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DTG Announce Flight Sim World Closure

Last updated Tue, 15 May 2018 13:58:24 GMT
Originally posted on Tue, 15 May 2018 13:49:31 GMT

The simulation world has been, for a long time, filled with shocks and surprises. We often get a lot of them as time goes on, but one of the biggest shocks was the late-April announcement that Dovetail Games’ Flight Sim World was closing down. It’s a major story in the industry and has obviously caused a hell of a lot of consternation.

Flight Sim World logo in dumpster.

The simulator was seen by many to be the next step forward in a hugely impressive industry. With other new-gen flight simulators arriving on the scene in recent times, there was a natural optimism that FSW could live up to expectation and deliver a truly special aviation experience. Sadly, it’s come to an end.

There’s been a lot of questions from the community, too, and we’ll try to cover some of them below. First, though, we just want to take a quick look at the reasons given by Dovetail Games for deciding to stop production. They announced that the reason they have stopped was that,

“Unfortunately, after many detailed discussions, we regrettably don't see a clear direction that will allow us to keep to the development time we'd want, alongside the player numbers we need.”

That’s obviously a bit of a worry, as there was massive hype about FSW. With it clearly needing more work than was anticipated, it’s been decided that not long off a year since it went into Early Access, that FSW will be removed from sale as of May 24th, 2018.

It’s a crushing blow for Dovetail Games and a major kick in the teeth for fans who had such high hopes. Following the great work done with Flight Simulator X and its reboot, this comes as a bit of a blow for the wider future of the simulation industry.

What’s Next?

Well, at the moment, nothing. FSW is dead, more or less. There’s nothing more that can be done to help keep it alive any longer, sadly. You can read a detailed post from DTG Cryss, one of the staff members over on their official forums, here. While there are always those little burning hopes that something like this could be resurrected, at the moment it sounds more or less dead in the water.

Part of the problem, at least when speaking to other community members, was the lack of third-party support. This has been a major part of the lifeblood of the industry, and the fact that there was so little support for third-party add-ons really did help to kill FSW before it off the ground. Sadly, that total lack of desire to use third-party content in the way that it had been so popular on other simulation models is a real shame.

It contributes at least in part to the end of the FSW project. It’s a real shame, though optimists may wish to look at it as a chance for someone else to rise up and try to take the place which is now vacant on the market.

Dovetail Games, though, were one of the companies who seemed willing to invest and really put the effort in for a new simulator. The lack of third-party support though was a major surprise. Given their success in other simulation fields, it felt like it was only a matter of time before FSW got itself off the ground and into top speed.

Unfortunately, this crash landing means that we’re a simulator down. With X-Plane 11 seemingly doing well and Prepar3D version 4 though, at least one of the more modern simulators appears to be on the right track. Flight Sim World, though, appears to be over.

P3Dv4 and XP11 logos.

What Went Wrong?

Amongst the rawness of the news and the fact it’s still all being developed and processed, it would be hard to say with any definition. Of course, one of the main reasons that some have speculated for its downfall is the fact that FSW was more based on the Dovetail model for Train Simulator.

Some noted that with Train Simulator, there was no competition and thus they were the only show in town. This meant that they could get away with a bit more control over what kind of markets they moved in, and it feels like the lack of third-party support for FSW was built on the same foundations.

Again, though, it’s hard to provide any kind of clear conclusion at this moment in time. The fact that we have so much choice in the flight sim industry means that it’s easy for people to turn to other projects if they aren’t getting 100% what they want. With the choices so relatively minimal with FSW to start with, it’s easy to see why so many stuck with the large libraries they have instead of starting afresh with such a limited volume to choose from.

Still, it’s all very sad. The death of FSW is a real blow for the industry, but at the very least it might provide some kind of lessons for other developers in the future.

Thankfully, those who own FSW will still be able to play it in its current state. If you already own it, you won’t lose it nor any of the DLC that you have invested in. For that reason, you can enjoy a relatively easy last few flights on the simulator. Just know that, as of today, no new updates or changes will be coming in.

It’s a shame to see it end like this, but we wish the Dovetail team all the best in the future. It’s a brutal end to what was one a hugely exciting and popular part of the simulation community. Whatever comes next, we hope that it can get off the ground in a more positive and productive manner than FSW was able to.

Now, there’s a new gap in the industry. With nothing on the way to replace it at present, those looking for a more modern take will need to settle for this version of FSW or turn to X-Plane 11 or Prepar3D v4 (which most people did anyway). 

