Microsoft Flight could harm the simulation games market if the company doesn’t open it up to third-parties, publishers have told MCV.
Firms such as Mastertronic and Contact Sales currently sell extra content for Microsoft Flight Simulator X. But its sequel Flight, a free-to-play digital PC title out this spring, will not allow third-parties to release DLC at launch, and maybe never at all.
“We think freemium is the way the games industry is going and we welcome the fact that Flight is coming out as a free product,” Mastertronic’s operations director Dermot Stapleton told MCV.
“But [Microsoft] would miss a trick if they limited the options for freeware and commercial developers, as that drives the whole hobby. And the minute you lock out boxed product, you close out markets like Germany, where there’s massive demand for boxed simulation games."
Contact Sales MD Robert Stallibrass added: “I’m delighted they’re continuing the flight sim genre but I’m disappointed it’s all going online because this doesn’t give us a lot of opportunities.
“It’s all very well to put everything online, but a high percentage of people still like to buy the boxed versions of games."
Microsoft, however, argues that keeping DLC under one roof will simplify the download process and allow it to release new content ‘faster than a typical retail model’.
“We will be taking the lead role in new DLC for the launch and first months,” Flight’s executive producer Joshua Howard told MCV. “As we gain more experience with the distribution model and our consumers, we will explore opportunities to grow our content offerings.