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sillyeagle
01-22-09, 09:57 PM
As confirmed by various sources in the dev community, Microsoft has canned the Flight Sim team at ACES Studios. A sign of the times I guess. :(

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21981

methimpikehoses
01-22-09, 10:00 PM
I blame Linux... :bleh:

CaptNKILL
01-23-09, 02:33 AM
Don't think I've ever played an MS Flight Simulator game (never been a big sim guy) but this really sucks. Simulators are probably the last PC exclusive genre and MSFS was always one of the biggest titles out there.

Too bad. :(

Loreman
01-23-09, 07:37 AM
The next cross platform flight sim game will be a linear corridor style flying shooting game in the vain of those flying/shooting levels in Turok.

This is the future

tornadog
01-23-09, 08:50 AM
First Ensemble now ACES. IS this the beginning of the end for MGS?

|MaguS|
01-23-09, 08:57 AM
First Ensemble now ACES. IS this the beginning of the end for MGS?

Well they aren't closing the developer, they just layed off alot of the team. The developer is still around atleast for now. But is this really a surprise? In the economic **** whole were in, its natural for cuts to happen. Why not cut where it will hurt the least. Yeah you fans might hate it but MSFS was never a HUGE selling franchise...

Sabadin
01-23-09, 09:47 AM
MS cutting the ACES team is about equivalent to EA suddenly up and deciding it makes the most sense to up and can of its sports divisions. If it wasn't profitable the franchise wouldn't be 26 years old would it? The ACES team was responsible for more than just the FS franchise.

Scendore
01-23-09, 10:47 AM
Actually if you didn't catch the announcement yesterday MS is laying off 5000 people over the next year starting with 1500 right now. Like a lot of companies their earnings are lower and the market conditions are making them cut jobs.

Sign of the times.

Sad thing IMO Flight Sims are falling victim to the sign of the times. Game developers are looking to make money and Flight Sims appeal to a smaller crowd than say Crysis. Add in the fact it has a learning curve and it requires some hardware and then the numbers don't add up.

I'm a pilot in real life and I use FSX quite a bit for Instrument work. It's a great sim.

JerseySeven
01-23-09, 11:50 AM
I like MSFS too, but I do have to wonder about the dev team. Re:

1) After marketing at MS used FSX as part of their campaign touting all the advantages that Vista and DX10 would provide, the sim as shipped ran only DX9 and to this day after two service packs / patches, DX10 is not fully implemented. By contrast, look at what CAPCOM was able to do with DX10 in Lost Planet and Devil May Cry 4.

2) FSX is incompatable with the Vista aero interface. Hello, this is *Microsoft* Flight Simulator. Were those guys so wrapped up in their own work they never heard of the new OS coming down the pike in their own company?

Maybe the layoff is for the best.

Noriega
01-23-09, 01:09 PM
So it's now official that MS got PC gamers in the hole

Delbert
01-23-09, 01:12 PM
So i might have to pick up the latest MSFS before it vanishes forever.
Sillyeagle... some of the screenies you have put up are amazing. How does it compare to FS2004 ?

grey_1
01-23-09, 01:16 PM
As confirmed by various sources in the dev community, Microsoft has canned the Flight Sim team at ACES Studios. A sign of the times I guess. :(

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21981
Was that "thud" I heard you hitting the floor when you heard about this? You ok? :lol:

Too bad, the community was (Is) really behind the flight sims. Too bad :(

Bearclaw
01-23-09, 01:20 PM
Bearclaw Airlines will be shutting down. :(

a12ctic
01-23-09, 01:24 PM
The MS problem is a lot deeper than the economic decline were in, I'm surprised MS hadn't announced major cuts until now. They definitely aren't the Goliath they once were. With Linux/Unix closing them out out of the server market almost completely and Apple/Linux based Netbooks eating them away on the user end. Then Google and OO.o giving them hell.

I hope Windows 7 is a redeemer for their desktop market honestly. It's really looking promising and they need a strong product as people are starting to turn their backs on them.

