Since our initial announcement to cut support for FSX, FSX Steam Edition and Prepar3D V3, we have been answering multiple questions about our intentions in this matter.
We would very much still like to end support for FSX, because it is such an old program (2005 edition) and no longer capable of using the latest hardware. On the other hand, our scenery is not that complex and probably never will be. We have also since found that support for FSX is still very much alive!
This is what we will be doing for the next year. We will keep support for FSX alive and your scenery products will continue to support FSX, FSX Steam Edition, Prepar3D V3 and V4. By next year, we will look at the situation again and then decide whether to continue supporting FSX, FSX-SE and Prepar3D V3 or not. We all want to see these platforms survive for as long as possible, but we know that this is not possible. Until then, we will advise all of you to start looking at upgrading to Prepar3D V4.
As for X-Plane, we will update our packages to V10.50 because that is as far as the tools are available for it. X-Plane 11 tools are available, but still under beta and use of these tools for anything other than private use is strictly prohibited. The good news is that the X-Plane 10.50 scenery will fully work in X-Plane 11; they just do not have all the features that X-Plane 11 has to offer.
Another problem is that our scenery for X-Plane is not “true” X-Plane scenery such as designed especially for it. Up to now we have been converting our FSX packages for use in X-Plane. Although the scenery works, the process of conversion is not perfect and the converter unfortunately messes up the final product. We fix as many of the mistakes we can, but some are still there. These errors do not break X-Plane, nor does it show in the scenery, but they are there. If you reverse engineer the scenery files, you will find them.
Designing scenery for two different simulators, is also not practical for us at this moment as we will basically need to build every airport twice! That is why we decided on the conversion process in the first place.
This way of thinking seems to have been a mistake on our part as we have recently been told by a prominent X-Plane community member that our scenery is a mess and not good enough for X-Plane use… and he is quite right! Converted scenery is not the same as “true” designed for scenery.
Ultimately, we will need to design every airport twice, but this is where the problem starts. Developing scenery for the Microsoft ESP platform is a full-time job. We just do not have the time to build every airport twice…
We gave made no final plans in this regard, but the V10.50 adjustments currently going on will most likely be the final work we do for X-Plane.
Come to think of it, we have been developing scenery for the Microsoft ESP engine in one form or another for the past 27 years. We are much better at it than we will ever be with X-Plane scenery. Maybe it is better to stick with what you know best.
For the immediate future, we will do the V10.50 update and then make our final decision.