are statistics, ever met a couple with 2.4 children? You are in fact expressing an opinion on a possability and presenting it in the terms of concrete fact.Best and Warm RegardsAdrian Wainer

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Those total sales numbers, if even somewhat correct, sure can change your perspective as to what we the flight simulator community should expect in a product. I sometimes read statements saying "What do you expect from MSFS_, you only paid $60.00 for the program. It's not like you are buying a $1 million dollar flight simulator".Here's a thought. What difference does it make to the bottom line dollar if a company makes $5 million dollars from selling five, $1 million dollar flight simulators, or by selling 84,000 copies of a $60.00 flight simulator? (I hope my math is correct) It's still the same dollar amount in sales.May be an over simplification but still something to think about.Richard

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> You are in fact expressing an opinion on a possability and >presenting it in the terms of concrete fact.No he isn't. Read what he actually said "I'd say it's statistically impossible that less than 20% of AVSIM members are pirates. Like it or not." That's a perfectly valid conclusion from the evidence that the world-wide average is 57%.

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There is no doubt Flight Simulator is a multi-million dollar gross sales product for Microsoft.It's also pretty obvious that it takes a few million dollars a year for the development team, several tens, maybe hundreds of thousands to buy data, probably millions of dollars for production, packaging and shipping. Plus the cut for the retailers.Microsoft will be lucky to get $20 of each $60 sale - and very lucky if $4 of that is gross profit.The total numbers are huge - until you look at other products in the Microsoft line.Frankly, it's my opinion that if Flight Simulator doesn't make $10 million gross profit for Microsoft - it will be discontinued.Microsoft is a BIG company and messing with chump change products is something they cannot afford. A million dollar per year gross profit is too small for the investment necessary.To a 40 year old - $1 million is 25% of what we need to retire. To MS it's pocket change.What do you get for you $60 ?For each FS developer when Vista gets 20, or Office gets 15.The best world wide navigation, airport, road, coastline, landclass, terrain data available.But as has been amply demonstrated - the 'best available' data has big holes, issues when you try to go the level of detail FS fans demand.So you get a framework for endless customization - which is the real secret to the success of FS, this website and this community.

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>To a 40 year old - $1 million is 25% of what we need to>retire. To MS it's pocket change.Lol, i'm in my fourties and 50% of those 25% would be enough for my retirement.

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According to the best investment advice I can find, it takes 2.4 million dollars in cash/ savings to guarantee $50,000 yearly after tax income today without shrinking the principle. The principle needs to grow so the yearly income can grow and avoid 'out living' your money.For someone who is 40, it will probably take about $4 million to produce $65,000 yearly after tax income when they are 60.It's friggin scary that someone who is 55 like me who hoped to someday earn $10,000 per year - has made over a million in my working lifetime and will make close to another million before I retire at age 68.And still be living only a moderate middle class lifestyle with no real inflation/ increased cost of living protection. :-(I didn't make 40K until after I retired from the Navy. My children make that near age 30 and it's not enough income to buy a house in a decent neighborhood.

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Reg ... at the risk of getting this post moved to the "Personal Finance" forum ... I question whether you have received the best financial advice you can find.Your numbers suggest quite a high lifestyle. Here's why I say this.By the time you retire, you shouldn't have any debt, especially a mortgage (only takes 30 years to pay off a mortgage).Your annual cost of living should be, therefore, extremely low, relative to your pre-retirement costs. $50,000 per year after taxes seems very high when you consider that your only expenses should be food/clothing, entertainment/travel, transportation expenses and health/life insurance (since you're now Medicaid/Medicare eligible, your actual medical expenses should be relatively low).You also suggest that the principal never can be spent, and needs to grow so you don't outlive your money, but $2.4 million / $50,000 = 48 years.If you retire at 65 ... +48 years puts you at 113. Average lifespan of an American male is currently 80.3 years. You only have 15 years left (on average) after 65.If you retired at 65 with $2.4 million in assets, you could theoretically spend $160,000 a year, just in time to die at 80. Heck, just live on $100,000 and leave your kids a nice inheritance.When you retire, there is almost no situation where you would "grow" out of middle class if that's where you were pre-retirement. So, your goal should be to maintain your current lifestyle throughout retirement.So, add up all your non-debt related living expenses, put a cushion in for emergencies and multiply that amount by 20 years, just in case you live to 85.I bet it won't add up to $2.4 million.

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