Since the news of Flight Simulator 2020 return there has been a lot of opinions, guesses and ideas thrown around.
This is unfortunately human nature as Flight Simmers tend to hyperventilate at the latest preview even when there are no facts to support such excitement. That is why it is necessary that we make it clear what our position is based on this news.
This announcement caught everyone off guard and based on the video, it is clear that Microsoft has been developing this title for some time in secret. None of the bigger developers have been contacted or had any direct discussion with Microsoft about the development thereof.
Microsoft has quite a history when it comes to alienating us developers which started back in 2005 when they wanted to explore on how to monetize the add-on market for themselves. Microsoft tried to force developers to sell their creations solely through their marketplace, develop under licence restrictions with the intentions of ultimately moving customers over to a subscription-based model. Microsoft Flight was the result of this effort where all DLC for the title was developed inhouse with no public SDK offered. The title was aimed at the gaming community and it started failing soon after its release with Microsoft pulling the plug on it a year later.
We have no idea if Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will allow for after-market development, what restrictions will be placed upon such development or if it will be beneficial to us to develop for the title. Until Microsoft clarifies these facts, we simply will not be able to evaluate what steps to follow.
Given these facts and based on past history, NMG Simulations will take a “wait and see” approach towards Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. We simply do not have any information available to allow for any business decisions to be made at this time.
On a personal note, we cannot see that Microsoft Flight Simulator will allow for after-market development and if it did, strict license restrictions will probably be placed on all add-ons developed for it where 35% or more of all sales are forfeited to Microsoft. Microsoft is not bringing Flight Simulator back out of the goodness of their hearts. They are in this for the money and to widen their client base. Microsoft Flight Simulator will probably be aimed at the Gamers Community rather than the Flight Simulation Community since this is where the most money can be made through sales.
Back in reality, we can speculate all we want, but the truth is that we will all have to wait and see if Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will indeed meet our needs and then decide on a way forward.