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The award-winning creators of the best-selling Train Simulator franchise have today announced 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. The company is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.
In addition to this licensing agreement, Dovetail Games is pleased to announce that it has also acquired the rights to distribute the multi-award winning Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition via Valve’s popular digital retail channel, Steam, entitled Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.
First released in 2006, Microsoft Flight Simulator X is widely acknowledged as one of the most popular simulation products on the market. Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition will include the Deluxe Edition and the Acceleration Expansion Pack in one bundle. Dovetail Games will bring Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition to the Steam online gaming platform for the first time in late 2014.
“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.”
Steve Bainbridge, COO at Dovetail Games added, “We are very proud of the strong community we have created around the Train Simulator series of products, and we are looking forward to extending our knowledge and experience into working closely with the flight simulation community. We know that they are a very knowledgeable, passionate and committed group of individuals and we welcome their feedback and involvement as we start to create the next generation of games in this area.”
“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.”
Press release from Microsoft:
In July of 2012, Microsoft decided to end development on Flight stating, “Many factors were considered in the difficult decision to stop development on Microsoft Flight, 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.”
The Flight Community Team was able to support the game and the dedicated players who continued logging hours of virtual flight time over the years. However from time to time, Microsoft Studios has to revise our portfolio, taking into consideration multiple factors regarding the continuation of support for a title.
Microsoft Flight is scheduled to be grounded on October 14, 2014 at which time the multiplayer servers will be shutdown. This will affect online features, such as multiplayer and aerocaches; the single-player experience should remain largely intact.
As an industry leader and pioneer in the world of gaming, Microsoft will never forget the role Flight Simulator played shaping the company and contributing to its place of prominence in the video game industry. As the longest running software application published by Microsoft, pre-dating even the Windows Operating System, the popularity and success of the Flight Simulator brand will always be a crowning achievement and occupy a position of prestige and honor in the organization’s records. We remain committed to preserving the integrity of the brand while continuing to invest in our portfolio of PC games.
We realize some of you will have questions regarding this announcement, so we have compiled a short FAQ to address these concerns. You can find it below:
Can I join Flight if I am a new player?
No. Product keys are no longer being issued to new players.
Will I still be able to fly single player?
Yes! You will still be able to log in to your Games for Windows Live account and play.
Will I still be able to use DLC (i.e. Hawaiian Adventure or Maul M-7-260C)?
All previously purchased DLC will continue to work and will be available to re-download via the Games for Windows Live Marketplace.
Will I still be able to earn achievements?
While some achievements will no longer be obtainable, you should still be able to obtain any of the achievements related to offline play.
We sincerely thank the thousands of virtual pilots who have enjoyed the marvel of Flight and hope wherever your next flight takes you, your flight is safe and your landing smooth.
One of the difficulties in producing a magazine like Computer Pilot is the process of
selecting products for review. We do tend to review the more popular titles and products
as these generate the most interest and the majority of readers are happy to find reviews
of such products in the magazine. In previous years, this task was relatively simple as
you could easily pick the best of the bunch and still have room left over for other articles.
More recently, however, this task has become increasingly difficult as a cargo load of
high quality add-ons for flight simulators have blessed our hard drives. Perhaps this ever-
increasing level of quality in commercial and freeware add-ons is born out of a growing
demand by the general public to produce more realistic aircraft, sceneries and utilities
that better recreate the feeling of flight, or the reality of the world around us, but alas,
who is complaining of this drive forward in professional quality software development?
Perhaps our old aging CPU’s are bearing the brunt of this quality overload resulting in
forever-slowing frame rates, but fast new CPUs cure that issue (if you have the cash to
invest in them of course). As the flight simulation world changes and becomes that little
bit more realistic, our pockets become that little bit emptier as we pay bigger dollars
for better realism. Personally, I think it is all worthwhile and still at a mere fraction of
the cost of flying in the real world. If you are lucky enough to have rolls of notes in your
back pocket, then you can do both! But for the majority of us, our simulators feed our
need for flight and certainly keep us happy in the process. A whole new world of flight
simulation is opening up before our eyes – just read the news brief about Wilco’s FSNAT
in this issues news section for a perfect example and it certainly still drives me to wake up
and smell the Avgas every morning (even if it is simulated Avgas). This issue, we again
have reviews of some of the best add-ons and products currently available for flight
simulation… and boy did we have trouble deciding! So jump into a comfortable chair
and enjoy Volume 6 Issue 5 of Computer Pilot Magazine – The Magazine for Desktop
Pilots & Flight Simulator Enthusiasts.