Bearclaw
01-23-09, 01:30 PM
The MS problem is a lot deeper than the economic decline were in, I'm surprised MS hadn't announced major cuts until now. They definitely aren't the Goliath they once were. With Linux/Unix closing them out out of the server market almost completely and Apple/Linux based Netbooks eating them away on the user end. Then Google and OO.o giving them hell.

I hope Windows 7 is a redeemer for their desktop market honestly. It's really looking promising and they need a strong product as people are starting to turn their backs on them.

I would like to see windows 7 flourish but I would also love to see further market integration and see more price wars on software.

|MaguS|
01-23-09, 01:33 PM
The MS problem is a lot deeper than the economic decline were in, I'm surprised MS hadn't announced major cuts until now. They definitely aren't the Goliath they once were. With Linux/Unix closing them out out of the server market almost completely and Apple/Linux based Netbooks eating them away on the user end. Then Google and OO.o giving them hell.

I hope Windows 7 is a redeemer for their desktop market honestly. It's really looking promising and they need a strong product as people are starting to turn their backs on them.

Linux and Apple combined are only 10% of the market... MS is pretty safe in the OS industry...

a12ctic
01-23-09, 01:40 PM
Linux and Apple combined are only 10% of the market... MS is pretty safe in the OS industry...

For years now they've controlled over 95%. Linux and Apple are somewhere between 9-15% (its pretty hard to gague exactly). Once you start fire to something it grows. If one and every ten people have something other than the norm (at the moment windows) and show it to their friends its more likely that they're going to go out and buy the same thing from the wow factor. Especially now in times of economic unrest Linux computers are very attractive, and thats the undeniable truth. I'd say the desktop market is one of the lesser problems for MS, but it is a problem.

sillyeagle
01-23-09, 02:01 PM
So i might have to pick up the latest MSFS before it vanishes forever.
Sillyeagle... some of the screenies you have put up are amazing. How does it compare to FS2004 ?

Mostly eye candy improvements and the new mission system. The flight experience is about the same, but if you've got the hardware, mainly the CPU, and some add ons it looks awesome, as you know.

|MaguS|
01-23-09, 02:05 PM
Especially now in times of economic unrest Linux computers are very attractive, and thats the undeniable truth. I'd say the desktop market is one of the lesser problems for MS, but it is a problem.

Yeah sorry but Linux is never going to be more attractive for the average consumer over Windows or OSX...

a12ctic
01-23-09, 03:20 PM
Yeah sorry but Linux is never going to be more attractive for the average consumer over Windows or OSX...

Two or three years ago, this might've been a reality, but the popularity of netbooks has proven otherwise.

sillyeagle
01-23-09, 03:49 PM
http://www.futuregpu.org/2009/01/end-of-era-aces-studio-and-flight-sim.html

nrdstrm
01-23-09, 04:12 PM
Two or three years ago, this might've been a reality, but the popularity of netbooks has proven otherwise.

That is because netbooks originally came with Linux. Now that they are packing XP, these are the best sellers by far according the a buyer at a major online retailer I worked with while at EVGA. Also, Android is headed for netbooks, so I think Linux's days on netbooks will be numbered...

On topic, I've played a few of the MS Flight Sims just to check them out, but have never really gotten into them. I must say this is a pretty big blow to gaming in general (IMO)...

a12ctic
01-23-09, 04:25 PM
That is because netbooks originally came with Linux. Now that they are packing XP, these are the best sellers by far according the a buyer at a major online retailer I worked with while at EVGA. Also, Android is headed for netbooks, so I think Linux's days on netbooks will be numbered...

On topic, I've played a few of the MS Flight Sims just to check them out, but have never really gotten into them. I must say this is a pretty big blow to gaming in general (IMO)...

Android is not only open sourced, but also based off Linux.

Yeah, Microsoft had to not only extend the support for the incredibly old OS XP is, but they also sell them at incredibly discounted prices. All this because Vista wasn't marketable on them, and they released that netbooks were eating away Notebook sales.

sillyeagle
01-23-09, 07:16 PM
http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?autocom=blog&blogid=1&

As the story of the demise of ACES Studios continues to unfold, here is some of what we do know to be fact, followed by opinion and conjecture.

