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New Flight Simulator & Microsoft Flight Simulator X Coming to Steam

Posted on Mon, 14 Jul 2014 11:41:28 GMT
Last updated Tue, 18 Nov 2014 16:10:11 GMT

Announced last week, Dovetail Games - the company behind the successful Train Simulator franchise have announced that they have acquired the rights to distribute Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold Edition.  They have also announced that they have signed a global licensing deal, "granting them the rights to develop and publish all-new flight products based on Microsoft's genre-defining flight technology".

Dovetail Games, Flight Simulator X and Steam logos.

Dovetail Games plan to release Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold Edition on Steam as a downloadable product called, "Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition".

"I am delighted to be working in partnership with Microsoft as part of this agreement," said Paul Jackson, CEO of Dovetail Games. "We are thrilled to be exploring new flight simulation opportunities using Microsoft's technology, and look forward to using our extensive expertise of Steam publishing to successfully bring Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition to a broad new audience on the Steam platform. This partnership is perfectly timed to support our expansion into new areas of simulation."

So this is massive news for the flight simulation industry.  Not only will we see X-Plane on Steam, but now we'll also be able to see the even more popular Microsoft Flight Simulator X available as a downloadable product.

Hopefully this will create a greater community following and expand the community by drawing in new users of the software.  This is also great news for payware developers too as it will create a bigger marketplace.

We haven't heard any word on how the add-on system will change (or remain the same) - but we can presume we can continue using all of the freeware packages just as we do now with a current Flight Simulator X installation - this includes aircraft packages, scenery and utilities available from all of the add-on sites we have come to love.

"When it comes to licensing our simulation engine, Dovetail Games is the obvious choice for us to work with. We respect their approach in terms of delivering premium quality simulation games and look forward to seeing their vision of the next chapter in flight simulations unfold," said Kevin Perry, Executive Producer at Microsoft. "In addition to that, they have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to launch simulation products successfully via online platforms, making them the ideal partner to distribute Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition."

We presume that this new "Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition" will remain the same in terms of core code - i.e. there will be no upgraded engine, environment or anything like that - it will be the stock code that Microsoft created and all Dovetail Games will be doing is distributing it via Steam.

A New Flight Simulator in the Works based on Flight Simulator X

Also announced in the same press release from Dovetail Games is the suggestion of a brand new flight simulator release some time in 2015.  The actual quote from the release states, "The company is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.".  

As well as claiming the distribution rights to Flight Simulator X, Dovetail Games have also purchased a global licensing deal with Microsoft, "granting them the rights to develop and publish all-new flight products based on Microsoft's genre-defining flight technology."

So by the sounds of it, they will be developing a brand new flight simulator release based on the existing FSX code.  This is big news for the industry - really big news.  We are assuming that the product released will be called "Flight Simulator 2015" - dropping the "Microsoft" prefix.

Dovetail Games have been in the industry a while and know what they're doing when it comes to simulation.  They are masters of train simulation - and although aircraft and trains are very different, the technology and expertise that goes behind creating software of this kind is essentially the same.

We are all hoping that Dovetail Games continue with the option of third-party add-ons and expansions just as we are used to with the Microsoft series.  If the expansion system is "closed" and we have to rely on paid DLC (downloadable content) like in Microsoft Flight, we're going to be back to square one again.  Unlike Microsoft Flight, we're confident that Dovetail Games will do it right this time.

This really is a hot topic so I would love if you could post your comments, thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.  Also don't forget to "share"!

About Ian Stephens

is a Flight Simulation enthusiast with a keen interest in aviation and technology. He has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.

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43 comments... read them below or add one

Les RickmanMon, 14 Jul 2014 13:28:27 GMT

Will this mean that the bugs in Microsoft Flight sim X Gold will have the bugs dealt with?

