…. and with a BANG, literally as far as your Editor is concerned (my PC blew up after I turned it on upon returning from Christmas Hols), or with a ‘ fizzle’Â as far as flightsimming is concerned with dwindling sales, dwindling forum posts, dwindling interest all around it seems, I would like to drop a few words to our readership.
First of all of course a BIG Thank You for staying with us through these troubled times. We greatly appreciate your perseverence with this wonderful hobby, and even more your loyalty to our news pages (and forums) !
2008 saw some problems, major turmoil in the world as we know it (knew it?) especially over the last 3 months, a dwindling interest in flightsimming maybe. It also saw a lot of change, and not only on simFlight and simMarket with new lay-outs and new technology.
And of course, there is always hope.
Hope because more and more developers are now finally getting up to speed with FSX’s quirks, options and possibilities, hope because more and more people are finally upgrading to more powerful hardware, and hope in general that 2009 will see an upturn in the economy again. That remains to be seen, but hope is all we’ve got so far!
Whatever the New year will bring us in terms of flight simming, new products, new projects and new developers even, we at simFlight and simMarket want to wish you a Stellar 2009 with lots of happiness and above all Good Health ! And of course we’ll continue our services of bringing you the FS news in a free and largely independent way, leading the way and furthering the FS hobby as we have always done.
See you again next year!
Your Managing EditorFrancois A. Dumas and the entire simFlight team.
I’m much more the reader than the poster type but wanted to take this time to say thanks for all your hard work in 08. An old toast comes to mind. May the best day of your last year be the worst of your next. Happy New Year to you sir.
Je vous souhaiter Ã Vous et vos proches une trÃ¨s belle annÃ©e 2009. SANTÃ‰, BONHEUR et comme nous disons au QuÃ©bec: “LE PARADIS Ã€ LA FIN DE VOS JOURS”
Keep up the good work! Prosit and Guter rutsch!
I too am more reader than poster these days, but I’m still here… it’s usually late at night before I actually get to do any simming or browsing nowadays… but here I am at 1345 during daylight reading the Sim Flight front page. I have a day off today and tomorrow, but do I have time for simming? No, I’m lookig after my young daughter who is enjoying composing Christmas music (and loudly singing it) and doing my son’s homework.
Happy New Year to all, and remember, simming is escapism from the financial and political world. Enjoy
A Thank You from me, too. I don’t think that flightsimming will be out of my focus next year – why should it? And about the economy: there’s a little bit more than hope. There is all of us. We make the difference by not painting it black but seeing it as a chance to refocus on important things, things that we might have lost in our race for prosperity. I have no fear for the times ahead, just curiosity and the firm feeling that at the end, it will be a change for the better.
Happy New Year to all of the FS community. If we are looking for reasons for slumping sales I think it has little to do with the economy. The price of simming seems to have gone up, for me at least. FSX required costly upgrade of my computer which was nearly cutting edge when FSX came out. This discouraged allot of upgrades and new folks to join in I bet. You witnessed this by your recent survey that shows 60% of us are using FS9 exclusively or in combination with FSX. I use both. It was only recently that I was able to enjoy FSX with commuter aircraft at reasonable frame rates. I can’t approach reasonable yet with the jets or complicated heavies. Nor will I spend any more money to upgrade my PC to accomodate it so therefore I’m spending less money on FSX add-ons and I already have the FS9 one’s I want.
The other cause is the cost of add-ons. It seems that they are more expensive lately. They are being sold in pieces such as Captain Sim’s 757 which ends up being costly, or very expensive such as the PMDG MD-11. The MD11 is going to be $100+ (Canadian) for the full version which is way over priced IMHO. No offense to the developers as they have to make a profit and it is a free market. But I won’t pay more than $20 for a small commuter aircraft and $50 for a commercial airliner with FMS. I just can’t justify it.
Maybe Megascenery Earth will make a few bucks, but it seems to be overpriced for the area you get for your $7.50.
The developers blame the piraters, but if they sell for a high price, the pirating will escalate. What we need is lower prices so that we can all afford to buy and then it’s not worth pirating because it’s inexpensive. For the record, I do not pirate, I just don’t buy.
There is no reason for developers to lose share to freeware because I’ve noticed a drop in new freeware aircraft over the year.
Just the opinion from a guy who’s been around the FS world since 1983.
Happy New Year to all.
Also for the record, I don’t think many developers charge high prices for their products and blame piracy for that. I think it is more a matter of two things…. prices went up with complexity of products (the complexity being introduced on popular demand, mind you) and publishers noted that consumers were paying. That was already happening in the FS9 days…..
And for FSX development has become that much more complicated and hence expensive, that pricing went up once again. This time actually for a better reason.
The market will of course regulate pricing …… and production. With more FSX skills under the belts, development may become more ‘efficient’ yet again, causing pricing options to be more flexible yet again.
On the other hand, with a much smaller market than before there is another reason for higher prices……. until the break even point where nobody buys anything anymore and prices will drop once again (see the oil!).
Happy New Year to you, my friend, your lovely wife Nina, your family, and the staff and visitors here at Simflight. Your hopes are shared by many. Let’s all hope that at least some of them come true! Prost!
