Microsoft Shutters ACES

The word is beginning to leak out across the web tonight, and it’s the worst kind of news for FS fans. Early reports indicate that Microsoft may have pulled the plug – at leat for now – on the ACES studio, the people who brought us Flight Simulator and ESP, and who were edging up on releasing TrainSim 2. If this turns out to be true, some of the best and brightest sim and game developers will soon be looking for greener pastures. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that they quickly find new work and can put their talents to good use elsewhere.

What does this mean for the FS franchise in general? It’s much too early to say. Partly it depends on whether Microsoft reactivates the team in some incarnation at a later date, as we all hope they will. Lacking a dev team at MS means no more versions of FS in the near term, but at least they left us on a high note. FSX is a very capable platform whose full potential we are only beginning to explore. Given the worldwide base of users and fans, I’m sure the old girl has many more years left in her.

For now though, our thoughts go out to those who lost their jobs today. You’re a brilliant lot, all of you, and you deserved a much better fate than this. Keep your chins up and the wind at your backs. I remember my instructor drilling the three rules of an emergency landing into my head: first aviate, then navigate, and once you’ve got that under control, you can communicate. Here’s hoping we hear from you real soon.

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5 responses to “Microsoft Shutters ACES

  1. This is sad… The Gordon Gekko spirit is alive and kicking in Seattle. I’ve been a loyal Microsoft customer for over 20 years buying almost every version of windows, office and flight simulator. Now I’ll become a software pirate supporter instead. At least they have heart and passion for what they’re doing! Good luck to all at ACES and may the addon scene live for many years!

  2. Hmmmm.. to that last remark: software pirates are at least part of the demise of Aces (and so many other smaller companies).

    FS will live for many years to come, I am not pessimistic about that, but this is hard and unjust for the MS people and their families.

  3. As a developer, there’s no way I’m going to condone piracy. Period. If you want the franchise to live on, BUY add-ons, don’t pirate them. Are we to admire bank robbers as well for their “passion” for taking other peoples’ things? Nonsense.

  4. Nope, I’m only going to stop supporting Microsoft… Microsoft has had healthy profits for over 20 years. They would have no problem supporting their staff through a rough economic period. As a hughe player they should have huge social and ethical responsibilities. When a company takes on people they should treat them like people, not rotten fruit that they can throw away at their convenience. While I’d never steal software personally (there are so many good alternatives to office, internet explorer etc.) I’m now going to turn a blind eye to those who steal from Microsoft – if these rumors are true! As for you addon guys, I’ve spent some $2000 dollars buying your products over the last three years, including all with your magic touch Bill.

  5. Microsoft is bent on shooting themselves in the foot. First they come out with this abortion Vista in spite of the thousandas of Diagostic machines and Testing machines that are slaved to XP or a close relative to it. I know of one small testing lab that it would cost them $120,000 to change their software for their Spectometers, Electron Microscopes and Testing Machines. Not to mention the down time while people got used to it.
    Now they shut off Aces. The only group that really interacted with Le Grande Microsoft and us huddled masses. It’s Microsofts loss and it’s just another .45 slug in the foot.
    Flight Simulators will go on and on…

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