ProjectFLY has sent out a mass email to its community, giving an overview on the current status of the application, along with information about the new subscription tiers and also how the community can financially support the platform.
In the email delivered from Matt at Mettar Simulations, due to the “intensive growth” since the project came to fruition three years ago, operating costs are “astronomical.” Over the past few months, Matt has said that he has been covering the costs out of his own pocket, but looking ahead to the future, that would no longer be financially viable.
In the email, Matt suggests that there are two options to sustain the costs of operations to ensure that ProjectFLY remains part of simmer’s daily process. The first of which is to seek an investor from people in the financial world. The challenge with that would mean operating ProjectFLY for profit, which is not the ethos Mettar Simulations want to take for the application. Without a way to profit, investors simply wouldn’t be interested in the platform. Matt also said that doesn’t want corporate heads poking their “nose around [his] business & dictating what [they] can and cannot do.”
The second option is to go to the community to ask for donations to keep up the maintenance of ProjectFLY. As already said, Matt is not interested in profiting from ProjectFLY, but any donations received will go into the operating costs of running the site. Those services were also detailed in the email, including Google Cloud Platform, Rackspace, Cloudflare, Slack, Gandi, Twilio and more. Many of those services are what keep ProjectFLY running on a daily basis including a CDN, drive systems, SMS platform and the site servers themselves. If the donation idea is successful, then Matt has said that he “will get our developers to create a section of the website/app where you can see, transparently, the level of support we’re receiving with some sort of goal.” Anything left over will then be pot into a pot for when they may actually need it (example given was to hire someone to do a task with urgency). Matt also said that he would like to work with the community to create a recognition system for those that donate.
In terms of how the community can support ProjectFLY. As announced during FlightSimExpo, once version 4 of the application is released, two new subscription tiers will be released. The £6.99 per month tier will open up the new dispatcher system. This price has been decided as it “breaks even” with AviationCloud, who bill Mettar Simulations per flight plan generated. Matt went onto say that this tier, if “significantly more people subscribe” then that may bring a profit. Matt assures the community they will be transparent throughout. This new version is said to be “around the corner”, after missing its initial end-of-June release date.
In addition to the £6.99 tier, it was re-confirmed that a supporter tier will also be in place for a minimum monthly donation of £0.99. Based on the details from FlightSimExpo 2019, that tier will give unlimited airline schedules, 15-second radar refresh rates and also entry into a monthly giveaway draw.
These two subscription-based services will replace the current silver/gold tiers. If you are paying £4.99 for Gold subscription membership under the old system, you will be automatically moved to a support subscription for £4.99 under the new one. There’s no information on whether donating more or less will give you additional perks.
Towards the end of the email, Matt suggested multiple ways in which people can donate to ProjectFLY. The first mentioned way was to use the subscription system built into the older version of ProjectFLY. It still enables users to subscribe to the silver or gold tiers (£2.99 / £4.99), but since Version 3 of the application, many of the unlockable features are fully available even on a free account. If you wish to support ProjectFLY that way, you can do so by signing into your account here. There is also an internal ProjectFLY donation page where you can select how much and how often you pay. Again, this runs on the old system and is purely for donation purposes. The final way it was suggested people can donate is through the Mettar Simulations PayPal account.
Matt concluded the email by saying that ProjectFLY “isn’t doomed, dying or anything in between” and that he is “simply taking precautions early on to ensure ProjectFLY continues to thrive.” Matt has assured that they will find a solution irrespective of what avenue they may end up taking.
You can find more about Mettar Simulations and ProjectFLY on their respective websites.