And then there were two…
Earlier today, Dovetail Games announced “with great sadness” the closure of Flight Sim World (FSW). It’s been slightly less than one year since I first discussed FSW on my blog site and in late May of last year I wrote about my first impressions after having spent a little bit of time exploring the simulator. I recorded a few YouTube videos which you can find on my channel. During the initial few weeks after release of FSW I did manage to spend several hours flying and I must admit I enjoyed my time and felt like FSW had some promise. After all, Dovetail Games was finally fulfilling their commitment to bring their flight sim to market albeit a few years late.
While I must admit I haven’t followed the progress of FSW in the past 6+ months, I’m actually surprised it took Dovetail Games this long to realize this was never going to get off the ground and compete with Prepar3d and XPlane. Especially knowing how Dovetail planned to limit 3rd party developers. As with many of the simulation based games I enjoy playing, 3rd party developers, modders etc. are the lifeblood of these types of games. When you begin to restrict what they can do and how they do it, you’re going to suffer and I guess they finally realized the writing was on the wall.
While I have many additional thoughts/opinions regarding this news, I’m going to keep those to myself for now. It appears Steam will continue to sell Flight Sim World through May 24th. After May 24th the game and all DLC will be removed from Steam, but will still be available in the player/owner’s Steam Library.
Future of Flight Simulation
The future of flight simulation is extremely strong. Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D (P3D) version 4.x and Laminar Research’s X-Plane will continue to serve as the flagship titles to support this wonderful hobby. Both titles have a strong following and both enjoy excellent support from the best 3rd party add-on developers. After all, we know the saying….two is company and three’s a crowd.
Until next time…
April 24, 2018 - 1:56 am
Hi Jerry. I’m new to flight simulators so I bought FSX a few months ago. I am still using it as it is a great stepping stone – low cost, undemanding on the hardware and easy to learn and configure. I then bought FSW from Steam, played for 90 mins and returned it for a refund as there were issues with the graphics. I’m not likely to buy either of the other contenders given the costs and the required hardware specs. I have a high spec gaming laptop, but it is 3 years old and the Nvidia card is now an ol’ timer when it comes to the lastest ‘games’. For now FSX is playable and immersive, so I guess your title should be “And then there were three”? Or is FSX too dated for modern sim pilots?
Best wishes, Peter (existing subscriber)
April 24, 2018 - 11:12 am
Thank you for the comment. FSX (and even FS9) still have a really strong following. However, the boxed version of FSX is one year away from being a teenager and of course no longer in development. When Dovetail Games released FSX Steam Edition in 2014 some enhancements were made to the baseline code which allowed FSX:SE to perform much better than its original boxed version. To the best of my knowledge, Dovetail Games has no further plans to enhance FSX:SE beyond its current state. According to discussions I read on Steam, FSX:SE will remain on Steam even after Flight Sim World is removed next month. My concern for FSX:SE users (as well as FSX boxed and FS9) is that you could be one Microsoft update away from rendering these older applications from functioning. I believe this actually happened late last fall with the Windows 10 Creators Update. Microsoft did release a patch which I believe resolved the issue. But there really are no guarantees this will always be the case.
If I weren’t so heavily invested in old add-ons that either still work for P3D or the devs honored the license for their P3D v4 versions, I would honestly spend much more time in X-Plane. X-Plane has a solid following and it reminds me of the early days of flight simulation. Where there was an equal amount of freeware development being done. Unfortunately, freeware is a word that disappeared sometime between FS9 and FSX and that’s sad.
So I suppose in closing, the point I was attempting to make in the blog articles title has more to do with the two major players who are actively developing their respective platforms AND who both have a active 3rd party development following as well. I think these are important.
Thanks again for reading and happy flying!