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Lawman

An open letter to Aerosoft ...

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I've thought long and hard about writing this, but I just have to get this off my chest. Knowing I'm a guest on this forum I'll strive to do it as politely and respectful as possible, even though the first paragraph below may suggest otherwise ;) . What prompted me to post this thread was the announcement that Aerosoft are going to do an F-14.

To say I'm utterly gutted and disappointed would be the understatement of the year. The only way Aerosoft can add insult to injury would be the announcement of the F-5E. It's not the F-14 as such I find disappointing: from a business standpoint it all makes complete sense. What gets on my t*ts is the total lack of originality and inventiveness Aerosoft displays when it comes to choosing "military" projects. On the rare occasion that an unusual project gets announced, it sooner or later seems to disappears into thin air (Bronco anyone?).

There are usually two reasons given for doing aircraft that have already been done by another developer. The first is that it is commercially not interesting to do more unfamiliar planes (meaning they wouldn't sell). I disagree and would like to point to a very succesful developer of Australian scenery. Now who of you would have thought 3 years ago that a (rather expensive) scenery of a continent 90% of the simmers would normally never fly to could be so succesful? What that developer did was spotting an opportunity to go beyond the trodden paths and do something fresh, exciting and new, even if it seemed to all the world like commercial suicide. I'm also sorry to say that the aformentioned developer because of this kicks Aerosoft's rear-end ATM when it comes to scenery development.

My second argument against the reasoning above is the Hughes H-1B. Now I'm an aviation lover, but I have to admit I had never heard of that aircraft before and I think I'm not alone there. Yet it didn't stop Aerosoft from doing a (practically) "one off"-aircraft. So it is possible.

The second reason usually given is that doing the same aircraft gives people more choice. IMHO this reasoning also fails. Just take a look at real life: health care and electricity are two aspects of real life where "liberalization of the market" would supposedly benefit the consumer. I think we can fairly say this has proven to be utter BS. What does that have to do with add-ons you may ask? Well, unless you're a real die-hard fan of a particular aircraft, you're not going to buy another rendition of that aircraft again. I have always buggered Aerosoft for a Mirage III, which in the meantime has been done by another developer (it is actually done so well that I don't care for an Aerosoft-version anymore). This rings even more true for the casual simmer (though Aerosoft admittedly has an advantage over other developers here, because it is more visible in the retail market, so people may not even know that there's both a freeware and payware rendition of the Tomcat already out).

I also believe that rehashing the same aircraft over and over again is actually damaging to the hobby. There's more to aviation than Spitfires, Me-109's and American jets of the F-14 to F-18-mold, but I wouldn't blame a casual simmer for thinking otherwise. And what is the "in-between"-simmer gonna do? It's all the more funny if you think that the average simmer is 40+ years old, thus "knows" about e.g. the earlier Cold War-planes and has the disposible income to boot. Even the novelty of more eye candy is going to wear off pretty soon. I realise the "forum dwellers" who like me crave for such aircraft aren't representative of the market as a whole, but I do believe the casual simmer would follow suit if only they were presented with the option in the first place.

Now I didn't write all this to slag off Aerosoft in their own forum. But as a consumer, I fear Aerosoft is slipping to become something like Volkswagen: a big company that makes safe, but alas boring, products (at least re military aircraft). Back in the old days, a new Aerosoft-product was a "no-brainer" for me. This is no longer the case. It's not a lack of money, but a lack of freshness and innovation that makes me spend my money elsewhere. Just consider this a sort of "wake up"-call and more importantly, feel free to prove me completely and absolutely wrong :P .

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I am sorry to give you the disappointment of the year and leaving you gutted, lol.<br><br>There are many reasons for doing a certain project, some pulling (like customers asking for it) and some pushing (like it's something we got access to).&nbsp;&nbsp; Then there is the market, we talk to customers and to the retail chain for boxed&nbsp; distribution. If they say they will not order a product chances of us doing it are a lot lower as we then have to depend on the download market. There is also the developer, who in this case started this project. We are just partners in this project, it's not a project that is done 'in house' as some others. I got projects I would love to do but would always make a loss, I also got project that we know would work but we simply do not get access to the location or aircraft. For example I would love a good Chinese airport. They are very important in aviation these days but we do not have the customers and we can forget about doing a photo shoot there. I also would like to do a highly modern fighter, but for some reasons they will not give me the manuals for the Eurofighter.

