It’s the end of the month again, meaning it’s time to look back. And the first month of 2019 certainly has brought us some interesting discussions. About Aerosoft, for example, or Captain Sim, who seemed to develop a competition of who could get the community the most outraged.
Luckily it wasn’t all outrageous, and a lot of good things happened in this first month. A lot of exciting updates for some of our beloved aircraft are on the horizon, such as PMDG’s Queen of the Skies II or QualityWings’ 787, BAe146 and 757. And, on another positive (and personal) note, I finally got my PC back up. You may recall I had to put it away for the time being, due to a home redecoration project. This project lasted a lot longer than I had anticipated and hoped. But everything is done and I can finally start my sim again after three months. After I have spent another three on installing all my addons, that is. And those mobile sims I wrote about? Yes, I promise I’ll get back to you about that sometime in the future.
And yes, the careful and aware reader may have noticed I totally skipped my December review. I do apologise. I simply could not find the time between family and holidays.
I already mentioned it above: a lot of outrage happened in the last month. Captain Sim started with releasing their much anticipated 757 Freighter expansion. However, the price of this extension was a lot steeper than many had initially thought, or were willing to pay. As such, a lot of people decided to come together on different fora and discussion places. Adding fuel to the fire, Captain Sim released a statement trying to justify their pricing scheme. A statement that, in my opinion, seemed quite ignorant.
When I did my review of the Captain Sim 757 back in February of last year, I noted that it was indeed a great plane. And I still stand by that. Their rendition of the 757 is still absolutely beautiful and it works well. But it also has some shortcomings, bugs and issues. Some of these have been fixed, but many of them haven’t and thus still persist. Captain Sim has also decided on an expansion strategy with a rather high price for their expansions, something I also made a note of in my review. Back then I noted that the 757, with all expansions and Captain Sim’s previous expansion pricing in the back of my mind, the total price of this addon could well add up to the price of some of the most expensive and highest fidelity addons, such as PMDG’s 747 or FSLabs A320. However, Captain Sim decided on a pricing strategy that was even higher than what I had initially thought.
Adding insult to injury, Captain Sim took a defensive stance by saying that their addon is the most advanced and complete freighter ever built for a desktop sim. They also came up with some rather childish examples to justify the price, stating that it was as expensive as a restaurant meal or a bottle of liquor (or pool shoes…). When some people, myself included, commented on this, the responses of Captain Sim were nothing shy of ignorant. They pride themselves on modelling the entire flight deck, including cargo cabin, lavatory and other stuff. I am sure there are some people that care about this, but I am also sure that most people would be happy without those if that meant they could pay less. And to call your aircraft the “most advanced and complete” in the face of addons that are clearly more advanced left a very bitter taste in my mouth. It’s more than fine to be proud of your addon, but you shouldn’t lie to yourself or to your customers.
After a mere few days, Captain Sim released a “lightweight” version of their freighter expansion that doesn’t feature the modelled cargo cabin and only one engine variant. Only $20 less and there’s not even upgrade pricing available in case you want to get the full freighter expansion. I decided to hold off on buying the freighter expansion, despite how much I was looking forward to it. $50 is too much for me to justify for this addon. And hopefully we have got QualityWings 757 slowly flying in to our horizon; that might give the Captain Sim a bit of a run for its money.
Then there was also a short outrage regarding Aerosoft. I don’t know how they do it, but they seem to come back in every monthly review that I make. I don’t want to say too much about it. One of our own people, Calum, asked some questions that Aerosoft seemed rather unwilling or unhappy to answer. However, in that particular forum it was told that any and all questions were welcome. A simple “we won’t answer this as it concerns internal information” would have sufficed.
Aerosoft also has an issue of overly enthusiast moderators that will remove, ban or silence people that don’t agree, creating a nice safe space for themselves. They are not the only one to do this, unfortunately, it is a practice that is rather common. But it’s bad when people can’t openly ask critical questions about product updates that were promised to them when they purchased a product, and have suddenly been cancelled. Aerosoft to me used to be a very customer centric company, and it’s sad to see they have taken a turn on that stance.
Now I don’t want to dwell on in the negativity, but I did want to address these points and my opinion on them. Luckily, as I said before, there was also a lot of exciting news this month. The articles that you, our readers, also seemed to like the most. We got a preview of PMDG’s already amazing Boeing 747 with PBR textures. Seeing these textures made me realise that I bought this plane a long time ago and have still not flown it. I really ought to, it seems like so much fun.
But that wasn’t our only PBR preview for the month. QualityWings decided to tease us with some 787 PBR screenshots as well. And it seems they have been working on remote CDU functionality too, something I am maybe even more excited about than PBR.
As for my expectations for the coming month? Orbx. A whole lot of Orbx, with all those True Earth sceneries they are pumping out.