Ian PiersonMon, 14 Jul 2014 13:30:37 GMT

I have been an avid user of Microsoft flight simulators since 2004 and have watched with great interest as real world cockpits take on more and more of the appearance of a simulator. It would be wonderful to see development of this type of glass cockpit extended by flight simulators. Happy simming Ian

Kevin GrahamMon, 14 Jul 2014 13:48:42 GMT

I really hope the multi player functionality is reinstated and revitalized. In my opinion that's what made Flight Sim X amazing.

Paul EriksenMon, 14 Jul 2014 13:53:55 GMT

Seems like a good idea. I hope they will be successful. Also I hope the price will be right. Good luck..

Eugene SlabbertMon, 14 Jul 2014 14:48:14 GMT

I have FSX Gold plus Accelerator and on a few occasions I have had to reload the software. When doing so I had to submit my product keys to Microsoft for verification.Does this procedure change at all ?

RobMon, 14 Jul 2014 14:51:28 GMT

I hope the new development will include high definition and full 3D capability plus actual defined scenery. I actually fly in 3D which is quite remarkable but HD is not as good as it should be. Linked with TriDef 3D and putting on the power 3D setting the effect is fantastic - you feel as though you are actually flying. All the buildings, and the hills, and the clouds come to life in the distance.

Joseph ChinniciMon, 14 Jul 2014 15:02:42 GMT

I do miss the ability to play FSX online...I have used Microsoft FS apps going way way back to the first verion i ever used (which was on a Mac Plus)...im sure the version slated for next year will be great....i hope : )

MahlerMon, 14 Jul 2014 15:03:59 GMT

This can not bee right information.

Microsoft have sold there licens to Lockheed Martin (Prepar3D)

Tom DraneMon, 14 Jul 2014 15:37:41 GMT

I do believe that ship has sailed. There is a company, Lockheed Martin, that makes real airplanes already making vast improvements to the spaghetti code MS kept cooking to produce their last Flight Simulator.

Hugh ThompsonMon, 14 Jul 2014 16:32:47 GMT

As some have noticed were does that leave Lockheed Martin, I thought they now had the rights to the MS code. Prepar3D??

Anyway whoever carries on developing the programme coding etc. into something new, I hope they do something better with the Virtual Memory, far to many OOM messages as it is.

Danny O'KeefeMon, 14 Jul 2014 16:43:50 GMT

I am a pilot flying a Cessna 310 mostly , sometimes 172,182. Flying as a private pilot since 1972. I have the Microsoft Flight Simulator X Gold Edition. I have the Saltek Yoke and throttle set up and would consider a better simulator set up to go along with a more sophisticated , updated software. I definitely would buy Flight Simulator 2015 or whatever name if the advances sounded worthy. 3D would be great. Sounds exciting to me

Walter LewisMon, 14 Jul 2014 17:13:30 GMT

This is really good, but you know what might possibly have been even better? Remember when Aerosoft was considering making a replacement for FSX of their own? And then they chickened out, saying in their final analysis that XPlane would be taking over the market. Did that happen? A big NO. Aerosoft would have been great because they are the BEST at listening to their customers to find out what they really want, which is exactly the opposite of what Microsoft has historically done (with a new CEO will MS finally get a clue???) Just shows, some companies have the shutzpa to just make things happen, and others chicken out. Too bad.

Jack JonesMon, 14 Jul 2014 17:30:31 GMT

....does this mean you will have to have a steam account to operate FSX?

JeffMon, 14 Jul 2014 18:09:11 GMT

You will have to have an account with Steam. I have a steam account. And I never use it. All gameplay will have to be online. If you lose your connection you lose your game and have to reconnect and start over. Oh, and never lose your login or password or you'll pull your hair out dealing with steam. I for one will only play the ms flight Sim products I already own if it goes to steam.

CrosswindsMon, 14 Jul 2014 18:25:57 GMT

Looking forward to the day when a new modernized flight sim is introduced! My interest has waned so much over the last year. I am starving for an updated app. X-Plane flight dynamics are very good but graphically it is terrible IMO. Granted the addons are nice in FSX but this is high time that something is done for our community.

