Yesterday, Positive Control Network (POSCON), posted a cryptic Facebook message stating that the company would be injecting $50,000 into “continued development” of a well-known online flight simulation network. Whilst there was a lot of speculation in regards to which network that was, Matt Davies – newly appointed Lead Technical Manager – confirmed via Facebook that it is indeed VATSIM.
Matt went onto say that if people want their stats and history transferred over to POSCON, then this deal is the only way it will happen. Whilst the wording may have suggested the offer is to invest into VATSIM with that network to continue, the posts on Discord suggest this is actually an offer to buyout VATSIM altogether.
We reached out to Matt for comment regarding the situation. Here is his full statement:
The Flight Sim scene over the past decade has grown immensely with both its user-base and the quality of products being released. I’ve been flying now for over 12 years and one thing that hasn’t moved with the times is the mainstream online flying networks. It’s not up-to-date by today’s standards and yet it still has an active user-base, mainly due to the fact that there’s a minimal amount of alternative services. This is where POSCON comes in. POSCON is being built from the ground-up by a team of very skilled developers. However, no matter how skilled you are in your field, if you have no guidance on the direction of the project, then you essentially hit a brick wall. This is why I’ve taken over as Lead Technical Manager, to offer my experience in team management, project management and to be able to move things forward for POSCON in a timely manner.
The offer that we submitted to VATSIM is a reasonable one and regardless of what people say, we have the best intentions at heart – the community. People have been crying out for a better, up-to-date network for years and nothing has surfaced from VATSIM, despite all of their promises over the last decade. If VATSIM accept the offer, when POSCON is released, we can transfer all existing VATSIM user data, thus meaning you get to keep everything intact. The idea is to have one “go-to network” that everyone, both pilots AND controllers can benefit from. The features that we are developing are second-to-none in comparison to what’s available today and will really change the online flying experience for the better. I get that I am not liked by everyone but if we’re being realistic, there isn’t anyone that exists on this planet that has the ability to please everyone.
At the end of the day, POSCON/projectFLY/Simstall, although I’m a part of it, it’s not just me – there is an entire team behind it of varying personalities and skill sets. Don’t discount them because you dislike me. Give it time, have a little faith in our ability and I can promise you that we will deliver what you’ve always wanted. To end – I’ve seen some talk of people being worried about “splits”. Quite simply, there won’t be. If there’s no other network that will be able to compete with the features that POSCON will offer, then essentially, where will everyone go? Be excited, enjoy the build up as much as the finished product – life isn’t always about instant gratification. Be a part of it.
Right now, the decision lies with the founders of VATSIM as to whether the offer is to be accepted or denied. This offer is on the table for a limited time. However, it is not known for how long, nor when will the community find out the outcome from the offer. We have reached out to VATSIM for comment on the situation. We’ll update the article once we know more.
It should also be noted that whilst Matt is the Lead Technical Manager for POSCON, the company is owned by other people. They have yet to comment on the situation, but have been contacted to establish a detailed response.
Update [edited]: Gunnar Lindahl, President of the Board of Governors of VATSIM, had previously stated in a post on Facebook that they have not heard anything from POSCON, contradicting the statement above. He also stated that VATSIM is changing and looking for people with the required skills to join them – keeping the communication open.
When FSElite reached out to Gunnar for comment regarding the most recent statement by POSCON he denied to comment, instead saying;
When we are ready to respond publicly we will do so and we’d be happy to provide a statement to you – as you can imagine these things aren’t immediate as VATSIM is not a full time job for anyone.
Update 2 (Aug 4 2018 1030z): We have edited the above update for clarity following concerns from affected parties that the former iteration of the update may have been misleading and inaccurate.