The Bronco is still very much on the table. We just had a complete photo shoot and a sound recording done (see that's a push argument).

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In the interest of fairness I should point out that it isn't just Aerosoft. I just found out there are two developers doing the same mark (!) of Spitfire (though in that case they didn't know about each other's project). One has to wonder if the add-on market is driven by news events (the 70th anniversary of the BoB) and/or movies ("Top Gun", "The Aviator") :huh:.

BTW, it's interesting to see that the announcement of the Tomcat at the SOH has quite a few members there questioning that choice.

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Well, I won't be spending money on ANY military jet anytime soon, but Aerosoft have shown more `adventurousness` than just about any other developer/publisher when it comes to choice of project.

* The Hughes is a perfect example

* No-one had even attempted powered gliders before the Discus project,

* No-one ever thought the Catalina had a hope in hells chance of being a success (takes off at 90, climbs at 90, cruises at 90, no autopilot, quirky handling...)

* The A300 is hardly anyones first choice of Airbus...

* The Bush Hawk XP is not likely to figure in most peoples Top Ten Bush Planes - unless they live in Alaska.

All these show the different ethos and approach adopted by Aerosoft as a developer (I'm not counting their choices as a publisher).

For that reason I rather suspect that what we are seeing here says more about the OP's focussed opinion and self-reflection than it does about the developer in the Big Picture...

That said, I cannot but agree that the F-14A is a poor choice. It's just so yawwwn-inducing when it's raison d'etre was as a two-seat, long-range, air superiority fighter, fleet defence interceptor and reconnaissance aircraft - none of which FSX allows to be simulated to any significant extent.

Smaller fighters would fly rings round it, (unless Tom Cruise was flying it), it was a flawed aircraft in many ways, and it was never produced in substantial numbers or sold to anyone other than the US Navy and pre-revolutionary Iran. It will take the repainters about six weeks to cover all of them. There were no significant variants, and the system simulation would require two people to operate it properly...

So yes, I also think there are plenty of others that could be a higher priority.

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Well Snave, of all the planes you mentioned there is only one that is military, namely the Catalina. And I was referring to Aerosoft's military projects.

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Well Snave, of all the planes you mentioned there is only one that is military, namely the Catalina. And I was referring to Aerosoft's military projects.

Well then perhaps you should never have mentioned the Hughes H-1, which wasn't either.

So what military planes would you like to see? And your criteria for selecting them, please.

Then let's see if others share your view. I know I don't (I see very little point to military aircraft in a civilian flight sim, well other than transports and smaller general purpose aircraft like the Twotter and the Beaver, both of which have strong military lineages).

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I also have no interest in another F-14, i would have much preferred a nice F-15 or a T-45 goshhawk even (ok, a proper Hawk being British and all but....). At the end of the day we don't have to buy it so i don't see the problem. Aerosoft obviosuly see's a market so who are we to argue? if it's up to the standards of their F-16 its sure to be a hit. Im sure we will see more types in future and they are sure to get better and better each time, who knows what will happen a few years down the line when we have more than just FSX to buy addons for ;) exciting times indeed so im not too bothered by this myself, patience is a virtue.

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As Mathijs wrote above, this is a partnership venture, not a full in house project, so if the project is unappealing, boring or unadventurous then please, punch bag me, not Aerosoft :).

I'm sorry it displeases many people, frankly what ever I chose would have elicited the same response but from other factions, sometimes you just cannot win when picking subject matter LOL.

I am about to spend maybe 2000 hours on this model, so it had better be one I am comfortable with, have sufficient data for and am reasonably assured will be a commercial success, given recent previous employer let downs I do not have the luxury of 'risk taking'. You will find that almost all major developers will have popular models in their collection, often called 'bankers models', duplicated but generally boring models, but they do keep the men in gray from the door, and when you have enough of them you can branch out to more obscure models, with the safety net of the banked models in your collection to help you if they fall flat on their face commercially, which historically (12 years in the business) they more than often do.

So, if you feel the need to vent your displeasure or berate the choice of the F-14, then send it to me, not Aerosoft, you can mail me or PM me, so long as its factual, polite and articulate, you will get a reply in kind.

