Popular freeware development team, FlyByWire Simulations, has today announced that their A32NX freeware aircraft will not return to the Microsoft Flight Simulator Marketplace. The news comes from their latest news blog post and cites multiples reasons as to why this is the case.
Initially, the A32NX was removed from the in-sim Marketplace due to incompatibility with Sim Update V. However, that was resolved fairly soon afterwards, but there has been a question as to when the product would then return. It is now understood that the freeware aircraft will not return due to numerous reasons. The first being a change in licensing terms. As of July 4th, the source code and license returned to GPL-3.0 from an MIT license. As a result of legal concerns from Microsoft, GPL-licensed projects are not permitted on the Marketplace. Whilst a separate fork of the A32NX was made, it became clear that maintaining this separate version was a challenge.
Another challenge for the team was the limited SDK. Whilst the team said things have improved since the release of the sim, there are many key functions that can’t be achieved within the simulator and requires some components to run outside of the sim. This again means that it wouldn’t be possible to allow the product to be distributed through the in-sim Marketplace.
In addition to all of this, it was confirmed that an Xbox-compatible version of the aircraft will also not happen. Alongside the limitations above, the team also considered that the support and QA required by the team of volunteers would be overwhelming and unmanageable.
FlyByWire hopes that the community will understand the decision, but want to reassure that they remain committed to bringing a detailed and accurate rendition of the A320neo to Microsoft Flight Simulator.