Fly Away Simulation

Microsoft Flight Canceled And Staff Laid Off

Last updated Tue, 11 Sep 2018 14:54:15 GMT
Originally posted on Sun, 05 Aug 2012 14:14:52 GMT

After ACES studio was closed in 2009, nearly three decades of Microsoft supplying players with a means of flight simulation came to an end. So when Microsoft Flight® and it's free-to-play model came to the table in February of this year, there was a faint light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a current generation flight simulator, with constant support from Microsoft.

Microsoft Flight logo and headline from their website.

It's no surprise that there were a lot of disappointed simmers, seeing as the game was not the sequel to Flight Simulator X which people wanted. Instead, they got a game tailored to be accessible to 'anyone with an interest in aviation', with a closed in-game marketplace, shunning all those with an interest in creating add-ons and free-ware for the rest of the community. Although, at launch, it was not what people were hoping for, a lot of people have invested in downloadable content for Microsoft Flight® in the hope that in the future, content would be released that would eventually build the game up to be what people wanted.

Once again, however, we are back in the dark, as Microsoft's Vancouver studio has canceled production on Microsoft Flight®.  Around 35 staff members involved in the production have been laid off, due to positions within the development teams being eliminated. Microsoft have said that “human resources is working with the affected individuals to find new roles within the company." Initial reports that the entire studio had been closed have been clarified and the studio will remain open but operating at a reduced capacity. We wish all the staff involved in the lay-offs the best of luck and a swift, peaceful transition to their next employment.

Microsoft Flight® will still be supported and will remain available for free both through Steam and via it's website. But Microsoft states that all future content, planned or in progress, has been scrapped. A spokesperson for Microsoft released the following statement:

Microsoft Studios is always evaluating its portfolio of products to determine what is best for gamers, families and the company, and this decision was the result of the natural ebb and flow of our portfolio management. Many factors were considered in the difficult decision to stop development on Microsoft Flight® and Project Columbia, but we feel it will help us better align with our long-term goals and development plans. For Microsoft Flight, we will continue to support the community that has embraced the title and the game will still be available to download for free.

Microsoft Studios is invested in British Columbia and still has several teams, both in Vancouver and Victoria, which will continue to produce the best entertainment and gaming experiences possible.

While there is no evidence to suggest that the cease of development is in anyway related to how Microsoft Flight® was received, it does raise the question, would this have happened if they had just made Flight Simulator 11?

Download iconDon't forget... We have a huge selection (over 24,000 files) of free mods and add-ons for FSX, P3D & X-Plane in the file library.  Files include aircraft, scenery, and utilities  All are free-to-download and use - you don't even need to register.  Browse on down to the file library here.

Ian Stephens

About Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation enthusiast also with a keen interest in aviation and technology.  Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available.  However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed. 

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years.  Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at


Leave a Response
Hans MullerSun, 26 Aug 2012 20:16:29 GMT

It was greed, fellers...

PeterSun, 26 Aug 2012 22:18:07 GMT

I am not surprised. Flight was a big disapointment. Microsoft went in the wrong direction with this. If Microsoft expanded on FSX, I believe it would be profitable. A simmer would PAY for good software.

Gordon JamesMon, 27 Aug 2012 02:22:32 GMT

X-Plane 10 is superior. It is updated on a regular basis, unlike FSX. The flight engine is much more realistic, and it more than replaces the old FSX. Jump to X-plane 10, available for both Mac and PC. I don't miss FSX or Flight.

nu9eve9Mon, 27 Aug 2012 14:49:41 GMT

The main reason the product failed, it's because Microsoft created the game as an arcade game, we virtual pilots do not like that.

gr8guitarTue, 28 Aug 2012 14:51:59 GMT

Maybe Microsoft's SMOIPing (SMOIP = Superior Marketing Of Inferior Products) is finally coming to an end!

Christopher LowThu, 30 Aug 2012 13:55:53 GMT

X-Plane 10 does not have the UK photo scenery, detailed airports, custom autogen, AI planes, electricity pylon network, wind turbine farms, and power stations that I have in FSX, and it is unlikely to get them.

Until such time as this happens, X-Plane 10 isn't even an option for me.

JackWed, 12 Sep 2012 05:48:11 GMT

Microsoft are fools. It was obvious Flight would fail. They need to officially declare a permanent exit from the flight sim business, to give other companies a chance. Now X-Plane is almost a monopoly it is unlikely to improve...

billSat, 15 Sep 2012 06:03:31 GMT

Well I got it completely wrong I gave MS Flight a year before if disappeared in a puff of smoke they didnt even reach 6 months.

Microsoft knew full well what their core flight sim users wanted out of the 'next Generation' flight sim and they ignored it all and well here you have the consequence.

Anyone with an ounce of brain power knows that 'evaluating its portfolio of products' is industry speak for we got it totally wrong but we'll never admit to it.

PAT KENMIRTue, 18 Sep 2012 00:44:01 GMT

Most of you are correct, Microsoft went in the wrong direction and created an inferior product (Flight)that very few people wanted. It was an Arcade Flight Game at best in the end. In my opinion and in many other like me, we really would have paid Mucho bucks for a much Improved version of Flight Simulator X. I certainly would have. I think we all would have. When FSX came out our computers at that time could barley handle the program it was so sophisticated, and CPU dependent. Now years later, a lot of us have much more powerful computers to handle FSX and we can enjoy FSX to its full capacity. With todays computers we can probably handle a much improved FSX version. And we would PAY for it too! Listen up Microsoft, if you are in fact listening, you have a great product in FSX, just make it better, like make it DX-11 Compatible ..ETC. Improve, improve, improve. Lets hope you bring out something like {Flight Simulator Blue} or FSXV down the road. Microsoft is good at making this Flight Simulator software code when they get going in the RIGHT direction. I just hope they don't give up entirely.

Michael GarofanoSun, 23 Sep 2012 02:33:02 GMT

Hey everyone! I was addicted to Flight Simlator since version 5. I remember starting off at Meigs Field and the graphics were like polygons.

Every time a new version was released, we couldn't even turn the graphics sliders all the way to the right because of how advanced the releases were! It took at least 2 years before you could enjoy the game to it's fullest capacity and then another awesome version would be released!

The game spawned me into overclocking and buying the fastest computer equipment possible. Xplane seems ok, but I miss good old MS flight simulator. Truly was "As real as it gets". I just came from Xplanes site and I see all about how they are getting sued by Google. The owner of the company talks about how he spoke to his Mom about the lawsuit, totally immature.

I seriously doubt that company has the capability to come even close to the quality of Microsoft's product. I find it hard to believe Microsoft doesn't realize the amount of hard core simmers out there that would pay a premium for a real sim to come out to match today's performance computer power. Oh well, drop me an email guys!

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