My take on FS slumping sales. There are a combination of factors leading to my own burn out. Here are some of my perceptions:
I think the economy plays into it – but there are other factors as well that Andrew rightly pointed out. Specifically on the economy I am saving MUCH more for a rainy day (I used to pick up many new add-ons the day they were released) – we have had a lot of lay-offs in my industry (Semiconductor) and unfortunately quite a few friends were affected this year so that has affected my spending behavior. The economy and risks led me to think about my favorite hobby and the state of it. I have been in FS since 1984 and a pilot since 1987 so I have seen the hobby evolve since the early days and I have some basis of reality to judge.
Anyway – with the economy I am personally scaling back – I did have some FS Add-ons on my x-mas list that Santa missed me on – the PMDG MD-11. I have really liked their products but I was kind of happy that I was skipped over – as the add-on is currently FSX. I have FSX for my PC – I have two separate instances – one for XP, and one with Vista 64 (I HATE HATE HATE VISTA). My PC is a Quad Core, 4 Gig of Ram, dual 8800 GTXs in SLI – I have separate HDs for each OS that I plug in when I get the into the mood. Oh, I do run FS9 on XP.
Some of the FSX Add-ons PMDG 747, LDS 767, Wings of Silver, (All super sweet) and other FSX add-ons like some scenery, the weather and water and others are OK, performance is OK- but what is missing are the sweet FS9 scenery (KSEA, KLAX, KPDX, etc. and all the other great add-ons (Alaska, WA, GeoRenderer) that were done in FS9, and also compatible freeware AI to that I already spent many hours setting up in FS9 that is not FSX Service Pack or DirectX dependent. My perception is that It seems that for some great FS9 developers FSX was too hard, or the developers got board and disappeared (dead forums, no updates, no news). This is kind of sad that these disappearing developers still have products for sale and the vendors don’t force them to maintain a minimum level of service or state that this product is no longer maintained or will not be developed further.
Also, it seems the costs of the add-ons are very high – due to weak dollar or other reasons. Because FSX add-ons have become cost prohibitive (add-ons cost more than the base program itself – SUP WITH THAT!) with new add-ons essential replacing ones I already had for FS9, and with performance being marginal I took a look at FS9 again. In FS9 with sliders on full, and all the scenery and aircraft add-ons already in place frame rates were amazing and performance smooth, I found that FS9 with a FSX machine was actually the simulation I wanted – not a lot of reason to invest in more stuff. Maybe once the PMDG MD-11 comes out in FS9 that will be another must have since they believe in quality and support. Also, maybe PMDG could put some winglets on their legacy 737-900 (hint hint – I would give some $$$ for that).
The some other turn-offs to the hobby that is taking its toll on me are the seemingly half-baked add-ons with marginal quality or attention to detail that some publishers put out (and I have been suckered into too many times with reviews that are more ads than objective articles) – and the publishers who sell themselves as the end-all be all most realistic official add-on creators that charge an arm and a leg for their add-ons and the add-ons for add-ons and add-ons for that and then treat their customers like criminals. Can you believe some of them even issue press releases saying we know the past – we will do better – fool me once….
Anyway, for me at least I am pretty much done with new FSX add-ons unless something seriously changes. I am now very much enjoying FS9 with the existing add-ons and don’t really need anything else for it – it seems to be fine, stable, develop-able – and economical. What does it really need? These would be nice – but not show stoppers – maybe upgrade the water to look and act like FSX – that is really the only reason I wanted FSX anyway. Fix the bluries in photo-scenery vs. all the work-arounds. MegaScenery works great in FSX -to bad it can not get the support in FS9. Multi-core – yes, that would be nice. Maybe DX10? I don’t know what that would get me but my hardware can support it. Anyway, that would be the perfect FS11 for me – all my planes, and scenery from FS9 would work. All FS9 aircraft if well done are always on the to-buy list (more biz-jets please- Hawker, Gulfstream, Falcon).
And for economics – what is better – 15 people buying an affordable well developed $15 add-on (building a customer base and following and feeling good about supporting a great company and not pirating), 5 people buying a $30 add-on, or 2 people buying a $75 add-on-on?
Anyway, I hope 2009 will be a positive turnaround for everyone!
Ignoring politics, the economy and most of all Flight Sim, let me take this opportunity to wish you all a bloody Happy New Year.
Hear, hear! Happy New Year, everybody–we made it through another one. Now let’s armor up and see what’s next…
Happy New Year lets hope this is a prosperous one. You know the motto,”All for one and One for all”. or
“All human wisdom is summed up in two words: wait and hope”
And all the best for the new year from me as well. Happy 2009, R.
Your comment on “dwindling interest all around” gives me a thought. Is intrest dwindling or are flight simmers not all spending $5k for a new computer to run FSX and its upgrades. One metric to i would look for is the number of people flying vs buying. I dont know how to measure this but has VATSIM membership or logged hours gone down.
just a thought
I’m back and I would like to take the opportunity to add my best wishes and greetings to all the others. I shall be up to steam in a day or two and I have a few more reviews lined up too.
What? No hat this year? How fashions change in just a few days absence…
As everyone has said,
Happy New Year. I hope it will be a prosperous and giving one for you all – with or without hat.
Francois, Happy New Year to you and all at Simflight! I hope you have a prosperous year for you and your family as well as Simflight and SimMarket.