From the Editor
Have you ever gazed at the stars and sat in awe thinking about the sheer size and
magnitude of the universe, or perhaps you look into the sky and wonder just how high you
could take your latest ‘X plane’. When you think about it, aviation is a relatively young field
of study (and practice) compared to say medicine or masonry, or the age of the universe
for that matter. The Wright Brothers first flew their ‘glorified kite’ in December of 1903 and
now, almost 100 years later, we have jet and even supersonic aircraft that carry hundreds
of passengers half way around the world (or more) without stopping! In flight simulation
history, we have made similar leaps forward, but at a much faster rate! Only ten or fifteen
years ago, we were playing with crude wire-frame graphics representing aircraft and panels
in our virtual world. Half the time it was difficult to make out what you were looking at
and many hours were spent explaining to on-lookers exactly what they were seeing on
that monochrome or 16 color display. With the new generation of technology and flight
simulators, however, we sometimes have to ask ourselves whether we are looking at a
screenshot or a real photo! The modern simmer is equipped with realistic yokes, pedals
and throttle quadrants… even 3D glasses and head tracking hardware to boot. We have
hangars full of a wide variety of aircraft and can re-trace real aviation history by flying
Lindbergh’s great crossing of the Atlantic, complete with a replica Spirit of St Louis under
our control. We can often be critical at new simulations and add-ons, but stop to think
were it all started and how far we have come from those days of wire frame graphics and
suddenly, your new sim that doesn’t have 100% perfect ATC or 100% accurate scenery
modeling suddenly doesn’t seem that bad! Remember to enjoy what we currently have
and just imagine what we will be spoilt with in another ten or fifteen years! Speaking
of enjoyment, please read on and take pleasure in yet another 84-page mega-issue
of Computer Pilot Magazine – The Magazine for Desktop Pilots & Flight Simulation
From the Editor
your reading in Computer Pilot Magazine
Well I never thought the day would come. The day when a combat simulation would take
priority over my beloved general aviation simulators. It has happened though and I am now
totally hooked on IL-2 Sturmovik! This is by far the best and most realistic combat simulation
I have ever played and such praise is being echoed worldwide. If you haven’t had the chance
to try it yet, grab yourself a copy and see for yourself. I was never a really keen combat
simmer, but IL-2 has converted me. Simply amazing…Ahh the wonders of new technology and
software design. Just imagine the level of realism we will experience in coming years. It is
definitely a very exciting time in the history of computer-based flight simulations, that is for
sure. Once again, we have packed another 20% larger issue with a wide range of content in
our continuing endeavor to cover a broader scope of flight simulation software and simulation
interests. We have received some excellent feedback from readers about our new “Flying the
Heavies” lessons and we are very excited to bring them to you. A large portion of commercial
and freeware add-ons these days are focused on heavy jet aircraft and it is our intention
to continue to provide you with these informative lessons to make the most of what these
excellent packages have to offer. It still amazes me how much can be learnt from using flight
simulators. Consider how much your geography skills have improved, how much you have
learnt about flight dynamics and physics and perhaps your computer skills have increased
by a great margin. Flight Simulators are a learning tool in more ways than one. Who
said education could not be enjoyable! *grins* Keep flying and enjoy this latest edition of
Computer Pilot Magazine – The World’s #1 Flight Simulation Magazine.
From the Editor
Welcome to Volume 6 Issue 2. I would especially like to welcome any new subscribers and
readers that have come onboard over the last few issues. Well I think Microsoft stunned us
all by releasing their Flight Simulator 2002 package so early following the announcement
they were postponing the product ‘indefinitely’ following the September 11th incidents. Rest
assured we have a 6-page review covering the new simulator in this issue and will address
those aspects we did not cover in our Volume 6 Issue 1 preview in more detail. Many simmers
seem to be enjoying the new version despite a few niggling bugs primarily in the Autopilot
and ATC modules. Hopefully Microsoft release a patch or update to address these soon. We
are already starting to see 3rd party designers creating new exciting freeware add-ons for
FS2002 and I am sure there are many commercial packages currently in production and will
surface during the holiday season. We are also waiting for the major flight sim development
companies to release information on compatibility of FS2000 products for FS2002. Some
developers already have patches in progress, some have patches already available and we
are still waiting on others to tell us anything at all! Patience is a virtue, so don’t go throwing
out those old commercial FS2000 add-ons just yet. Even some FS98 add-ons will function in
FS2002, so be sure to check for compatibility before your next door neighbor or the garbage
can claims them. Combat simulation fans will delight in knowing both Comanche 4 and
IL-2 Sturmovik have been released and so far, have proven rather popular within the sim
community. We are slowly starting to see many new female subscribers and female flight sim
enthusiasts entering our hobby. What was once largely the domain of males is now changing
and we open up our arms and welcome our female flight sim hobbyists to the ranks. We
trust you will all enjoy what we have to offer, both with Computer Pilot Magazine and within
the flight simulation community itself. I would like to thank Tony Liatos, our graphic designer
for the excellent job he does laying out each and every issue. I am sure you will agree his
talent are skills are exemplary. Keep up the good work Tony! Please relax and enjoy this issue
and when ready, fire up your simulator and get stuck into those flight lessons! I would like to
take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and festive holiday season and look forward to
bringing you even more quality issues in the new year..
