Microsoft’s latest blog post update has been released and features a range of new information concerning the closed beta, the developer marketplace and also an update on the SDK. As mentioned on the latest blog post, it’s now just been over a year since the initial E3 trailer reveal and the community has been intrigued ever since. Microsoft continued by saying “we will continue working closely with the community. We will continue listening and reacting to your feedback and suggestions. We will continue updating our website, documents (e.g. Development Roadmap/Feedback Snapshot/SDK Updates), and working collaboratively with the community to build this product/platform/franchise.”
Whilst previously announced to release on July 30th, the team has confirmed that the Closed Beta will now release for Alpha Testers starting today. Described as a special thank you for the team of alpha testers, the new Closed Beta is a way to try out some of the new features in preparation for release.
However, it should be known that as of July 23rd 2020, invitations for the Closed Beta will also go out to those still awaiting an invite.
Announced today is the start of the new Microsoft Marketplace Program. Microsoft said that “we recognize that creations by 3rd parties are a vital ingredient to broaden and deepen the Flight Simulation experience so we are excited to announce our Marketplace Partner Program which enables approved partners to sell content within our built-in Marketplace.”
The new Marketplace is the first time simmers can download and buy products directly from the simulator. Based on an Agency Model, it means that developers and publishers can set their own prices, see their sales and get paid directly from the system itself. Whilst the Marketplace exists as a way to make distribution easier, Microsoft confirmed that developers and publishers can continue to retail their products via their own stores and platforms. Orbx, for example, confirmed that they will still sell their products via OrbxDirect as well as on the Marketplace.
On the website, there is a full FAQ on how developers and publishers can join, along with detailed information on what to expect.
Alongside the news of the Marketplace Program, Microsoft spoke to how the SDK has been updated. In particular, documentation for the living world, airport services, jetways and more have been updated and new samples of aircraft and jetways were also added to help developers understand the building blocks of the simulator.
The team said they are making good progress with the SDK based on developer feedback.