Microsoft are shutting down Microsoft Flight in October, they announced only last week It's a sad, small death for what was once of The Big Names in PC gaming. Well, sort of. This week brings news that as Microsoft Flight prepares to fly off into the sunset, Microsoft's fly 'em ups will live on in an unexpected way. Train Simulator creators Dovetail Games have licensed the rights to Microsoft's tech, planning to start making their own flying machines. They're also re-releasing ye olde Microsoft Flight Sim X on Steam later this year.
The deal gives Dovetail the rights to "develop and publish all-new flight products based on Microsoft's genre-defining flight technology," the announcement says. Supposedly they're "currently investigating new concepts in this area," planning to release something next year.
To tide people over, they'll release Flight Sim X on Steam, bundling the Deluxe Edition up with its Acceleration expansion as Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition. Or, you know, the Gold Edition, as it used to be called.
Beyond that, what they're up to is anyone's guess. Presumably they're using Flight's basic code, then plotting their own flight plan. Our Tim Stone quite enjoyed the free-to-play core of Flight, though many grumbled that it wasn't sim-y enough, and too much was DLC. The recent sim boom shows there's certainly a market for serious simulators (and sure, gag ones too), so perhaps Dovetail will head in that direction. As for DLC, well, Dovetail do like their DLC. Train Simulator 2013 has a whopping 176 DLC packs, with a combined ticket price of £2,404.24. Part of Flight's DLC problem was people's expectations, though.
Dovetail are branching out a fair bit lately, also getting into fishing simulators.
Microsoft recently swore blind for the umpteenth time that they're starting to look more seriously at PC games again. I wonder if this is part of that plan, or acceptance that they won't be making flight sims again so they may as well get something for code they just had lying around.