Stuart DownsMon, 14 Jul 2014 19:19:11 GMT

Great news, things have moved on a bit since MS version 10 (X). I hope they continue making it a "flight simulator" and not into a GAME... If you want to sell to the Flight Simming people, then you need to give them what they want. Realistic flying variables, Great Scenery, with the ability to expand with add on's. Plus the price has to be right.

Chris SteeleMon, 14 Jul 2014 19:48:58 GMT

I hope they include a fully functional G1000 this time......

JoeMon, 14 Jul 2014 20:35:01 GMT

It seems there is some confusion.... Microsoft never 'sold' the Flight Simulator license to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin rather "negotiated" down with Microsoft, giving them the availability of the Microsoft Flight Simulator X CODE *** (not license). Now, on the other hand with Dove Tail, Microsoft has sold off the Franchising License as a whole to them, granting the rights to develop more products that were originally patented my Microsoft. Hope that clears things up :).

Joe.

Stuart WatersMon, 14 Jul 2014 20:54:12 GMT

If a "new" version of FSX is coming out next year, I shall be most surprised. At most it will be a slightly tweaked edition, which we will have to splash out at least, 25% extra for! Or will it actually be more along the lines of MS Flight, where you have to buy different land masses as you go, to make up Dovetail/Steams extra investment? Remember, you don't get something for nothing! I have this feeling that these people jumping up and down with excitement this year will be poo-pooing it next year!

Rick brownMon, 14 Jul 2014 21:03:32 GMT

Hmmm, I smell a rat here. This could seriously alter how the current fsx install functions. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Watching with caution.

Murray AyataMon, 14 Jul 2014 21:25:17 GMT

to get the best result market vise they had to hire me and all entire pmdg and milviz and cerenado team and of course orbx othervise it vont work dear CEO

yvan de groeveTue, 15 Jul 2014 05:18:58 GMT

hoping for better prices and aswell even better quality no changes needing for the old vergine of flx ?????????????????

JonathanTue, 15 Jul 2014 06:39:08 GMT

Wow. I think that this would be great and I am a great prospective customer. I do hope that you really take it to heart just how much money some of us have spend on addons, so that you will really do your best to find a way to allow us to continue using many of them. I realize that this is a tall order, but just to speak for me, I would have to see such an ultra-realistic fully 3D capable wonder program to say that i would forgo all of the prior investments to be able to jump on board with a completely different program that does not support the older things...... and I mean it would require close to a miracle, because my investment with FSX including software and hardware has been immense. So, personally, I suggest finding a good compromise, allowing us to continue with much of what we have, even if we won´t have the ultimate state-of-the-art something or other.

Pro MemberMaldo860Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:10:02 GMT

For crying out loud the first improvement should be like Rob said above, support for 3d HD. I use Nvidia TV 3d Play software and it requires 1920 x 1080 at 24 hz screen refresh rate for hd. The other option which is the only one given is 1280 x 720 at 60 hz. 3d runs at 720 and it looks OK but not hd therefore making gauges almost unreadable and the outside plane look very aliased even using sophisticated anti aliasing settings. 3d is catching up and they should take this into consideration.

Pro MemberMaldo860Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:23:20 GMT

The only thing that will make this new fs worthwhile is in terms of improving performance using the new hardware tech available out there. Another must is utilizing all cores in the cpu and an absolute must, is making it 64 bit so it can benefit with the extra memory available in the system. FSX is 32 bit therefore it uses only 3 gigs of memory. I have 32 gigs and is not utilized at all, only 3 gigs. There is no need to improve graphics because the myriad of ad dons out there have taken care of this. Heck, do this and charge me $80.00 and I'll be the first customer.

