Yesterday, we partnered with FlightSimExpo to reveal the initial list of exhibitors confirmed to be attending the show in Las Vegas this upcoming June. Just shy of 40 exhibitors were confirmed to attend including software developers, hardware developers and a huge range of various communities.
However, there was one big name missing from that list that I’m sure many simmers were anticipating on seeing. That name, of course, is Microsoft.
Cast your minds back to June of last year and you may remember that Microsoft shared with the world that Flight Simulator was back – in a big way. The initial announcement took place moments after the conclusion of FlightSimExpo 2019 in Orlando when the trailer dropped during Microsoft’s keynote presentation at E3 in LA. Many people questioned why Microsoft wasn’t at FlightSimExpo announcing it to the core audience. Considering the scope and scale of the title, it made sense for the first reveal to take place at a huge gaming convention.
Since then, Microsoft has proven that they are fully engaged with the community – quoting many members of the community and inviting media partners, flight sim enthusiasts and influences to Seattle to try the new simulator. However, it does raise the question of why so far we haven’t seen a firm commitment from the team yet at North America’s biggest flight sim specific show.
When I spoke to Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator during X019 he told me that he is aware of shows such as FlightSimExpo. This is unsurprising considering the amount of engagement we’ve seen via their blogs and interviews with us.
It is important to note that E3 2020, a huge focus for Microsoft as a game developer, does take place from Tuesday 9th June to Thursday 11th June 2020. Only a single day separates E3 and FlightSimExpo 2020, so that may have an influence on the decision.
Of course, the organisers at FlightSimExpo are keen to get Microsoft onboard. Microsoft is certainly engaged with the FlightSimExpo team, but just haven’t yet fully committed to the show. During the premier video yesterday, highlighting the event and initial exhibitors, a member of the FlightSimExpo social team confirmed the following statement:
“Thanks to our various connections in the industry, we’ve been in touch with the right contacts. They’ve expressed an interest, but we aren’t 100% of the way there yet”
Despite the fact that Microsoft, nor Asobo Studios, are in the initial line-up for FlightSimExpo 2020, there’s still plenty of time for them to still get on the list and be at the show. Exhibitor applications close on May 1st 2020, so perhaps Microsoft is waiting to see the community’s reaction to the initial line-up and people asking “where are they?”
When we spoke to Phil Coyle, FlightSimExpo Co-Founder, he added that “We’re very excited to see this early support for our upcoming show in Las Vegas. Having more than half of our exhibit hall sold out in less than 2 weeks is a great start. Now, it’s time for Microsoft to join every other simulation platform and get involved!”
He went onto say that “As a community-driven event, FlightSimExpo is the place in North America for developers who care about the simulation community to connect with their supporters. It’s important for Microsoft to come out and meet the people who have kept this brand and industry thriving for the past 11 years.”
Hopefully, with the support of the community, Microsoft will see that there is a clear desire for there to be some representation during FlightSimExpo 2020. Thousands of people will all be hoping to see them at the show to hopefully get their hands on what will be a revolutionary new simulator. If you, the community, want to see Microsoft at the show, this is your time to let your voices be heard. Our community is strong, vocal and able to influence so let’s come together to bring one of the companies that brought us all together in the first place.
Despite the hiatus in flight simulation, Microsoft, please know that the community welcomes you with open arms to Las Vegas on June 12th – 14th 2020.