Sincere regards

Michael

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As Mathijs wrote above, this is a partnership venture, not a full in house project, so if the project is unappealing, boring or unadventurous then please, punch bag me, not Aerosoft :).

I'm sorry it displeases many people, frankly what ever I chose would have elicited the same response but from other factions, sometimes you just cannot win when picking subject matter LOL.

I am about to spend maybe 2000 hours on this model, so it had better be one I am comfortable with, have sufficient data for and am reasonably assured will be a commercial success, given recent previous employer let downs I do not have the luxury of 'risk taking'. You will find that almost all major developers will have popular models in their collection, often called 'bankers models', duplicated but generally boring models, but they do keep the men in gray from the door, and when you have enough of them you can branch out to more obscure models, with the safety net of the banked models in your collection to help you if they fall flat on their face commercially, which historically (12 years in the business) they more than often do.

So, if you feel the need to vent your displeasure or berate the choice of the F-14, then send it to me, not Aerosoft, you can mail me or PM me, so long as its factual, polite and articulate, you will get a reply in kind.

Sincere regards

Michael

OK,why not an F4?

There's only one version in development - OK it is A2A, but it's still only one, it hasn't been done before for FSX and you could easily produce one of the myriad alternative variants used by many different Air Forces and Navies around the World? There are also more of them in museums than F14's, and of course still in service with some European Air Forces...

Or how about the Saab Draken?

Produced in similar numbers to the F14, but also used by several European Air Forces as well as the US National Test Pilot School (yes, really).

To be honest, we could make the case for upwards of fifty or more aircraft from the Cold War period more deserving than a repetition of a Tomcat, and I'm sure given the european-focus of Aerosoft, there will be many who could extend that to 100, favouring local attractions. Make that 200 if we get out of fighters and into bombers, reconnaissance and transports.

The `systemology` of the Tomcat and it's two seat interraction really does not lend itself to FS, so it would need to be a VERY advanced model from the technical and operational aspects to even stand a chance of selling against the competition. How are you going to invoke the pilot flying, while you sit in the rear operating the radar? :unsure:

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Michael, if it has to be military, its still not too late to change to a B-47, you know. Even I would rationalize a Stratojet into Air Hauler some how. And our cousins in the Colonies would find it equally 'awesome' as the Tomcat.

Please understand, I'm not trying to re-invent this thread into another 'what would you like to see next' poll, just presenting an alternative that I hope would be equally beneficial to Aerosoft's fortunes.A rare beauty, something bankable, but new ( well, apart from the Alphasim one which came and went ) and a bit different.

Yes, you are about to embark on 2000 hours of work; please, please make it on something new !

( Lawman, good thread and good opening post BTW )

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OK,why not an F4?

There's only one version in development - OK it is A2A, but it's still only one, it hasn't been done before for FSX and you could easily produce one of the myriad alternative variants used by many different Air Forces and Navies around the World? There are also more of them in museums than F14's, and of course still in service with some European Air Forces...

Or how about the Saab Draken?

Produced in similar numbers to the F14, but also used by several European Air Forces as well as the US National Test Pilot School (yes, really).

To be honest, we could make the case for upwards of fifty or more aircraft from the Cold War period more deserving than a repetition of a Tomcat, and I'm sure given the european-focus of Aerosoft, there will be many who could extend that to 100, favouring local attractions. Make that 200 if we get out of fighters and into bombers, reconnaissance and transports.

The `systemology` of the Tomcat and it's two seat interraction really does not lend itself to FS, so it would need to be a VERY advanced model from the technical and operational aspects to even stand a chance of selling against the competition. How are you going to invoke the pilot flying, while you sit in the rear operating the radar? :unsure:

Theres more than one F-4 in development, if behind closed door whispers are to be believed.

Draken, doesn't interest me, sorry, not enough to expend the time expected to get to todays level, the last Draken I was involved with was a mediocre commercial success.

More deserving ?, thats subjective and a case that will never be cleanly resolved, the F-14 is a perfect example of subjective dialog, some people abhor the choice, others welcome it, who do you pander to, you know that x percentage is going to be upset with choice A and x percentage with choice B so knowing full well that what ever you pick will upset someone then its an easy step to pick something that wont upset yourself.

