For a while now, developers and customers have been vocal about their displeasure with the MSFS Marketplace intake times. From new add-ons looking to be released, to simple updates of existing ones, the content intake process for the Marketplace is very long, leading to displeasure among the user base. Microsoft has taken note of this, and finally, in their latest development update, outlined a plan to make the content testing process more streamlined and “empower our MSFS Marketplace Partners”.
At the moment, once developers submit their content to the MSFS Marketplace, Microsoft runs this content through a testing process to see if it’s fit for release on the Marketplace. In the plan that has been outlined by Microsoft, functional testing of an add-on will instead be moved to the developer. This will first and foremost remove the bottleneck from Microsoft to test all the add-ons. Secondly, since the content creator knows their own add-ons the best, they will be able to say when their product “meets the bar for release”. Last but not least, it will remove a lengthy communication process between Microsoft and developers when content does not meet the standards and issues are found that may need to be rectified.
The plan outlined goes a bit more into depth on additional policy changes that come with this new plan, such as hardware requirements (Xbox Series S/X or Xbox Cloud Gaming) for developers. As the new plan is not optional, Microsoft will no longer do functional testing and will not reproduce issues that are reported by developers. The whole policy, as well as more details on the outlined plan, can be found in the original announcement. The changes are set to come into effect on March 24th.