Since the very first introduction to Microsoft Flight at Gamescom back in August 2010, we’ve received a tremendous response from both new and longtime Flight Simulator fans. We truly appreciate the warm welcome back. For this inaugural “News from the Development Team” update, we want to give you some context for our new direction. For starters, we’re still some time away from launching the product — far enough out that we are currently unable to provide any details, such as the launch date. We apologize for any frustrations this may cause. We can’t wait, either, to deliver this new experience to all of you! We’re delighted to be able to provide a view into our game at such an early time and to share our progress as we get closer to finalizing the product. We’ve never reached out this early in the development cycle before, so hang in there, and we hope you enjoy the sneak peek.
A number of you have asked, “Why did you drop ‘Simulator’ from the title of the game?”
In addition to the FAQ on this topic, we want to directly address the concern that by dropping the “Simulator” from the name, we’re dumbing down the experience. Quite the contrary! We’ve developed on the “simulation” aspect for many years and have no intention of losing that legacy. What we’re doing now is improving the total experience while building on this legacy, enhancing the enjoyment for all who share a passion for flight. The more people who join us in the Flight experience, the greater the opportunity we’ll have to do even more.
Many of you are concerned that because we want to appeal to a wider audience, we must be building an arcade game.
We don’t need to create an arcade game to welcome a wider audience. But we do need to improve the total user experience if we’re to be successful in welcoming new audiences into the experience of Flight. The passion and fascination of flight is powerful, with so many different aspects to aviation and different levels of enjoyment to experience. There is distinct value and strength to be gained by welcoming a wider audience, and we can’t claim to have done the best job of it in the past.
What does appealing to a wider audience mean?
It means improving the user-interface experience, achieving better performance on today’s hardware, providing more focused challenges for people who aren’t quite sure what to do next, and introducing more persistent experiences for people who return often. It also means keeping alive the freedom to go where you want, when you want, and to do what you want. Regardless of their hardware power, piloting experience, or level of interest, many people have enjoyed the traditional flight-simulation experience as a solitary activity. We see a compelling social aspect to the experience inherent in the fun, and we need to better enable and support this dynamic to strengthen the entire Flight experience for everyone.
Based on the previous webisode, we’ve heard, “This doesn’t look any different from FSX!”
As we said in the introduction, we’re still early in the development cycle, so the fact that you comment on the similarity to FSX is great! This comment alone should ease some of the arcade concerns. Please follow along with our progress as we continue to release more webisodes, screenshots, and additional information. In the end, we hope that you’ll have a great time looking back at these early samples and being part of the evolution. Thank you for all your enthusiasm and support!
The Microsoft Flight Development Team