Don't forget, you can still get FSX on Steam and there have been some updates to it too since the original Microsoft release.  Many users are sticking with FSX as their simulator of choice - you can read our review here.

We'd love to hear your opinions in the comments section below.

Ian Stephens

About Ian Stephens

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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26 comments

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Peter KruesiTue, 15 May 2018 14:38:15 GMT

Sad another flight simulator software supplyer died. We believe this is the result of user behaviour we can find since 20 years: - users are not willing to pay the work which has been done - any scenery price is too high - users are demanding detail levels which has nothing to do with flying (moving gras ...) - airports are so detailed that flying with frame rates above 25 is almost not possible anymore - users are very negative (see forums: almost only negative threads, almost no positive suggestions) These points drives developping costs up and at the end commercially no success.

I do not know the details behind this case, so above is just my assumption.

trevor goughTue, 15 May 2018 14:42:53 GMT

Sorry to see you go will miss all your time and efforts. Maybe you might be the Phoenix of the future. Watch this space.

Pro Memberjmcv90Tue, 15 May 2018 15:15:34 GMT

During the implementation of TRUESKY, the software refused to work, I contacted DTG several times, but the answers were crazy... I bought an MSI GS73VR 7RG, and the answer was that the video card was not compatible, it is still an NVIDIA GTX1070 (with Q-Max)

Youcef BelkacemiTue, 15 May 2018 15:19:05 GMT

Hello. is a very unpleasant news the expected FSW closed in advance had a lot of time to wait for it is unfortunate decession is probably a sabotage of other companies ????

Algernon LaceyTue, 15 May 2018 15:44:37 GMT

It's really too bad. FSW looked so promising. Maybe I'll wake up in the morning and the abandonment of what might have become my "go to" sim will have just been a bad dream. Alas, I know better, and the disappointment is quite real. For Dovetail to completely mothball the project seems extreme to me. I can't (or don't want to) understand the decision to completely kill it. It now joins Microsoft Flight as one of those "what could have been" sims, leaving the door open for the next stab at a new state of the art flight sim by any company brave enough to go down that rough road, and one willing to keep an eye on the light at the end of the tunnel, rather than the undeserved "mostly negative" comments at Steam.

Joss KrifaTue, 15 May 2018 15:46:46 GMT

I am one of the first to buy an early entry to FSW and very desapointed of seing it close. However I was not surprised, as they have a big number of games to develop and being in competition with Lookheed Martin on a software based on FSX, they have been very late going into the 64 bits flight simulation. The only blame if any is that they knew the amount of work needed and that they put the game at an early developpement for sale ....maybe they needed the money and doing so they have been able to appreciate the size of the market ..if that's the case, I think to be honest they should pay back the money they take. One thing I have not appreciated the way they collected informations from my computer and letting me know after the facts, I would have appreciated if they have asked permission to do it before.

Dave WeeseTue, 15 May 2018 16:25:30 GMT

FSW was a was of programmer time and energy from the start. In todays world people want an online interactive experience. DT should have known better after the fail of MSFlight

Josť Carlos MoreiraTue, 15 May 2018 16:40:57 GMT

It's too bad. Just at a time when, via the web, it was said that FSX was dead, and that it was going to be replaced by the FSW ... The turns that the World gives!

John HamiltonTue, 15 May 2018 16:49:51 GMT

Seemed like a lack of understanding what Flight Simmers wanted and an arrogance that they know best. Sorry Dovetail but we like to be involved and listened to, we like to "fiddle and twiddle" . Me, I have 40 hrs. on FSW and 600 on FSX been on Flight Sims for 2 years. I think that tells the story. Sorry a 64 bit failed, could, handled properly, have been the future, Hope the development guys all get decent jobs with better leadership

Pro MemberMark AnthonyTue, 15 May 2018 17:04:01 GMT

Wow....all I can say...

roger shethTue, 15 May 2018 17:39:27 GMT

I blame Microsoft for letting Flight Simulator die. With their resources, they could have pushed the envelop on flight sim into the next century. But they made meager improvements over the years and just dropped it. Now we only have some part time companies making scenery and new planes that take years to come out.

daniel mouroTue, 15 May 2018 17:46:19 GMT

I feel cheated I bought it and there is no expansion or anything new on the 64-bit version hangs nothing with which I replace the sim

Richard W BazellTue, 15 May 2018 17:56:38 GMT

Not good to hear. Bad news

Rick TaylorTue, 15 May 2018 19:47:39 GMT

So sorry to see this occur although I am not an owner of the sim. Frankly, I read about too many performance (hardware) issues from casual users and it scared me off....at least for the time being. I guess I waited too long. A valiant attempt so I salute DTG for their trailblazing efforts. Perhaps someone will resurrect it eventually. In the meantime, I keep bolting on more and more stuff to FSX.