Most modern military two seat jets do not lend themselves to FS interaction, lets be honest.

Regarding the competition, if they are that good, then why have both parties in the past considered revamping them ?, much as Aerosoft was considering (F-5) and actually doing (A-10), no model is perfect and eventually will need to be replaced or surpassed, as will this one eventually.

To be honest, this whole affair is a perfect example of the Kubler Ross curve, those familiar with the curve will recognize where on the curve this thread is in at the moment, and that trying to effect any change is going to have little effect. Eventually every one gets to the end of the curve :), some faster than others.

Lets be candid here, what do 'you' suggest I do ?, make a model that suits just your or other dissenters tastes here ?, throw away all thats gone before and then restart something that suits their exact tastes ?. If we do that, what do we say to those others that come along and disagree when its previewed ?. uncomfortable and seemingly unpopular as the F-14 is, it is not going to go away, nor am I ever likely to make something that interest those upset here, if I did then this post would not be here, well it would but with different faces :).

Kindest

Michael

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Michael, if it has to be military, its still not too late to change to a B-47, you know. Even I would rationalize a Stratojet into Air Hauler some how. And our cousins in the Colonies would find it equally 'awesome' as the Tomcat.

Please understand, I'm not trying to re-invent this thread into another 'what would you like to see next' poll, just presenting an alternative that I hope would be equally beneficial to Aerosoft's fortunes.A rare beauty, something bankable, but new ( well, apart from the Alphasim one which came and went ) and a bit different.

Yes, you are about to embark on 2000 hours of work; please, please make it on something new !

( Lawman, good thread and good opening post BTW )

Paul,

There a great many models that do interest me, that could be done, but like many things you do the ones that appeal the most to yourself, I've always wanted to do the F-14 but in the past the timing has been poor, granted right now is not unflawed and I wont argue against those that say so, but as everyone in this game knows, doors do not stay open for long and when closed will remain (historically) so for a good number of years.

There always has to be a first model, everything willing there will be others and once a few bankable models are in the safe then one can begin to explore others. Most of my choices will probably fall outside of what people in this thread want anyway i am sorry that I cannot avoid that, but its a simple fact of peoples interests, common or not.

When you say something new, its new to me, is that not enough reason ?, people forget that I've worked on over 100 models (must count them up one day) over the years and been author to a very high percentage of those, aircraft people suggest as new are not new to me, they're as boring to me as a new rendition of the F-14 is to them :).

I'm not here to dissuade anyones point of view, they are important and its quite clear they go much deeper than just this one incident, I've seen similar post and views elsewhere with other recent previews.

Kindest

Michael

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When you say something new, its new to me, is that not enough reason ?, people forget that I've worked on over 100 models (must ###### them up one day) over the years and been author to a very high percentage of those, aircraft people suggest as new are not new to me, they're as boring to me as a new rendition of the F-14 is to them :).

Michael, the fact that the F-14 is new to you as a modeller isn't going to sell it in a market that already has one payware and one freeware Tomcat . I'm talking about 'new' to the consumer, not to you, the manufacturer ( for want of a better term).

Your post above raises a question...who's decision was it to go for an F-14 ? Was it you who offered an F-14 to Aerosoft, or did Aerosoft decide they wanted an F-14 and then approach you to build it ?

( All this can't be much fun for you, Michael, but if your modelling skills are anywhere near your resilience, continued pleasant manners and good humour since this F-14 furore arose...well...DO A C-46 !!!! :lol: )

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Michael, the fact that the F-14 is new to you as a modeller isn't going to sell it in a market that already has one payware and one freeware Tomcat . I'm talking about 'new' to the consumer, not to you, the manufacturer ( for want of a better term).

Your post above raises a question...who's decision was it to go for an F-14 ? Was it you who offered an F-14 to Aerosoft, or did Aerosoft decide they wanted an F-14 and then approach you to build it ?

( All this can't be much fun for you, Michael, but if your modelling skills are anywhere near your resilience, continued pleasant manners and good humour since this F-14 furore arose...well...DO A C-46 !!!! :lol: )

I chose the F-14 (as explained in the other preview thread, perhaps not the most eloquent method of choice :) and one to be reviewed next time for sure), but Aerosoft had to vet the choice and make an overall decision based on their business model, the fact that they accepted it is foundation enough for me that the choice was right, trust me they turned down others on the list that I thought from experience would be good. Their professional no nonsense business approach was rewarding, to that end I trust them to know their market place far better than I.

