Microsoft Flight Simulator Series to Live On, But Not From Microsoft [Update]

The new Flight Simulator game will use Microsoft's tech, but not the series' old name.

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Update: Unfortunately, it doesn't sound as if the Steam Edition of Flight Simulator X will feature any improvements. Dovetail told GameSpot, "We have the license to re-release FSX on Steam and this does not extend to making product improvements. However, we will include all possible bug fixes we can. One area that will require some work is the use that FSX made use of GameSpy for multiplayer features. As you may know, GameSpy is no longer available and so we are looking for alternate ways of providing this functionality including using features in Steam."

Additionally, Dovetail says the new game it's working on won't actually be called Microsoft Flight Simulator; it will simply be using Microsoft's technology. As of yet, there is no title for the new game coming next year.

Original Story: With the former Microsoft Flight Simulator series effectively shut down years ago and the free-to-play experiment Microsoft Flight being abandoned, it would be easy to assume the series doesn't have a future. In fact, there are big plans for the franchise, but not from Microsoft: Dovetail Games, the studio responsible for the Train Simulator series, has announced that it has secured the rights to the series and plans to both re-release one of the series' best games and to develop new ones.

Dovetail's announcement today is for a global licensing deal with Microsoft. What that means is the company now owns the rights to develop new games using the technology from Microsoft's games--rights it plans to put to use by releasing a new game of some sort in 2015.

No Caption Provided

While working on that new project, Dovetail will re-release 2006's Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition--the final game in the proper Flight Simulator series, pictured above and to the right--through Steam. Known as Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, this version of the game will include all of the content from the Deluxe Edition and the Acceleration expansion pack. It's expected out on PC in "late 2014." We don't yet know whether the game will sport any improvements or additions (be it a visual overhaul or support for Steam features), but we've contacted Dovetail to learn more.

This announcement comes just days after Microsoft announced that online multiplayer servers for Microsoft Flight would be shut down this October, although the single-player will remain "largely intact." Fans still playing will already have become accustomed to not getting any new content, as Microsoft ceased development on the title in 2012. Prior to that, in 2009, Microsoft shut down Aces Studio, the former publisher of the Flight Simulator series, signaling what appeared at the time to be the end of the series.

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has spoken this year about Microsoft's recommitment to PC gaming. While these Flight Simulator developments aren't internal projects, at least Microsoft has chosen to hand the franchise off to a studio with an established history of making simulator games.

Are you still interested in the Flight Simulator series? What would you like to see from next year's game? Let us know in the comments.

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Avatar image for racklefratz
racklefratz

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OK, so if I interpret correctly what's been said so far, this development (pardon the pun) is win-win for MS and Dovetail, and a major zip-point-nada for simmers. MS pockets money on the licensing deal, Dovetail makes some money getting it played on Steam, and simmers get the same old FSX with nothing added. Anyone at home think this is great?

I don't blame MS and Dovetail for trying to make a buck, that's business. But the buck won't be coming out of my wallet.

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nicky9499

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Dovetail only has permission to rebrand and release. Unlike LM's P3D, this deal does not allow Dovetail to implement any graphical updates to FSX. Going by Dovetail's track record with Railworks, they are just trying to squeeze every bit of money out of FSX with the rebrand and releasing their own DLC.


For example, did you know that if you created an add-on for Railworks and released it on Steam, you are not allowed to create or release the same add on for any other sim?


Dovetail is a horrible company and this is nothing to get excited about. We already have proper sims not riddled with DRM and in-game DLC advertising like FSX and P3D, both of which readily available. There are zero reasons one should buy an 8-year-old game just because it's being put on Steam and given a fancy main menu.

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Tech_nobody

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The architecture of PC's has changed considerably since FSX was released. I would like to see a new Flight Simulator program take advantage of this. Namely support for multi-chip cpu's and the latest graphic chip architecture.

Look at the new game consoles. They run HD 1080p graphics at 60 frames per second or better. And the graphics are amazing. Imagine what Flight Simulator would look like running in this environment! Most of tweaked FSX just to run at 30 fps.

Also don't lose support for all add on scenery and airplanes that is available with FSX. These are one of the great legacies of FSX.

That is what I want to see in a new Flight Simulator program. Forget FSX on steam!