JostytostyTue, 15 Jul 2014 21:18:56 GMT

This is realy a -wait and see- kind of thing. P3D is all ready very updated with HD graphic possibilities and much improved Autogen. Run's smooth for hours. Shadows of cloud over the country side and lighting effects in your 3D cockpit make the P3D world more believable then ever. It's still 32bit and based on the FSX code. A true 64 bit FSX type of sim would be great. I think this will not happen with FSX-Gold by these Dove people. Making the 32 bit code 64 bit would take more than just a year [P3D updates took abaut 2 years] Will we see the "MS Flight" disaster all over again? A nice simulator that has to be run on the internet and no addons that you allready own working on it. No 3rd party addons for it ? Let's hope I'm wrong and let's hope the Dove Tail people have true simmers in mind, not an Internet based goldmine. For now I'am very pelased with P3D and will stick to it until it's proven that the DoveTail FSX is realy great with no Steam errors, smooth running in HD and 64 bits.

TonyWed, 16 Jul 2014 04:03:22 GMT

Steam - I found their 'GRID 2' 3D car & game rendition really good. But although I bought it, they still seem to think they own it. Once installed it's right in your face. Every time I power up my computer, there right in the middle of MY desktop is their pop-up demanding I log on to play or close the program. I would rather it sat quietly in the background as all other software does, until I wish to access it. I believe Microsoft Flight Sim is the best, but like all things needs to evolve or be forgotten. So I'm for 64 Bit - 3D HD - Free Add-Ons - and especially Aircraft Sim evolution like VRSimulations Superbug.

Malcolm EsterhuizenThu, 17 Jul 2014 08:44:30 GMT

If it's coming to Steam, I'm not interested. I'll stick with the DVD-based old stuff I'm using at present, X-Plane and Flightsim -X.

Pro MemberU2michuggyThu, 17 Jul 2014 08:52:55 GMT

It appears to me that the comments regarding Lockheed Martin having all rights to Microsoft FSX Code for its' Prepar3d simulator are entirely true, I can therefore only presume that Dove Tail have bought the rights to develop "Microsoft Flight" ......yawn, someone wake me up when there is news of a viable new Flight Sim.

Alan olivierSat, 19 Jul 2014 06:20:27 GMT

I am also sticking to my dvd and other fsx after market purchases. I have formula 1 2013 which uses a steam account and because I had to reformat my hard drive, I have not been able to get my account back with steam, just to get technical help on the phone is a nightmare and the cost is an absolute rip off.

FlightloverThu, 24 Jul 2014 21:35:04 GMT

Lets pray for everything its worth, that this time it will be 100% good!!!!! i mean a good solid FLIGHT SIMULATOR!!!!

Derek SmithFri, 08 Aug 2014 15:45:45 GMT

Hello I use train simulator 2014 and I am very impressed with it, I have had every Microsoft Flight Sim since 1998 an still using it I am sure it will be in safe hands with Dove Tail and Steam looking forward to its release.

Pro MemberMaldo860Fri, 08 Aug 2014 21:39:57 GMT

I see a couple of people complaining about Steam and it's making some simmers who don't know about Steam quite nervous. I have been using Steam for almost 8 years and never had an issue with the service. I find it very convenient and useful. I have 4 computers and they let me download the games I own and have access and have 4 users using the games at the same time, (not the same one).

When I don't play a game for a while I uninstall it and save hard disk space. When I want to play it again I just download and install it again. There is no limit. When there is an error in the game, they fix it for you automatically by verifying the cache files. They update them automatically when available. The customer support is very good at least to my experience. They take care of your games. I have over 37 games and never had a problem playing them. I don't have to have internet connection to play them if I don't want to. In that case I have the option to play Offline with no issues simply because the game is installed in the computer and not in Steam Cloud. I hope this clarifies any concerns.

David WSat, 30 Aug 2014 17:33:05 GMT

They should let you activate your FSX product key on Steam so you can play the game from there even if you've only got the disc, rather than have to repurchase it from Steam.

Pro MemberantonvsMon, 01 Sep 2014 23:30:56 GMT

This should or could be exciting news but as has been noted in previous posts there could be some catches and I will wait to see what happens.