Manufacturer is a perfectly good term, developer is another, Aerosoft being the publisher, who will be assisting in some areas, and importantly the overall critique to make sure it is up to their high standards.

I take your point about new to me, but an F-14 will sell (whether it does or does not should not be the worry of customers, thats what we are here to worry about for you :) ), its one of those planes that tends to sell and sell, Mustangs and Spitfires are two others, 737s and Airbus's are a couple more. It doesn't have to be unique or not made before to be a viable project. Granted a not made before model will have a totally free market place to wander around, but by virtue of it being the only one tends to point to it not being as popular, thus over all sales are often less, often less than a duplicated model (from historical experience).

Fun ?, of course it is :), so long as it is polite, structured and most of the frenzied emotion is removed. I've been here before, many many times, its the same each time a new model is previewed, exactly the same, rarely varies but comfortingly always the same conclusions.

Fighting it, is pointless and recognizing that is a very important part of the process, hence the reference to the Kubler Ross curve, but it is still fun to talk and bat it around for a few days. It is often also crudely called 'working the forums', for me it is all part of the model development, a welcome break from the tedium of Max and poly bending that has been going on non stop to produce the initial renders.

C-46, what !, ye gads man, one of those smoky old tin buckets LOL, seriously, I did hear recently that there was one of those in progress somewhere, its not an aircraft high up my interest tree so it was only a passing mental note that one was in progress.

All the best

Michael

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I would have thought that if commerciality was the aim, choosing a `marmite` aircraft like the F14 (if it describes the `black and white` enthusiasm levels your research suggests), would be a potential commercial failure?

After all, you cannot predict the featuresets and facilities of the competitors products and surely, if there is a market for a Tomcat, it can only be diluted by the appearance of three, and only one will win out. A pretty risky strategy in these parsimonious times!

On the other hand, doing something that has never been done before is the kind of market opener that sees new boundaries being set. Did we know we wanted an L-39 Albatros..? Even I bought that, and I'm not a fan of military jets, as I've said..!

A `proper` Buccaneer with properly simulated blown wing and empennage (and still the fastest low level bomber ever made), English Electric Lightning (lots of variants and a performance to put the Tomcat to shame in everything but unrefuelled range) or even the Saab Viggen (land it on roads, STOL capability and thrust reverse auto cut-in on nosewheel contact) would all seem candidates that would appeal to me long before a Tomcat. American-centric as we are in the sim hobby, I would venture to suggest that the F-8 Crusader - `the last of the gunfighters`, is also a carrier aircraft that's crying out for a modern iteration.

Although as the Grumman F14 has no appeal to me whatsoever I suppose you could probably sell me a Fokker F.14 before a twin engined fleet protector! :lol:

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I would have thought that if commerciality was the aim, choosing a `marmite` aircraft like the F14 (if it describes the `black and white` enthusiasm levels your research suggests), would be a potential commercial failure?

After all, you cannot predict the featuresets and facilities of the competitors products and surely, if there is a market for a Tomcat, it can only be diluted by the appearance of three, and only one will win out. A pretty risky strategy in these parsimonious times!

On the other hand, doing something that has never been done before is the kind of market opener that sees new boundaries being set. Did we know we wanted an L-39 Albatros..? Even I bought that, and I'm not a fan of military jets, as I've said..!

A `proper` Buccaneer with properly simulated blown wing and empennage (and still the fastest low level bomber ever made), English Electric Lightning (lots of variants and a performance to put the Tomcat to shame in everything but unrefuelled range) or even the Saab Viggen (land it on roads, STOL capability and thrust reverse auto cut-in on nosewheel contact) would all seem candidates that would appeal to me long before a Tomcat. American-centric as we are in the sim hobby, I would venture to suggest that the F-8 Crusader - `the last of the gunfighters`, is also a carrier aircraft that's crying out for a modern iteration.

