Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

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Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by FJ flyer » 23 Jan 2009, 02:48

Redmond, Washington-based ACES Studio, the Microsoft-owned internal group behind the venerable Microsoft Flight Simulator series, has been heavily affected by Microsoft's ongoing job cuts.

Development sources have told Gamasutra that a large portion of the dev house's staff has been let go - with multiple reports indicating that the entire Flight Simulator team has been axed.

The Microsoft-owned Flight Simulator is possibly the game industry's longest-running continuous franchise.
http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_i ... tory=21981" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I don't know the creditibly of the article, but it doesn't sound very good. If they're still making FS11, which is unclear if they are or not, it'll probably be delayed since they'll have less people working on it.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by NWADC9 » 23 Jan 2009, 03:03

But why does it have to be Microsoft Flight Simulator? :wink:
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by FJ flyer » 23 Jan 2009, 03:20

NWADC9 wrote:But why does it have to be Microsoft Flight Simulator? :wink:
What do you mean???
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by NWADC9 » 23 Jan 2009, 03:32

FJ flyer wrote:
NWADC9 wrote:But why does it have to be Microsoft Flight Simulator? :wink:
What do you mean???
Just because the guys got the boot doesn't mean they can't still develop a new FS, does it? :wink:
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by Northwestdc9 » 23 Jan 2009, 03:46

That's true--they could be hired by EA or one of the other major software developers (hopefully not game company as they'll do just that, make it a game).

Could also be true that FS9 is the last good release of FS, FSX being the Vista of Flight Simulation. Aka useless in everyway. :winking:
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by frogdude4993 » 23 Jan 2009, 03:49

MacSim?

Maybe?
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by Dennis » 23 Jan 2009, 03:51

FS9 was a good release. Let's hope FS11 isn't turned into a game, which it probably will.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by frogdude4993 » 23 Jan 2009, 04:06

I don't think it will become a game. I do think it's highly possible for it to become a "landing simulator" like Ship Sim.

For all who have not played Ship Sim it gives you like 8 ports to choose from or just open sea and you screw around there, essentially it teaches you how to dock and that's all, no navigation or further realism.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by FJ flyer » 23 Jan 2009, 04:24

NWADC9 wrote:
FJ flyer wrote:
NWADC9 wrote:But why does it have to be Microsoft Flight Simulator? :wink:
What do you mean???
Just because the guys got the boot doesn't mean they can't still develop a new FS, does it? :wink:
Good Point, lets hope they do get picked up by a simulation company and continue their work.
Dennis wrote:FS9 was a good release. Let's hope FS11 isn't turned into a game, which it probably will.
They're saying the FSX was a success, which probably means it'll be like a game. That's if there is any FS11...
I don't think it will become a game. I do think it's highly possible for it to become a "landing simulator" like Ship Sim.

For all who have not played Ship Sim it gives you like 8 ports to choose from or just open sea and you screw around there, essentially it teaches you how to dock and that's all, no navigation or further realism.
I'm pretty sure that won't happen...
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by NWADC9 » 23 Jan 2009, 04:42

FSX isn't really like a game. It has eye candy and such, as well as the game aspect with the missions and the like, but it's still an upgraded FS.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by APeX3181 » 23 Jan 2009, 05:05

Here's a link to Hal Bryan's blog. He is (or was until today) a member of the ACES Studio at Microsoft.

http://halbryan.spaces.live.com/

From what his post today seems to imply, it's not looking good. If the entire ACES team was let go, it is a sad day for the FS community indeed.
Good Point, lets hope they do get picked up by a simulation company and continue their work.
Something tells me that Microsoft wouldn't allow another company to develop software they own the rights to, even if it's not in development anymore. Not sure if it's set up that way, but it's just what I think would happen.

Looks like 2009 is already starting to suck.

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by Dennis » 23 Jan 2009, 12:16

FSX still has some bugs to work out, like how it causes computers that meet minimum requirements to slow down. Mine exceeds them just a little bit and my computer can't handle it some times. Only a turbo machine like Nick's or Alex's can properly handle it.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by APeX3181 » 23 Jan 2009, 14:03

^ That's why I usually stay one version behind. I get a computer every three or four years, and when a new FS version comes out, I'll start using the one before that. So in about a year or so, maybe I'll start using FSX when I can get a computer that runs it smoothly.