To put this into perspective I spent $69 on MS-FSX and have since spent over $3000 on third party addons. So my interest in a new Dovetail/Flight1 product would only be if:

1. It was 64Bit and using multi-cores 2. Third party addons are not locked out 3. PC based install (not internet based) 4. Networked flights re-instated 5. No Flight1 registration system employed (I loathe it)

I agree with others here, it seems unlikely a full upgrade to FSX can be achieved by 2015 as code would only have been made available after the new Licencing deal was made.

So lets wait and see. Otherwise I'm quite happy in my FSX+addon world for now. I guess all I really need is to have a more stable system with less (no) OOM crashes.

Eric Von TrapMon, 22 Sep 2014 23:02:59 GMT

Just wondered if Steam will intergrate with the original DVD version. e.g. If one has a damaged disc, will one be able to use Steam instead.

MineTue, 28 Oct 2014 21:38:09 GMT

Minecraft Flight Simulator would be awesome.

Michael DohertySun, 02 Nov 2014 06:43:05 GMT

I've got a brand new computer with substantial memory and graphics capability running on Windows 8.1 and there's nothing that Windows dislikes more than Microsoft's FSX. It forever crashes. Sometimes it crashes without the aircraft even leaving the ground. FSX is a very unstable piece of software that clearly should not be have been sold to the public in it's present condition. Sometimes I get lucky for half an hour and claim a victory when the goddam thing actually works and surprises the life out of me! But this is no way to enjoy a flight simulation experience. If Microsoft Word worked as poorly as FSX the business world would totally collapse. Flight simulation is a great concept, a great idea, but is there anyone out there that can actually make the darn thing work? Microsoft has been trying for twenty-five years or more and failed miserably. Now they've sold the lemon and turned it into lemonade. This lemon needs a lot of aid. Only time will tell if this product can be improved upon. Perhaps another twenty-five years would be considered a reasonable time-frame. But by then it will be too late - time travel will be all the rage.

Peter CottleThu, 06 Nov 2014 09:58:51 GMT

don't delude yourself if you think for one minute that Steam will allow second or third party add-on then think again. If money is to be made Steam will clam it so tight no possibility whatsoever. The truth is that Steam controlled products are really bad for open content a creeping cancer that will have the effect of compressing the FS community. Having spoken to many FS users t he train of thought is to go Prepare 3D that allows open source. Furthermore FSCloud now up and running will ensure FSX, P3D and X plane still have a long life ahead. Be very afraid of Dovetail(Steam) I see a legal battle ahead to prevent add-on and third party software development.

joseTue, 02 Dec 2014 13:37:09 GMT

Hey if Dovetail bring back fsx let hope the they dont make the same mistakes as microsoft did. lets hope is 64 Bit comparable and the all saitek panels will work and they use be better then prepar3d they cost an arm and a leg we the community of fsx si have spend so much money build home cock pit so lets hope they think about all this things and dovetail just wanna say thank you for bringing back FSX and hope they stay around for ever

AdamSat, 13 Dec 2014 16:17:24 GMT

I already own FSX Gold Edition and I was wondering will I have to repurchase on steam or can I make my disc version into the steam one as I keep getting fatal errors on the alt menu and I hope this fixes it

PCFXR4UFri, 19 Dec 2014 09:32:49 GMT

This is the inside scoop on the STEAM edition:

In response to your question, this is a re-release of FSX Gold Edition specifically for the Steam online platform so you should not expect dramatic differences. However, we have updated it to include all standard Steam functionality, we’ve removed CD checking and combined the components of Gold Edition into a single installation. The major change we've made is in replacing the now-defunct Gamespy multiplayer systems with Steam features, enabling multiplayer to work seamlessly once again. Additionally, some outstanding bugs have been resolved. Our aim in this first instance has been to ensure that the software will run for as many people as possible rather than radically improving or updating it.

I hope this helps.

Thanks Lidia

PeteMon, 22 Dec 2014 09:04:54 GMT

Just downloaded it! After many problems with Windows 8, I finally have my FSX back!!!

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