Although as the Grumman F14 has no appeal to me whatsoever I suppose you could probably sell me a Fokker F.14 before a twin engined fleet protector! :lol:

I do not think the F-14 is as marmite as one would first think, I think in this instance, its only a marmite choice due to there being others available, others which are almost two years old, good certainly, but getting old and that is a fact we cannot hide from. If it were the only one on the table then I think it would be a no brainer, so the F-14 is fundamentally not a bad choice, what is subjectively bad to some is the choice with the current market supply position, and that will never get a straight answer, some will argue its crazy, stupid even, some will not, some will welcome more of the same. I also do not believe only one will win out, I think all three will win in their own right. Many will recall the appearance of two Intruders, both of comparable quality and market strategy, I'm reasonably confident that both did alright for each vendor :). Freeware, freeware has never really been an obstacle against payware, it is something to be mind full of, respected even, but those that mainly collect freeware would probably not have bought payware anyway, so they are not generally considered as lost customers.

You are right, you cannot predict the feature set of the other competitors, you certainly can with the ones already out there, but not future aircraft, and that goes for aircraft where no current publicly known duplicate is in progress. However you can look at things historically and if company X produces models to feature set x,y,z then it is reasonably likely they will continue to produce to that same format or very close to, if you (the other developer) feel that you can surpass that, or offer a feature set you think they will not have, then why not give it a go, unless of course you want total market domination, and that rarely happens so why contemplate it in the first place ?.

American-centric, I like that term, and oh so true, three (two commercial) F-14s is generally not a concern, three Mustangs or three 737s are also not much of a commercial concern, but three Tornados, or Mirages, well then you really do have to question your choice in those instances.

Crusader, would not argue against that, it was considered, and still is for the future, but not right now I'm afraid.

To recount, I am not trying to 'convert' anyone or win them over :), I am however, very interested in why people believe what they do and how they perceive the market place, it is all very good and constructive dialog.

Kindest regards

Michael

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No disrespect, but come on guys...Quit with all the belly aching and let the man make the aircraft...If you are not interested, then don't purchase or spam the forum topic with all the sniveling, simply find another one that might peak your interest. :rolleyes:

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No disrespect, but come on guys...Quit with all the belly aching and let the man make the aircraft...If you are not interested, then don't purchase or spam the forum topic with all the sniveling, simply find another one that might peak your interest. :rolleyes:

No disrespect but we are 'snivelling' ? Right.

We are reacting to the prospect of a third native FSX F-14, which has generated some controversy. This is permitted; its called 'discussion''. We are not 'snivelling'...as you so respectfully put it.

If you wish only for whoop-whooping unalloyed approbation, go and read Sim Outhouse.

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No disrespect, but come on guys...Quit with all the belly aching and let the man make the aircraft...If you are not interested, then don't purchase or spam the forum topic with all the sniveling, simply find another one that might peak your interest. :rolleyes:

If you cant recognise this is a discussion - and one which is proceeding at an interesting pace and with intelligence and acuity, then perhaps this topic is beyond you, and you should desist from contributing, lest you actually create the spam you vilify irrelevantly.

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I do not think the F-14 is as marmite as one would first think, I think in this instance, its only a marmite choice due to there being others available, others which are almost two years old, good certainly, but getting old and that is a fact we cannot hide from. If it were the only one on the table then I think it would be a no brainer, so the F-14 is fundamentally not a bad choice, what is subjectively bad to some is the choice with the current market supply position, and that will never get a straight answer, some will argue its crazy, stupid even, some will not, some will welcome more of the same. I also do not believe only one will win out, I think all three will win in their own right. Many will recall the appearance of two Intruders, both of comparable quality and market strategy, I'm reasonably confident that both did alright for each vendor :). Freeware, freeware has never really been an obstacle against payware, it is something to be mind full of, respected even, but those that mainly collect freeware would probably not have bought payware anyway, so they are not generally considered as lost customers.

You are right, you cannot predict the feature set of the other competitors, you certainly can with the ones already out there, but not future aircraft, and that goes for aircraft where no current publicly known duplicate is in progress. However you can look at things historically and if company X produces models to feature set x,y,z then it is reasonably likely they will continue to produce to that same format or very close to, if you (the other developer) feel that you can surpass that, or offer a feature set you think they will not have, then why not give it a go, unless of course you want total market domination, and that rarely happens so why contemplate it in the first place ?.

