The Milviz XPlane / ATR Debacle: The Plot Thickens...

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My Friend Predrag Drobac, the developer behind the Ultimate Realism Pack that many of you are using, sent me this article from Flightsim.news that I thought was quite interesting regarding community response to the MilViz ATR funding campaign launched for XP11. It seems Crazy Colin and MilViz are quite known for their colorful history stemming from the KA350i that still ain’t out yet, and launching too many projects in the midst of long development times on others.

Now given my own recent resurgence, my knowledge of XPlane and it’s community is not much more than it was in the past when I was at the height of AirDailyX other than two things: They don’t tend to put up money in the way FSX/P3D realm users do, and they are worse when it comes to voicing anger and/or displeasure. At least that’s how I have always seen it. Now I could break all this down for you, but I think Sasha Schreck has already done that. So i’ll give my opinion, and link you over to his article and that’s as follows:

I remember back when PMDG announced the NGX would be making it’s debut into P3D with it’s newly associated costs and the bloody firestorm that followed. People felt that the addon should have been a free upgrade and others felt PMDG was taking advantage of P3D being a “professional commercial simulator” to justify choking more money out of the community.

Here’s where I piss you off. PMDG in my opinion (regardless of my history with them) has always in my opinion undercharged for their FSX addons when you take into consideration the level of complexity, accuracy, and realism. But at the end of the day, these addons, were only targeted to the enthusiast crowd via an enthusiast based flight simulation platform. I have no doubt that if a ready-able professional flight sim platform existed to rival FS9 back when PMDG released that first 737, they would have assessed developing variants targeted towards the professional aviation and training application demographic. As it sits now, the P3D version of the NGX is still under-priced considering its complexity and potential for pro-use applications. Maybe you bought it at the current P3D price, but let’s say a large airline decided to buy a copy for pilot training at the same rate, seem fair still? Maybe you wouldn’t care. But the point stands, some FSX / P3D fully study level products with 100% potential for deployment in professional applications are significantly underpriced for the consumer market. And they know this, but they also understand the importance for knowing the market and charging appropriately.

And that’s why Aerosoft, Malwarelabs, & Majestic, & PMDG charge the way they do. They know their products, their customers and what people are willing to pay for them while still understandably making a profit not just to fund further projects, but to also cover salaries.

This also generally means potentially investing upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars into these projects years before the first dollar is made. It’s a gamble that could go either way or at the very least break even. But the majority of the FS community either does not see, or care about what happens behind the curtain financially so long at the product meets expectations at an “affordable” value.

Enter the XPlane realm, one that has flourished for decades primarily based on freeware offerings. And the better that freeware got (some of which is fucking mind blowing) the more the expectation that one shouldn’t have to pay for it fostering a culture of “free” or super cheap expectations. Thus, for the developers that have existed in the FS9/FSX/P3D realm which has primarily survived on paid third party addons since 2005, can potentially take on financial risks of entering into the XPlane market at it’s current stereotypical mindset of free & cheap.

As a result, P3D developers have been branching into XPlane11 very slowly and of carefully calculated means namely with scenery and non systems complex aircraft.

Many of these developers have found a reasonable means to port their products over to XPlane at minimal cost that covers itself through sales pretty much in the same way FSX developers would backport to FS9. But these sales are not enough so actually sustain P3D developers exclusively and taking one of these aforementioned high end aircraft into XPlane is neither cheap nor easy. And once the financial dedication sets in, there is no guarantee the XPlane release will even cover the transition costs. But the XPlane user base is louder than ever in wanting more addons from P3D developers, so one developer is giving them the chance to put their money where their mouths are and rather than pony up, many of them are only growing more upset.

And I for one cannot blame MilViz for this tack because it’s a big fucking risk that may not pay off. But if the cost to get what is essentially a studylevel ATR aircraft transitioned to XPlane by way of generating cash upfornt, then I see this as the XPlane fanbase’ opportunity to finally show the world just how big they are, how capable they are, and how important XPlane is in the grand scheme of things to inspire other developers to follow suit. Not just in getting more quality projects into XPlane, but towards flight simulation product based crowdfunding in the future.

Whether or not this campaign is successful rests solely on the XPlane community and true fans of the platform. Put up or shut up.

Have a look at the article below. It’s worth a read.