It’s the end of another month, and that means it’s time to look back. Last month you were able to read how we post news articles here at FSElite. What goes into an article and what process it goes through before you can read it on our website. This month, we’re back with looking at the most popular (and controversial) news of the last month.
Let’s start with what you thought was the most interesting news in the last month. You can probably already guess it: Milviz. Not with their ATR Kickstarter, which I’ll come back to in a bit, but with their announcement of the ATR (Prepar3D) price. And right away, we get into a bit of a sensitive area, with addon pricing. Milviz announced they are looking to price their ATR between $120 and $150. However, it is entirely unsure what the currency is they were thinking of when giving this price indicator. Many believe, due to the context their comment was given, this was referring to CAD, – making the total between $90USD and $130USD (€80-€100). The confusion about the currency was pointed out to us after publishing the original article, though we did amend the post.
Some people rushed to comment sections to defend the pricing model, talking about the high quality of Milviz addons. Others seemed to completely disagree with that, saying their addons were ‘good at best’. Then there were those, myself included, that compared it to other addons in the same price range. Though for now that it still a little bit hard to do, as none of us know what Milviz’s ATR exactly will bring when it comes to system depth and quality.
And because we don’t know yet what Milviz will bring to the table exactly, I’m going to hold off on saying whether I think this price is too high or not. This has also to do with the price range being too big at the moment to make any assumptions. I will say, that on the lowest end of the range you will find another great turboprop by a different developer, as well as some amazing long- and short haul planes with great depth and quality. On the high end of that range, you’re close to competing with the best of the industry and you’ll need to offer a very high quality product to justify being in that price range, in my opinion.
And that wasn’t all we heard from Milviz in the last month. As if they were trying to win a price for ‘most controversial news’, they also announced they were looking to Kickstart their ATR development for X-Plane. That’s right: Milviz was asking the community to donate money to fund the research for bringing the ATR to X-Plane. And here’s the kicker: you don’t even get the plane as a product if you pledge less than $135CAD. They did later announce that people pledging less than the aforementioned amount will receive a discount corresponding with the amount of money they pledged, but by then the damage was already done. Besides, though they announced this on Facebook, the Kickstarter page itself doesn’t mention this change yet, so we’ll have to see if they follow through with it in the end. Unfortunately it’s a bit hard for us to confirm their position on this, as they didn’t respond to our requests to comment on the matter after we reached out to them.
Many can probably remember another plane that users were able to pre-order from Milviz many years ago. Indeed, I am referring to the King Air 350. A plane that many were very excited about, and remain, still hasn’t been released. Over the years, Milviz has continued to add insult to injury by refusing to give customers a full refund (only 50%), though they did release an alpha for the plane early on in the second half of 2018. Not the smoothest track-record for them when it comes to pre-ordering, if you will.
But that wasn’t all that was big this month, and many of us were happy to see some long awaited releases of some of our favourite planes. Prepar3D v4.4 released some months ago already, and support for PBR has slowly been making its way into our simulator addons, such as with ImagineSims Singapore. We were happy to finally add QualityWings amazing Boeing 787 Dreamliner to this list, as well as PMDG’s ever so gorgeous Queen Of The Skies. Right in time for VATSIM’s ‘Cross The Pond’, where several hundreds of simmers flew from East to West. ProjectyFLY also registered a new record for itself, with over a thousand people flying simultaneously for the first time ever.
There was also some small, but popular news regarding a very unexpected release: the VirtualCol
Bombardier C-Series Airbus A220. VirtualCol is probably not know for creating the highest fidelity addons, but they do cover a big range of aircraft that would otherwise never make their way into our sim. They are also definitely not expensive, and this is probably the only Airbus A220 we will see for quite some time. Though there still is some hope from Whiskey Jet Simulations, also working on an Airbus A220. Unfortunately, they are developing for FSX, and it remains yet to be seen if the plane will even come to Prepar3D v4 and higher.
With all that said, I think we can look back on March as a great month with many releases for our favourite addons, some (mostly) hopeful news about some upcoming ones and, depending on where you like to fly, you were hopefully finally able to stop de-icing your plane making sure you could stick to your schedule.