American-centric, I like that term, and oh so true, three (two commercial) F-14s is generally not a concern, three Mustangs or three 737s are also not much of a commercial concern, but three Tornados, or Mirages, well then you really do have to question your choice in those instances.

Crusader, would not argue against that, it was considered, and still is for the future, but not right now I'm afraid.

To recount, I am not trying to 'convert' anyone or win them over :), I am however, very interested in why people believe what they do and how they perceive the market place, it is all very good and constructive dialog.

Kindest regards

Michael

Thanks Michael, and I agree this is a very interesting discussion and one of the rare ones in sim-dom these days where peoples opinions have a useful contribution to make, hopefully to choices of the future, if not today. Clearly the discussion about the Tomcat is moot, decisions having been taken and all, but I have to say that overall, I obtain more pleasure from the `unfamiliar` aircraft in flight sim than I do from the `common as muck` ones.

Perhaps the golden era of carrier aircraft (certainly from the point of view of rate of progress, number of different types and the uses to which they were put) the late-50's to early 80's is a good focal point, as there are a huge number of different types to choose from.

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If you cant recognise this is a discussion - and one which is proceeding at an interesting pace and with intelligence and acuity, then perhaps this topic is beyond you, and you should desist from contributing, lest you actually create the spam you vilify irrelevantly.

:rolleyes:

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I am however, very interested in why people believe what they do and how they perceive the market place, it is all very good and constructive dialog.

Kindest regards

Michael

Michael, let me explain the reason for my OP. I have been following your replies both on this forum as well as on the SOH. What you read below is basically the "condensed" version of my reply to you (and more importantly Aerosoft, because I explicitly and purposely directed my post towards them).

First of all, it wasn't my intention to try to talk you and/or Aerosoft out of doing the F-14. That would have been a futile exercise, especially (and I mean this in the kindest way) if the developer wants to pursue his own "pet" project. I can understand you want to do something that is close to your heart and that it will benefit the final product if the dev is actually doing something he enjoys/believes in.

No, the reason I posted this "open letter" is that I consider Aerosoft one of "The Big Three" publishers that have the resources to "push" a product into the market (in other words "create a market"). With all due respect, your previous publisher unfortunately did not have the (financial) resources to do that and so sales haven't been what everyone was hoping for. I think that you have to also take that into account when you refer to your personal past experiences.

See, I'm getting a bit tired of the same old reply of "Oh, it would never sell". But isn't part of running an enterprise the taking of certain risks? To do something new and see how the market responds? That's the thing that has driven Western economy. Sometimes you indeed fall flat on your face, but if you had proposed the iPod 30 years ago people would have said "You're crazy, it'll never catch on" and just look what happened.

It is also my view that not only is it important to bring more people to the hobby (so to speak), but also keep (those) people on board if flight simming is to remain a vital hobby and businness. How are you gonna keep people interested if their only choice is between three different shades of black? IMHO, a good and inventive product that captures people's imagination will always find a market, no matter how obscure our out of whack it may seem at first. People love military aviation, just look at the attendance number at air shows. I abhor the thought of MSFS turning into CFS4 (as some seem to crave), but flying a military aircraft in MSFS is no different than flying a GA-aircraft or a tubeliner. I also don't see why Aerosoft doing a more "obscure" military aircraft is a greater commercial risk for them than doing an even more obscure aircraft than the Hughes H-1 (I hope these last two sentences also answer some of Snave's questions). If I'm wrong, please explain the Bronco?

To sum it all up, I think there is a market for more "obscure" (heck, these things aren't "obscure") aircraft. As I have said in my OP, the generation that has the disposible income knows about these aircraft and would love to have them in the sim. Part of the business game is to "create a demand" for the product you sell and Aerosoft can do that (even if PC-gaming as a whole is in decline in the retail business). But let's face it, the only way the retailers are going to stock the Tomcat (if a boxed version is planned) is because of the connection to "Top Gun". I'm willing to bet that those same retailers won't know a Tomcat from a Sabre. Aerosoft has enough "bread and butter"-products to be a bit more adventurous in "the military department". They may be surprised by the sales.

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I agree; such is Aerosoft's stock with the flight simming fraternity, that they possibly can afford to risk being a little more adventurous. Any Aerosoft release elicits a lot of interest, and maybe more sales than if the same model was released by another publisher ( mentioning no names ).

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