The news of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 surprised many when it was announced during the Xbox Games Showcase earlier this week. The ‘next generation’ simulator promises to use all-new technology to build the most immersive and awe-inspiring flight simulator yet.
The announcement then lead many to want to know how third-party content would be handled in the new simulator. Shortly after the announcement, Microsoft confirmed via an FAQ on their site that other than “a very few exceptions”, the vast majority of third-party add-ons will work just fine with the new simulator. Furthermore, add-ons purchased in the marketplace will transfer over to Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.
Despite the FAQ, that hasn’t stopped some in the community from thinking that developers may have to change their plans or will now shift focus to the new sim only. To help circumvent that, many developers have taken to their socials to confirm what their plans are.
Simply put, third-party developers are still fully committed to the current simulator, Microsoft Flight Simulator (2020) and will bring content to the new sim as well.
Of course, all of this information is subject to what the developer SDK is like, but based on public information, it appears that third-party developers need not worry about how their products will work in the new simulator. A number of third-party developers have shared their thoughts on socials.
PMDG made it clear that the announcement does not change anything for them. Like everyone else, the announcement caught them off guard, but are pleased to see that the simulator continues to evolve. Rob from PMDG said, “to put the meat of my point right up front: None of the information we have been able to derive from publicly available sources lends us to believe that any change in our development agenda, product plans, pricing strategy or product release schedule is necessary.” He did caveat that by saying that the information out there at the moment isn’t “the sort of technical and specific detail that we need to make authoritative, specific promises to you, our customers, so our guidance at this time is based upon the overall message Microsoft appears to be communicating- and that message looks like “business as usual” to PMDG.“
Scenery developers like Flightbeam and Pyreegue Dev Co have also commented. Flightbeam said, that customers will not need to re-purchase products for MSFS 2024, likewise, you won’t need to do this if you buy products now for the current simulator. You will be able to transfer your licenses across. Furthermore Flightbeam, like PMDG, confirms that nothing changes in terms of the development schedule. Pyreegue Dev Co simply said that their products will be upgraded for free.
Parallel 42, known for a mix of products in Microsoft Flight Simulator has also confirmed they were blindsided by the announcement. They know as much as us about the new simulator and platform. But they are keen to hear your thoughts on the product.
With Microsoft and Asobo being in attendance at FlightSimExpo 2023, developers and community members alike will be sure to ask the teams for more information. And we’re sure that more developers will also come out of the woodwork to let the community know what their intentions are once more information is shared.
For now, it appears to be a case of business as usual for developers, and the community should continue to go about their usual simulator habits and enjoy the current platform for what it is safe in the knowledge that products will more than likely be accessible for many more years to come.