Microsoft Flight relaunching for free
Posted: 8th Feb 2012
Microsoft has announced that it is relaunching its famous Flight Sim franchise at this month, and that gamers will be able to download the new version absolutely free of charge to enjoy at their leisure.
Flight Sim was, for many years, considered the ultimate game simulator. Fans of the series who fancied themselves as pilots often spend thousand of pounds on control panels and chairs that mimic real-life cockpits, and still take part in real time flights online that see them fly through cyberspace guided by other players who act out the role of air traffic control.
Flying a plane in Flight Sim could be as hard as the real thing, with dozens of controls and readouts to stay on top of. For the more amateur pilot, things are a bit more simple and the basics can be mastered with just a keyboard and mouse.
For several years, however, development on the franchise halted. As gaming has become more mainstream, niche titles like Flight Sim have fallen behind. What’s more, there’s been a rather more simple but free flight simulator built into Google Earth for five years, which has grown in popularity while Flight Sim has floundered.
The new version should reverse that though. Now called simply ‘Microsoft Flight‘, it has an entirely new approach to development and an intriguing business model. Players will be able to download the game without spending a penny, and fly around the Big Island of Hawaii.
New planes and geographic locations can be unlocked either by earning achievements or buying downloadable content, with extras available from the day of launch. This micropayment model has proved popular in many online games over the last few years, and should be a recipe for success given the dedication of Flight Sim fans.
If you fancy getting your hands behind the sticks, then February 29th is the date to head over to Microsoft’s official website.