• Microsoft Cancels Flight

    Microsoft Flight was only released last February 29 but today it is being widely reported that Microsoft has stopped development on the project and laid off staff members.

    "Flight" was never the sim that most people in our community wanted, having serious limitations in available terrain and aircraft and more importantly the ability to support third party add-ons. Microsoft felt that offering a sim with a continuous stream of internally developed DLC (downloadable content) was the way to go but it looks like the market has spoken.

    While some flightsimmers may be pleased by Microsoft's failing it is hardly a reason to celebrate. I got to meet some of the Flight staff when Microsoft invited industry leaders to Redmond last December and they were all good guys who believe in what they were doing and had a true interest in aviation. The loss of "Flight" does not mean the return of "Flight Simulator" either, though it's hard to know what Microsoft's thinking is under any circumstances. No doubt we all wish this would make Microsoft re-evaluate their decision to drop their original and successful "Flight Simulator" line but it's just as likely that it will mean the end of any such products.

    Nels Anderson
    webmaster@flightsim.com


    45 Comments
    1. nospambob's Avatar
      nospambob -
      Loss of support for any aviation interest is regrettable. But thanks to you and the flight sim community, flight simulator will survive just fine without Microsoft.
    1. jfmitch's Avatar
      jfmitch -
      How in the heck could Microsoft continue with Flight Simulator? They sold the rights to Lockheed. Ever hear of Prepar3D?

      Jim
    1. Nels_Anderson's Avatar
      Nels_Anderson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jfmitch View Post
      How in the heck could Microsoft continue with Flight Simulator? They sold the rights to Lockheed. Ever hear of Prepar3D?

      Jim
      That would not prevent them from developing entirely new flight simulation software. Don't forget also, that Prepar3d is limited to use only for actual training. Microsoft did not allow Lockheed to develop a sim for entertainment purposes.
    1. luisalicea's Avatar
      luisalicea -
      From my understanding they MS sold the rights to ESP not FSX. ESP was their commercial version. I'm not totally sure how that affects any future development for FSX (if any). P3D has always said their product was not going to be targeting the entertainment/gaming community which to me, leaves open an opportunity for FSX future development. Again, I never heard that MS sold off the rights to FSX just ESP, please correct me if I'm wrong here.
    1. ians's Avatar
      ians -
      I don't think it was down to anything else but not being competitive and therefore not making profit, MS posted its first losses ever recently, F Sim not being a real core activity would have been shelved asap after a setback like that and seeing that they have competition in the shape of Prepar3d they dropped the baton and left the race as I think in their eyes it was the end of the road (well we are almost at the Olympics and the analogy was a good one methinks!). Its sad that FSXIV wont be made but we still have FSX and developers understand what it can and cant do so we can be happy that things will go as far as they can until another version that reflects the state of the technology will be created, then we will all be after that version and addons. it is sad though, but like CSI Miami - all good things come to an end.
    1. deltaleader's Avatar
      deltaleader -
      no surprises here. It was a failed project out the gate.
    1. btwallis's Avatar
      btwallis -
      Tried it for one week, knew it was doomed, dropped it and never went back, as waste of time and money and it looks like I was similar to the overall the market forces. Now back to my FSX, P3D and X-Plane 10.
    1. Foxtrot789's Avatar
      Foxtrot789 -
      Quote Originally Posted by btwallis View Post
      Tried it for one week, knew it was doomed, dropped it and never went back, as waste of time and money and it looks like I was similar to the overall the market forces. Now back to my FSX, P3D and X-Plane 10.


      I was a beta tester and tried it for one HOUR... It was a terrible idea and while I do sympathize for those that lost their jobs; I smile at the tiny companies that held their ground and continued to produce quality FSX products despite 'Flights' giant backer.
    1. andyjohnston's Avatar
      andyjohnston -
      You weren't much of a beta tester if you tried it for an hour.

      Flight was actually not a terrible product, for what it was. But what people wanted was a new FlightSim, with all that entailed, and since Flight didn't deliver that, many people turned up their noses.

      What are we to do now? FSX is ancient, P3D is not geared toward a wide market, and XPX is aweful.
    1. JSkorna's Avatar
      JSkorna -
      I tested for a few days. Wonder what that makes me?

      As a free game it was great. But as a money maker it was not.
    1. trad's Avatar
      trad -
      At this point, P3D really is the best bet for serious simmers. Even though LM's official line on P3D indeed states that it is not intended as a "recreational" product, the reality is that a large number of FSX users have migrated toward it and FSX developers are increasingly steering new products toward P3D.