Terence DaviesTue, 15 May 2018 20:16:54 GMT

I believe one of the main reasons for the downfall of FSW was the fact that there was no decent ATC. and colours were far too pastel. As far as I am concerned good ATC is vital for any flight sim if it is to replace FSX which is still the best, other than it is not 64bit. Dovetail were ploughing ahead with 'adventures', virtual reality etc. without first having replicated all the good things of the old Microsoft system. The same goes for X-Plane 11. Wonderful scenery at height, but no decent ATC to speak of. All that hipe about 'the flight sim you have been waiting for' turned out to be a false claim. I bought both sims and they can't even replicate FSX ATC. What a disappointment. You cannot fly realistic VFR and just call up an airfield on a whim. what I cannot understand is how it was that Microsoft programmed relatively realistic ATC into FSX, but now in 2018 FSW and X-Plane 11 employ Darleks with speech impediments in their air traffic control centres. I have long had the opinion that the sim media world have been too forgiving of some fundamental shortcomings, as even now with FSW having run out of fuel, X-Plane 11 will probably still fob us off concerning a better ATC around the corner.

Sonny TassoneTue, 15 May 2018 20:54:36 GMT

Well, Yes I would say that it is a travesty,BUT let us not forget that Dovetail is making a fine living in these deals with their other product lines and all of the new programs. Dovetail games is in the press all of the time making bounds of new and enhanced technologies, and its program additions to the FSX FSXA . Let me put it this way, If anyone ever took the time to ask all of US that have been out here cranking out top of the line freeware and expansion/add ons their would of been no reason to close GAMESPY because MIcrosoft couldve had the market then, But no, most of us are stuck with an internet mode that remains on our program like a freakin tombstone. I want you to check back into those write ins and youll see it was predicted that GAMESPY was an issue from the goat. Then of course Lockheed Martin stepping up to the plate. No one wouldve ever been interested in the FSXA system if there werent so much work done to it because we know that ACES did a poop squat job. So, for this site which has done so much for the simmers and a few others Id like to personally thank ,and Im sad to see another company step away ,but im not shedding tears because as i write this they are still making good money. Have a safe flight.Semper Fidelis

Ian PilcherTue, 15 May 2018 20:55:03 GMT

In the beginning the majority of the Flight Sim community were behind DTG. They gave feedback and suggestions of what they would like to see. GA aircraft were fine but we wanted jets and heavy metal only to fall on deaf ears.

I have read that third party developers had approached DTG asking for a SDK with little success, anyway DTG wanted such a large cut of the third part developers sale price that it would make it unprofitable for the developers to develop anything..

It seems that DTG management's shortsightedness and arrogance has led third party developers to turn their backs on FSW and users not to invest.

A case of shooting the golden goose.

Antonello PorchedduTue, 15 May 2018 21:38:14 GMT

It'a shame, after have tested the sim was clear that they don't have mind what fsx was and it's again, a great community of simmer that know well what is it. They have careless what the simmer wants' scenery reliable, aircraft and tools to upgrade. They have fail interely the target, stay in touch with the main stream of fsw . the simmers and theyr asks. An FSW disappointed owner

David ReichertTue, 15 May 2018 22:19:22 GMT

I really don't know much about the business end of building a Flight Simulator but I do know that killing FSW completely was a huge blunder. I still feel that the project could have been turned over to different developers that have the experience that it takes to succeed. Building a sim can't be easy but not being prepared for the long haul is bad business.

Why do they feel that they must scrap the entire project? They had an alternative to FSX and hold the licence and the codes from that cash cow (FSX). As I said, I can not comment on what it takes to build a simulator but I was in the business world for over 40 years and I knew how to build trust with my customers, something DTG has yet to learn

I feel if they bite off more than the could chew, they could have sourced out the project to other companies, like the real aircraft companies. I would rather take a smaller profit and learn a lesson then destroy future trust from my customer base. DTG, you just threw out the baby with the bathwater and it will take a long time for you to win back the trust of you customer base and the integrity of your company....sad

Jim IrvingTue, 15 May 2018 23:02:56 GMT

I purchased FSW in the beginning, like most others. It soon became clear to me that something had to give as there were just too many coming onto the market at that same time.

