Whilst reading news sites, such as Air Daily X, as wel as forums galore, I have constantly been seeing an onflux of people acting as if they are somehow being wronged by developer decisions to move forward and develop only for the latest and greatest in flight simulation platforms. In this case, I am referring to the awesome new Prepar3d Version 4, commonly known in the community as P3Dv4.
I actually find the attitudes of the people who are complaining to be very … well … face-palm worthy, to say the least. I get it … some folks are old, or just old dashioned, and choose to live in the dark ages. I get that. I also get that they have some nostalgia for that favorite add-on plane or scenery that has captured their heart and they cannot bear to leave behind … literally ever. I’m okay with that, also. But what these people do not seem to grasp is the simple fact that they CHOOSE to stay in those dark ages. There’s nothing wrong with that decision, but it IS a decision. it is NOT forced on them. They choose it. Where I have to shake my head is when they flip their lid and expect all of the community developers to stay in those dark ages with them and NOT move forward.
A bit of background … In an article back in July, fselite.net covered a story that stated "FlyTampa, Flightbeam, FSDreamTeam and 29Palms Future Products to be P3D V4 Only". Thise news also was posted on Air Daily X and a number of other major news sites. It was news which rang beauty to my ears, and I smiles as I praised these developers for moving forward and taking advantage of the latest and greatest in platform technologies to give us better and better experiences in the sim. But, of course, the cave-people crawled out and started in a panic as if it was the end of their dark little world. "Oh, no," they cried, "How can these developers betray us like this?"
Honestly, I have to wonder what kind of selfish entitlement can pursued people to say, "Oh, hey, these new technologies are available, but I don’t want my favorite developer to use them because then it would interfere with me being able to use that awesome new add-on in my archaic and much outdated simulator." That is a thought process which disappoints me greatly. I know … it’s flight simulations and, let’s face it, this community has a LOT of very old folks with very old fashioned interests which include living in the past and not looking at all to what the future may bring the next generation under them. I am glad i am an open minded individual. If I have kids (I … well … I don;t think I have any … yet … **shuts off phone**), I would actually be happy to see them be able to get full and realistic experiences for aviation. I am a real world pilot, but it was actually thanks to my own obsession with flight simulation that I went out and started to fly in the real world. With younger generations, I could only hope that newer tech and newer ways to capture the imagination will captivate my kid(s) (If I ever have any) the same way it captivated me.
This is not the first time we’ve heard this argument before, either. Look what happened when Microsoft made the decision to quit supporting Windows XP. And rightly so, too. That bloody platform was over a decade old at the time of that announcement. Companies can;t be expected to support people who want to live in the past and not keep up with the times. I’d make the same decision if I were a developer.
When making a decision as to end support for something, here’s some of the main questions:
- Where does the FUTURE of my product lie? As in who is my FUTURE audience?
- How have sales for my CURRENT products been trending? Are they falling off? Or are they increasing? This gives me an idea of demand for the current tech platform.
- This is where some of you will go, "Oh you are so selfish!", but … What is it that I WANT to develop? After all, if i do not have passion for what I am making, how the heck can I do good at it?
Now, just because developers decide to make NEW products for CURRENT platforms only does NOT mean that current product owners HAVE to be left in the dust. Okay, so maybe you won;t get that new airport coming up, but chances are most likely that you can still get answers and technical assistance for your current product. There seems to be a huge influx of irrational thinking that just because FSDT, Flightbeam, etc. want to develop for P3Dv4 only that current customers will be completely ignored. I highly doubt that is the case.
One thing that does make me chuckle is the whole argument of, "Well if they quit updating my product how will it work in the future???" My reply can only be this: "Huh?" I mean, think about it … you are using an older scenery … on an older platform. That older platform is NO LONGER BEING DEVELOPED OR UPDATED. Your scenery currently WORKS JUST FINE in that platform. So … since there will be no further updates to FSX, FSX:SE, or P3D 32 bit, then what the possible seven hells can possibly break your airport suddenly in the future? Nothing. That’s a fact that cannot be argued … at all. If no changes are being made, then the only thing that can break your currently working product is literally you and you alone.
So with that in mind, here are the facts:
- Developers need to focus on the CURRENT trends and platforms currently available. If they do not, they will not be able to move forward.
- Your life will not end because you choose not to move on with the latest and greatest in your hobby.
- Your hobby exists in a technological virtual world … change happens … it just happens.
Another amazing thing I keep hearing in the community is the whole "It’s too expensive to upgrade" BS. Okay, so you choose to get into LITERALLY the MOST EXPENSIVE computer game hobby in the world – flight simulation – and then expect everything to be cheaper than a visit to Starbuck’s? That’s an odd way of approaching things, and I wish you luck in learning how things happen in the real world. We are not forced into flight simulation. We CHOOSE this, and EVERY single one of us knows how expensibve this hobby can be before we even bother to get into it. Anyone who says otherwise … well … I call BS on that. With the way Flight Simulation products are advertised and presented, it is literally impossible to assume that you won;t be paying dearly to keep up with this very expensive hobby.
DISCLAIMER: If you are offended by this article, and have the feeling I have somehow flamed people unreasonably by writing this article, then you are one of the people who inspired me to write this article.
Back to the virtual skies, everyone. Thanks for reading.