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Ribstaylor1

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<< LINK REMOVED >> New games consoles do not do higher then 60fps and in about 90% of cases it's 30-40fps often locked at 30 with dips under 30 in many of their tittles. Also they don't seem to be pulling of 1080p all that great, look at the xbox one for the shining example of that.

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Smosh150

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Well, this update makes the re-release near useless except for people wanting to have it show up on Steam. I guess the servers could be nice, but that is fairly unimportant considering most people use Vatsim for multiplayer.

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daabulls23

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"Flight" was a huge, huge flop. Hopefully Dovetail releases the next game where you can fly the whole world without having to buy a new state or country for $30.

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HighPitcairn

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At least is better than air Control

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kate_jones

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If they fix dx10 support so it doesn't have missing textures and flickering runways I'd be happy, and not break the support for the million addons 3rd parties have made.

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ClusterBlaster

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FSX was one game that remained on my system for years even installed it on new systems. Loved everything about it. Grew up with FS3 which came on 3.5" floppy disks. It's unfortunate that such legendary piece of software is no longer supported. I do wish that some other studio takes this up & provides more support. Nothing like flying a Learjet or a Bombardier through real time weather. All flight games nowadays really suck with zero realism.

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Avatar image for walterg74
walterg74

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Yeah you clearly have been out of it. While microsoft may have abandoned support, the game is largely supported by the community and lots of vendord making airplanes, scenery, weather, effects, etc and the game looks beautiful. Also there are a lot of other games as well with full realism for flying, like x-plane, rise of flight, dcs world, etc. So stating that there isn't just confuses people with your ignorance...

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It is unfortunate, however I wouldn't say all, I'd give X-plane 10 some credit and definitely Prepar3d(even if it is a better version of FSX).

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kate_jones

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Prepar3d is not something home simmers can buy :( was looking into it just the other day, seems piracy is the only option there.


I have xplane 9 and decided to try the xplane 10 demo after upgrading my system and it still runs as bad as fsx does. It does deserve some credit though as a modern atlernative to FSX.


although not civilian DCS World, IL-2 Clod (with tf 4.31 installed) and IL-2 BoS all run very smooth and provide better flight models and detail than those in FSX or Xplane (very few FSX addons like A2A's will surpass IL2 but be equal to the equally priced DCS products)

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Smosh150

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@kate_jones @Smosh150 @ClusterBlaster You said piracy is the only option? I don't see what you mean, I literally just bought and installed the academic license 4 days ago with no hassle or security checks after I had tried the torrent with my friend(we were testing to see if there was a performance increase, some will say it is wrong, but I had to know), heck it was easier to buy and install than it was for FSX. We even convinced nearly half of our VA to pick it up. Maybe they changed something, but you should try it again and actually go to the last screen of the purchasing window, or heck just buy it if you want, because I assure you that you are able to buy it no problem. I guess we just had different experiences on X-plane 10, I got full 60 fps with max settings so I don't know what happened with yours. I agree with the last part of your comment entirely, a friend shared his A2A P-51 about 2 months ago with me and that plane was absolutely amazing, I have yet to try the DCS version of the P-51, but that A2A one is incredible.

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kate_jones

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Ah nice, is there much performance increase with prepar3d over fsx? I think the xplane 10 demo might have performance issues compared to the full version. I have an I7 cpu 8gb ram and nvidia 760 gtx, I get about 15-45 fps in fsx depending on altitude


I have the A2A accusim spitfire (thats the bar I use against all sims) and Pipercub, and picked up the dcs p51 for 9 bucks in the steam sale, it is of similar quality for sure. After the failure of DCS ww2 they are going to release all the planes individually into DCS world. with the FW 190 dora coming out next month.

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Avatar image for Smosh150
Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Bit of a late reply, went camping and had no internet. Anyways my setup is an I7 2600k, GTX 670 4gb, and 16gb of RAM and was getting about the same performance as you on FSX(excluding the Imaginesim KATL where I get like 2 fps), anyways for me in Prepar3d I have got solid 30(locked it at 30) in every aircraft except the NGX, the NGX gives me about 15-20 on the ground. It may be a bit different for you, but my friend and I have noticed a major performance increase.

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RullyFR

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I can't wait to play these Improvement. Also Bug fixes especially for Win 8.1

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lomar07

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It's been ages since I played this.