From the Editor
your reading in Computer Pilot Magazine
by visiting the Computer Pilot web site at www.computerpilot.com
Hi folks! Welcome to Volume 6 of Computer Pilot Magazine! Our 31st published issue is again
more than 20% larger than our standard size and packed with some exciting new content plus
all our regular columns and features. This issue marks the beginning of our series on heavy
jet (ATP) lessons written and compiled by a world-renowned expert in the flight training field.
You will come to know his as ‘Captain Charlie Victoria’. In these lessons, you will learn the
theory and practice behind operating heavy jet aircraft including flight instrumentation, heavy
jet checklists, maneuvering and specialised approach/landing/holding procedures to name a
few. Detailed instruction and practice scenarios will be outlined to enable you to apply your
new found knowledge. We know you will thoroughly enjoy these lessons and the best part
is, that almost all of the content can be applied across a wide variety of simulators. You will
definitely not find a detailed series of ATP lessons written by a real world airline transport pilot
like these in any other flight simulation magazine or for the issue/subscription price, so be sure
to sign up for, or renew your subscription to ensure you don’t miss out!
We are fast approaching the end-of-year push on software titles and many development
groups and publishers are busy working on products to be released in time for the Christmas
rush. We can expect to see a whole new range of flight and combat simulation titles over
the next few months, so start saving those coins if you are keen to pick up a new title during
the end-of-year holiday season.
I was happy to receive an email from a reader recently stating how ‘exciting’ it was to read
each issue of the magazine. Let me say that we are just as excited to produce and publish the
magazine than you are to receive it! Although we do face the inevitable stress of deadlines
and printing and distribution issues, our team enjoys facing the challenges placed upon us
and we are constantly endeavouring to produce a higher quality publication for everyone to
enjoy. Perhaps in a future issue we may have a page or two free to outline an illustrated
process of how we go about compiling each issue, from planning stages, writing, editing,
layout, proofing and then on to mass-printing, binding and final distribution. It is definitely
an interesting process indeed!
That’s enough from me….Find your favorite armchair and enjoy this latest issue of Computer
Pilot Magazine – The # 1 Magazine for Desktop Pilots and Flight Simulator
Here we are at issue 6, the last issue for volume 5 of Computer Pilot Magazine. At this
point, I would like to thank you, the faithful subscribers and readers of the magazine for your
continued support and comments over the years. As newly appointed editor, I have already
received many emails of support and your positive comments are very much welcomed and
help to fuel the fire of inspiration that drives each issue. It’s also pleasing to see many emails
with suggestions, ideas and even a few criticisms coming through. The Computer Pilot team
is very open to your feedback and we do our best to incorporate your ideas and suggestions
into each issue as well as address any criticisms voiced.
10 News and New Releases
All the latest news and new releases since our last issue.
The 2 big flight sims of 2001!
12 Terminal Reality’s Fly II
17 Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002
19 Ultimate Airlines
22 Corporate Pilot
26 Boeing 777-200 for FS2000
36 Voice Technology – Game Commander 2 & Microsoft
42 Battle Of Britain
29 Getting The Best Out Of Microsoft Combat
Flight Simulator 2
Derek ‘Baron’ Davis helps you get the most out of Microsoft’s
latest offering. At the same time the article highlights those
features that will help you to maximize your enjoyment of CFS2.
If you’re one of those who are still undecided on whether to buy
CFS2, then you will still find enough information in here to give
you an idea of what CFS2 has to offer.
48 Multi-Engine Flying – The Piper Chieftain
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I just received the June-July 1012 issue of Computer Pilot. It is great to see the magazine in publication again.