I decided not to carry on with FSW as I couldn't afford, as a pensioner, to cover them all.

I went with the flagship FSX (FTX), the scenery was carried by the brilliant Orbx company which to me anyway is run superbly by John Venema and other high performance, knowledgeable and outstanding leaders who knew how a company should be run, These quiet achievers were also brilliant in another field too, developer. So the standard of work was never less than awe-inspiring.

Only the best of the best scenery make it through to a fickle buying public. POI have to be in the exact position etc, then Mr Venema is backed by two of the best advisors anywhere, namely Nick Cooper and Doug Sawatzky. These two are so very important to a companies success, they answer questions so quickly and exactly, Every Sim must have follow-up like this as newbies can be lost in a moment with slow backup. When they are otherwise unavailable, which is rare, the quality doesn't stop there as there are other members who step in. Bottled all this together they made a team that was unbeatable, again headed by the CEO John Venema.

How could the new kid on the block make any headway against that? FTX had a huge and loyal customer base. Now Lockheed-Martin's launched P3D which many turned too immediately, something new, something flight simmers the world over have been looking for. Reality. X-Plane 11 yet another.

Now awaiting quietly in it's hanger,IPAC's ready to explode onto the scene. It almost did with the launch of LOWI, it's now going through a building stage with new quite amazing inventions like 'hands' which at this moment is being titivated for perfection. New scenery is about to be added at anytime.

There is no-way FSW could hold up against this. A large number could see this, so, unfortunately, FSW thought it better to pull the plug now.

I too hope that their developers can find employment very quickly. Good luck from us, the mayor flyers.

Agent OrangeWed, 16 May 2018 01:41:35 GMT

They could have avoided this fiasco if they only included more planes, kept more of the good features from FSX, and let third-party developers in on the show!

Dave JonesWed, 16 May 2018 10:23:48 GMT

I've not been told what is going to happen with my subscription. I would expect this to be cancelled and to be informed as such.

Can someone/anyone advise me what the situation is or if there is any proactive action I will have to take?

I have heard of problems in cancelling the subscription.

Thanks.

Carlos A Mercado Pantojas Wed, 16 May 2018 12:29:04 GMT

I just got my new fsx with acceleration. What do I do for support? Please don't close.

Robert Lee Wicker, JrWed, 16 May 2018 13:54:16 GMT

I've been a flight Sim enthusiast since Jumbo Jet Pilot on the Atari 800. I was locked into Msfs when I started flight school in 1992. Back then, I also enjoyed ATP by subLOGIC as it seemed to have great glide characteristics. Well, I thought it did because I couldn't seem to slow the thing down. I made my decision to buy my first mass produced PC AT clone because MS wasn't going to carry on Flight Simulator on the Mac. I really wanted a Mac too because I'd started on the Atari ST back in the day. That's right! The reason I don't do the fruit today is due to the availability of MSFS on the PC.

Apples are for eating!

When I heard about FSW last year, I did some research. Everything I saw reminded me of the fiascos that were Fly!, Fly! 2K, Fly! II, and ProPilot. I spent big bucks on those sims and they sucked. The flight dynamics were not accurate to me and I was using a Yoke controller with pedals. I was in the middle of flight training and MSFS was the only one that seemed right. I ended up with more than 1400 actual before I was stricken with MS and to this day, I still think those other sims sucked. It would be interesting to try some of those sims on modern systems, though, to see if that was the problem. For now, I will stick with FSX SE which runs very well on my current system.

Pro MemberBillHughes53Wed, 16 May 2018 14:11:26 GMT

Another bitter disappointment from DTG. In my opinion they were not prepared to invest as much was required in the development of TSW. Probably because their "bean counters" predicted it would not make enough profit. I'm sure it would have become a money pit to their loyal fan base as is Train simulator. Sorry DTG I just think you are greedy and see your users as a source of an extortive income. not to mention of the extortionate percentages you wished to charge 3rd party developers to sell their products within your website.

Richard JohnsonWed, 16 May 2018 16:05:26 GMT

I'm really surprise that FSW released a potentially great product without ensuring strong support from third party add-on suppliers. I've stayed with FSX (upgraded last year to the SE) simply because of the huge choice of free and payware add-ons.

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