      A quick visit to the P3D forums will show activity much like those geared toward MSFS users and very positive and helpful responses by LM moderators.
    1. N6722C_'s Avatar
      N6722C_ -
      While FLIGHT could be considered RECREATIONAL, advanced Flight Simulators like FSX, XPlane, and P3D really are more EDUCATIONAL. Far more than just a GAME, these Flight Sims required a considerable amount of time and dedication to master, as well as producing a whole generation of Computer users, who had learnt about the inner depths of their computer's software and hardware.

      FLIGHT failed as an ARCADE GAME, not as a Flight Simulator. Now that "distraction" has been eliminated, hopefully everyone can get back on track, to realistic Flight Simulation.

      Being able to customize the sim to what YOU want it to be, is key to a prolonged involvement with the sim.. and keeps it alive. Take away personal and 3rd part development, and the product quickly stagnates and get "old".

      Yes, all this has been said MANY MANY times before, but it appears that some were not listening or understanding the market.

      I bet there is one hell of a party going on, down in P3D Florida Land today !!

      Geoff
    1. stretch's Avatar
      stretch -
      Well said Geoff! I've been around this simulation community a very long time. I hate to see any software fail, considering the money, time, and resources that are allocated to it. I think we can safely wager that this will enable new doors to open for all concerned. I must say Microsoft did without a doubt take their eye off the ball. We've been loyal to them for many years; this last go round we were treated like the unseen red-headed step children of the software world. I found it very narrow minded and unprofessional to say the least. I did let them know how I felt about it, not that it matters all that much to anyone but me. I was part of the beta team for FSX....they treated us the same way then. Quite a few of the bugs we identified to them were released with FSX and exist to this day. I find that incredible! Well, here is to better days ahead, greener fields, and higher frame rates for all.

      Blue Skies,
      Aaron/aka Stretch
    1. benEggleston16's Avatar
      benEggleston16 -
      I don't think companies like LM designate FSX officially as 'educational' becuase 10k 'nerds' (no offence) think it is

      And many people said they couldn't afford FSX so I don't see how a $499 re-invention of six-year-old software will benefit the community

      I am quite sad, I think I mentioned in the forum before I see Flight as a new beginning and the truth is that it was superior to FSX in many superficial ways, though it obviously lacked the content so I thought if it was built on it would become very good indeed, any way I won't lecture now

      I just wanted to commend Nels on the way he broke the news, 'this is no cause for celebration' I think is a telling to all 'die-hard' simmers who are partying right now and celebrating MS's commuppence for killing of the FS franchise that they are being ridiculous and immobile with the times/market, if FSX was so perfect why even let Flight's existence bother you?

      I am not saying Flight was the correct move by MS

      I don't use it myself

      I am not calling it good, I'm just saying the hate is bad and most of all, unnecessary

      Anyway I think FS11/FSXI is further away than before, I think they will feel if they can't push a free product, they won't have much success with something aimed at a smaller market which is basically the eleventh version of the same thing released again to an uproar of disapproval (rememeber every version of FS was panned in the forums on release even before Flight)

      FS Franchise RIP definitely
    1. shalako's Avatar
      shalako -
      I think everyone is missing the point. Just because the company that produced a product has abondoned it doesn't always mean it is dead. Microsoft dumped Trainsimulator years ago and it is stronger now than it was at the time they dumped it thanks to support from developers and users. You actuall see more new stuff now than you did then.There is no reason why the the same attitude can't keep FSX and FS9 alive. Third party developers and users are still producing stuff for MSTS and alot of tricks have been learned to keep it going for quite awhile. Streamlines seems to to be the leader in this drive but they are not alone. As long as companies like Orbx keep supporting it and are supported Flightsim shouldn't dissapear for quite some time.
    1. benEggleston16's Avatar
      benEggleston16 -
      Why ORBX? They say P3D is the future.
      I say Carenado are pretty good role model, they've announced a return to FS9!
      The 'big three', Aerosoft, Just Flight and Flight1 also consistently turn out products for both FS9 and FSX
      There are at least 5 FS9 addons and 5 FSX addons released a month, and freeware is still being released for FS98!
      I never thought FS would disappear , I just said the official franchise was gone, the community as you say is stronger than ever!
    1. shanwick's Avatar
      shanwick -
      Microsoft Flight Simulator is dead. Long live Flight Simulator

      David
    1. 7107delicious's Avatar
      7107delicious -
      If only MS realised from the start that it was us FREEWARE developers that really made the FS franchise it is today.....
    1. blibby's Avatar
      blibby -
      Don't forget the fact that ACES Studios was the one who develoved the FS series, and they were dissolved.

      Some of them formed Cascade Game Foundries, so hopefully we see some good sims from them, as that's what they're working on.

      http://www.cascadegamefoundry.com/
    1. aviatoremirates's Avatar
      aviatoremirates -
      FS9/FSX are the simulators that have had many add-on enhancements and so much realism put into their development. PMDG, Level-D, Project Airbus, Carenado, REX...you just cannot beat the popularity.