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jinzo9988

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I guess that means we can expect a new flight sim with $4,000 worth of DLC then. Great. Just what everyone wanted.

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ztype85

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<< LINK REMOVED >> There's already thousands of dollars of payware available for FSX

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Smosh150

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Nice choice for a picture on this article, even if it is the vanilla 737 NG, it is still my favorite aircraft(PMDG's that is,).

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nyran125tk

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dont forget the real life pilot tutorials, they were awesome, i almost felt like i was in a real flight school. Well, real with an added XBOX controller!!!


I think an Xbox controller could handle a 747 easy, they just havent tried it.

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ClusterBlaster

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I used to play FSX with the 360 controller & it worked great with slight remapping.

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deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

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<< LINK REMOVED >> It actually counts towards your pilots licence in some places.

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residude

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Only on an approved FTD. FSX on your home computer won't.

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >> lol idk, had my friend fly the pmdg 747 with an xbox controller, it was a disaster, granted we were landing at Kai Tek so that just adds to the difficulty. Haven't tried it myself, rather use my yoke, adds to the immersion plus it is more "accurate".

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Halloll

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you don't simply call a simulator "game"

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >> When it is marketed for consumer entertainment you can, I have flown on Prepar3d, FSX, FS2004(FS9), and X-plane 10 and do so nearly every day, I have put 1000's of hours into them all, even if you are flying payware aircraft that are designed for actual training purposes such as PMDG's products, you can still call it a game. There is nothing wrong with it, the only one I would hesitate on would be Prepar3d since it was marketed to Airlines, instructors, and others of the like, however many still use it including myself for entertainment because I love aviation.

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walterg74

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So going by your reasoning ut's nit qhat the siftware actually does but rathe who it's marketed towards... Right...

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Anyways I really don't want to get into an argument about this, you can say what you need to say, but you sound like a fellow enthusiast so I don't see the point of arguing on such a miniscule little detail. Call it a simulator call it a game, to each their own. I just feel if I continue, I may get a bit more hostile than I prefer to be, too much stuff to do the last few days. Say what you need as a counterpoint if you will though.

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Well if you don't believe me look it up, Microsoft Flight Simulator X is described as a game while Prepar3d is described as a Simulator Platform. It isn't my opinion, it is what it is. I wasn't meaning you can't call Prepar3d a game, just that many would correct you on that one because of its purpose compared to FSX where its original purpose was for gamers, which it still says for gamers and flight simmers on the store page.

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Smosh150

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Probably not worth the switch, rather stick with Prepar3d atm, I have more faith in Lockheed Martin than I do with Dovetail.

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IndremaLover

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This article suggests the console market will get shafted again with no flight simulators. That would (continue to) suck.

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deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Flight Simulator X has the entire planet, to scale as far as I know. PCs can barely handle it so it's very unlikely a console would.

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> True enough, however I will play the devil's advocate on this comment and just say that is because Microsoft did a lousy job in terms of optimization, I mean really lousy, as in there is no worse.

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Smosh150

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Commercial flight sims most certainly will never be on console, however there may be some, but more realistic flight sims including commercial, general aviation, and even combat are very unlikely to come to a console. For commercial and general aviation the reason is simply payware developers will not go to consoles, which is what makes Flight Sims popular. Some more reasons would be lack of proper peripherals, harder to develop for, less audience on consoles(even if there are many flight simmers who do play consoles), etc. As for combat flight sims they will not be creating such a vast world as other flight sim games so there is more of a chance as well as in many combat flight sims 3rd party development is not relied upon to have proper aircraft. Regardless it is still bleak and will remain that way for a very long time on consoles. Warthunder will probably be the best consoles are going to get.

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Blade_Runner22

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Have you tried War Thunder? It's a full flight sim, it's on consoles, and it's for free.

If you don't mind it being a COMBAT flight sim set in WWII.

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Vojtass

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> If you don't use a joystick, throttle and keyboard (or specialized flight devices), it's not a simulator.

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Smosh150

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@Blade_Runner22 @IndremaLover It isn't bad, but for many WW2 flight enthusiasts it isn't up to the realism level as others like IL2 COD. I don't mean Warthunder is bad, just that the Flight Model for their aircraft are highly unrealistic among other things, it is fun though I will admit.

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