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by RatherBFlyin » 23 Jan 2009, 15:00

While it will indeed by a sad day indeed if the MSFS line gets shut down, there are already a number of good options available to replace it. X-Plane has made great strides as a "newcomer" to the industry, and what I especially like about it is that it runs on Linux, which I still hope to switch to someday.

There is also a free (yes, you heard that right), open source flight simulator available called FlightGear. Every time I look at it, it has gotten a little bit better.

So the world will not end if the Microsoft decides to do away with it's FS team, it will just be a little bit more bleak.

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by APeX3181 » 23 Jan 2009, 18:47

X-Plane would have to improve exponentially for me to switch to using it. The quality that FS has is just not there yet.

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by Dennis » 23 Jan 2009, 18:47

Still, an industry legend gone forever?...*shudders* :cry:
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by Northwestdc9 » 23 Jan 2009, 19:25

X-Plane is a good platform but lacks massively in quality and addons.

Looks like FS9 will be our simming platform for years to come.
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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by APeX3181 » 24 Jan 2009, 15:18

I guess it's official. :cry:
Microsoft Shuts Down 'Flight Simulator' Game Studio
01.23.09

Total posts: 1
by Brian Heater and Mark Hachman

As the rest of the tech world scrambles to assess the implications of the recently announced 5,000 layoffs at software giant Microsoft, news has come in that might potentially spell the end of the company's nearly 30-year-old Flight Simulator series.

Microsoft confirmed Friday that the software giant has shuttered ACES Studios, the developer of the Flight Simulator series of games, whose latest incarnation is Flight Simulator X. The simulation is considered Microsoft's oldest product, whose original version first shipped in 1982.

However, a Microsoft spokeswoman said that while the studio has been closed, the software company remains committed to the Flight Simulator franchise, without explaining how future products can be launched without a dedicated software development team backing them.

"We can confirm the closing of ACES Studios, which was responsible for the Flight Simulator franchise," Microsoft spokeswoman Kelda Rericha told Appscout. "Following our annual strategy review process, IEB [Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business unit] is making adjustments within our business to align our people against our highest priorities. The closure of ACES Studios was one of those specific changes."


Rericha refused to disclose any further details regarding the future of the company. She did, however, suggest that the Flight Simulator series is likely to stick around in some form or another. "We are committed to the Flight Simulator franchise, which has proven to be a successful PC-based game for the last 27 years," Rericha added. "You should expect us to continue to invest in enabling great Live experiences on Windows, including flying games, but we have nothing specific to announce at this time."


Of course, the Flight Simulator franchise is a fairly broad one, and anything falling under the largely online Live umbrella would likely be fairly different than the game's traditionally resource-intensive online incarnation.

"It's definitely confusing; I wish I had more clarification on that that we could provide, Rericha added. "At this point, they're just not talking about it yet – how the product will, and if the product will, live within Microsoft."

Microsoft does not have a time frame on when it will provide additional information, Rericha added.

The most likely scenario seems that, like the rest of us, Microsoft is still attempting to assess exactly how such a large number of redundancies will affect its business strategy. Projects like Flight Simulator have likely been given a lower priority than, say, Windows or Office, and therefore their fates are still not entirely certain even in Redmond.

Numerous contractors also confirmed that they'd been let go in the ACES layoffs, including independent coders who were also fans of the series.

"One thing that every person at ACES will tell you is that the community and each of you in it mean the world to us for sharing our passion of flight, and so it really hurts that Gib and I can't tell you more," "PlaneEater, one of the affected contractors, wrote in a thread on SimOuthouse.com. "I was a FS fan before I joined the FS team, and being able to work on the sim we all love so much was a dream come true. I just want to thank everyone here for the time and passion they've poured into Flight Sim for so many years, and to let you all know that every person at ACES is in awe of how much the community cares about what we build."

It seems unlikely that Flight Simulator will go away entirely, even if it means branding a Live game with the name, fans speculated.

A version of this post originally appeared on AppScout.
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2339520,00.asp

Oh yeah, but Microsoft is still committed to FS. Yeah...right! What are they going to do, come out with an arcade game you can play online? :evil:

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Re: Microsoft Flight Simulator's Future In Question

Post by DMM200 » 24 Jan 2009, 17:06

Or just re-release FSX under a different title :wink:
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