Home » Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 reveal causes a stir

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 reveal causes a stir

Screenshot from the reveal of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024

Microsoft and Asobo Studios have lighted quite a fire within the sim community with the surprise reveal of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, which served as one of the marquee announcements from the June 2023 Xbox Games Showcase.

The completely “brand-new” sim, as it is officially being described, will serve as the “next-generation” of the Flight Simulator series. It builds upon the already established 2020 release of Microsoft Flight Simulator, by introducing players to the power behind a “significantly evolved Asobo Studio engine.” As its reveal trailer demonstrates, this will result in an even higher level of graphical fidelity, a factor that MSFS2020 has already been pushing, with amazing weather effects such as tornadoes and more in-depth gameplay features. Players will be able to take on roles in various aviation careers such as aerial rescue ops, aerial fire fighting, aerial construction and much more. Despite the exciting content shown off in the trailer, however, this announcement has been met with both praise and worry.

“The next generation of a legendary franchise”

The existing Microsoft Flight Simulator has made a name for itself primarily due to its long tail of support. Since launch, Microsoft and Asobo have committed to frequent updates. Originally monthly, the support rollout has been altered to release new updates within due time, with a focus on quality over quantity as of 2022. Along with that, there have been several free content injections, such as the recent 40th Anniversary Update which brought with it a variety of high-fidelity historical aircraft that were completely free of charge.

In addition to Asobo’s own efforts, third-party studios like PMDG and Aerosoft have only now began to release a wealth of payware add-ons, as it took time for these studios to get their footing with the sim’s tools. Meanwhile, consumers have now invested money into the sim because of this payware content; not counting time and money spent with their hardware setups. What this all boils down to is that despite the fact that MSFS2020 came out four years ago, it has only recently hit its stride.

That’s where the controversy lies surrounding the reveal of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.

Many sim fans took to social media with confusion as to what would happen to their existing sim. “Will there be a discount for returning players?” “Why couldn’t this just be an update?” “This was supposed to be a 10-year project, what happened?” All of these are examples of the many questions that customers had.

Screenshot from the reveal of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024

Several hours after the initial reveal, Asobo finally released an FAQ on its website that answered some of the community’s concerns.

To summarize, “almost all” content from the existing Marketplace will be completely compatible and freely transferrable to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024, including aircraft and airports. This is a very important detail that brought some relief to the community. Asobo also chose to answer as to whether or not MSFS2020 would be supported further.

In addition to the already confirmed support Roadmap that currently stretches out until the end of July, the 2020 variant of the sim will “continue” to be supported “post the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 launch”. Asobo did not specify what sort of support this would entail, however. Is this just tech support, or continued major updates and content releases? For now, that is all very much up in the air, along with the continued question as to how Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 will be priced for returning simmers.

Oddly enough, the latter question is spelt out verbatim in the FAQ, but not explicitly answered at all. Asobo only mentions how the 2024 variant is a “standalone simulator and the next-generation sequel to Microsoft Flight Simulator that launched in 2020,” before then going on to confirm the aforementioned transferrable content.

So, for now, the official answer just seems to be “it’s a sequel”. Thus by ‘reading between the lines’, as it may be, customers should expect to pay for it as its own product.

The messaging behind this forthcoming release has been cryptic at best. From the delay in the FAQ, to the fact that third-party studios have come forth to say they’re just as surprised as consumers with the announcement. Microsoft and Asobo clearly held this card to their chest and it really makes you wonder why.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 will launch next year for PC via Steam/Microsoft Store/Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Series X|S.

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