Redmond, Washington-based ACES Studio, the Microsoft-owned internal group behind the venerable Microsoft Flight Simulator series, has been heavily affected by Microsoft's ongoing job cuts.http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21981
Development sources have told Gamasutra that a large portion of the dev house's staff has been let go - with multiple reports indicating that the entire Flight Simulator team has been axed.
The Microsoft-owned Flight Simulator is possibly the game industry's longest-running continuous franchise.
I've been playing Flight Simulator in its various forms since I can remember. It followed me throughout so many phases of my life.
- As a child, I played the original version on my dad's Apple II computer in all its monochrome glory.
- During my teenage years and the era of Flight Simulator 4, I had a ball swooping around Chicago's Meigs Field and exploring the seemingly endless polygonal world.
- FS 2004: A Century of Flight opened up a whole new world of flying for me, with its mix of detailed vintage and modern aircraft. I still have the little metal DC-3 they released with it on the first day. Alaskan bush flying, helicopter piloting, airline routes - I tried it all.
The morning of my first real flying lesson five years ago, I remember creating a custom session - a C172 departing Tamiami airport in Miami - and flying the heck out of it. When I got in the real 172SP's cockpit a few hours later, I already knew where everything was and what most of it did.
- FS X Deluxe Edition was in my hands the day it came out. Along with my college classes and my consumption of everything ATC, its online ATC multiplayer component gave me my first taste of controlling live traffic piloted by live people. It definitely helped with my phraseology and helped me build situational awareness.
To help myself out with my Virtual ATC-ing, I actually designed my own Strip Bay software to work in conjunction with FSX. One of the FS X developers mentioned it in his blog way back when.
It will be missed by this particular Flying Penguin.