Yesterday, Thursday the 22nd, from 0630 to 0730 PST, Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmar's email regarding layoffs appeared in employee mailboxes throughout the company.

At 0730, the ACES team was informed via email of an "All Hands" meeting to be held at 1100.

At the All Hands meeting, team members were informed that all but six members are being let go. The six who remain will be charged with archiving the code and supporting some existing contracts. That effort will last for approximately six months.

MS Human Resources sent out two different emails to the unfortunate 1,400 employees selected for layoff. The first of these informed the employee that Friday, January the 23rd, would be their last day of employment and that at the end of the day, their badge and email would be non-functional. The second email was to employees that were given somewhat of a reprieve. This email informed the more fortunate MS employees that they would have 60 days to find new positions within Microsoft. They could continue to use their email, badge and offices, but at the end of 60 days, they could not. They have until March 23rd to find new employment within MS or they are out the door. How the two emails were distributed throughout the ACES team we are not able to determine - we are trying to obtain insight into that split.

There are rumors and conjecture circulating that MSFS will continue in some form, including this article published on IGN that quotes a member of the MS' public relations firm. Our sources confirm that there has been some discussion regarding the future of MSFS. However, those discussions were very generic, and no firm way forward has been decided upon.

We are told by multiple sources that any effort on an interim MSFS "holding" effort won't start until the RIF's (Reductions In Force – or in layman's terms, layoffs) have concluded. Contrary to the community's understanding, the ESP and FS teams are two separate entities. The holding effort's project manager will most likely be a member of the ESP team.

Of concern is the state of the "code base" of MSFS. Since a new rendering engine was under development by the studio, the issues in DX9 and DX10 were left by the wayside awaiting the outcome of the new engine development. With the demise of the FS team, development of the new rendering engine comes to a halt. We are left with the flaws and short comings in DX9 and DX10. Of greater concern is that the talent working on the rendering engine and knowledgeable of the flaws in DX9 and 10 are now gone. We seriously question whether the MS Management team realizes this and its implications.

Speculation in the flight simulation community has been rife ever since the introduction of the Xbox Console that MSFS was fighting an uphill battle as a PC based product (and implicitly there was an uphill struggle for support of the PC based FS by MS Management). There are rumors that this RIF of the ACES Studio affirms a movement for Microsoft Games Studios to morph into the Xbox Games Studio and without senior MS Management support, that indeed, morphing will take place.

Cutting to the chase… In the absence of an ACES Studio and zero future development or support of the FS franchise, will our hobby survive? In an earlier conversation this morning with Alex Ford of JustFlight of the UK, this question was pondered. Alex's fundamental position is that where adversity exists, opportunity lies. Alex stated that in the absence of any further development of the core FSX product that tremendous opportunities continued to exist for developers to create add-on's for the product. As others in the forums have pointed out, a four or five year stable product base is a wonderful opportunity to maximize the potential of FSX. We at AVSIM agree with this sentiment and we'll support any and all efforts to make it so.

NarcissistZero
01-24-09, 10:06 AM
Microsoft's desire to end PC gaming, or at least severely cripple it, in favor of Xbox gaming is tremendously obvious. I'm honestly surprised this didn't happen sooner. People will say "what about FS?" just liike they're asking "what about AoE?" concerning Ensemble... the answer is that few if any at Microsoft care.

Not only do console games sell many more copies, but the system is completely controlled by Microsoft. They decide what gets a patch, they decide what content costs, they decide when content comes, they decide... pretty much everything. Xbox also requires much less tech support on the software end, and they get to charge for online play, virtual shoes and hats and whatever else, as well as making inroads toward monthly fees instead of ownership, which has been a goal of theirs for a while.

Looking at it from a corporate view, a purely capitalist view, there's really no reason to continue to support PC gaming when you own, produce and manage the top selling software console.

I'm sure they will continue to half-heartedly support PC gaming just like they half-heartedly supported HD-DVD... their real intentions are obvious though.