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Lawman

An open letter to Aerosoft ...

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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.

Hi,

I think thats a pretty good repose and on the whole, well actually all of it, can not disagree.

My historical work I am trying to leave behind LOL, expanding that vein really has no place, time to look forward and move on.

You are right Aerosoft does have the market clout to perhaps make models that are not main stream, however I am not getting paid for the 'bankers models' they already have in the market place, so for one or two initial models I have to play safe, I am fully aware of the other projects, perhaps more so than some posters give credit, however I feel the F-14 will give a better return even if a duplicate than a more obsure that might or might not sell well, thats just my opinion.

I realise that the original post was aimed at Aerosoft, however you did use the F-14 as an example, and as such I felt the need to lay a few words down to explain how the decision came about. I'm glad we didn't go with the F-5 after all now LOL, it was a serious contender :). I am sure Aerosoft will consider obscure or less main stream modelsat some point (and that is there option), however they will still have to find some one to do them, and if no one volunteers or a partnership modeler does not knock on their door with such a project, then they can not provide what some wish for. They could of course opt for the alternative of buying in 3rd party work and making it FS ready, but that doesnt always produce the results one wishes for.

Some one on another forum made the point that some maodels are now getting like an EA games product, and yes to a certain extent that is true, but the very popular models will always get done again and again, each one being just that little better than the last, that trait has never changed since the inception of FS, and I suspect will never change.

Most modelers make models they have a passion for, trying to make them make something they dont like is risking the project falling flat on its face or dragging its heels for some considerable time.

So to summise from my perspective, yes, Aerosoft could probably afford to be a bit more 'risky', but not with my time or expenditure :), does that sort fo make sense ?.

Sincerely

Michael

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Michael, you have been very candid with your replies, for which I thank you (it also must have kept you from doing work on the Tomcat, so sorry for that :blush: ). I understand your position, I hope you do mine. My post may have been kind of provocative, but unfortunately it seems that sometimes you have to "kick someone in the nuts" <_< to get their attention and (hopefully) get them to listen. I also hope you understand that I wasn't taking a swing at you personally for doing the F-14. Rest assured I would have given you/Aerosoft as much hell if y'all would have announced another Hornet :lol: . And I could live with an F-5A/B :P .

P.S: your "historical" work has given me a lot of pleasure (gee, that almost sounds like some sort of weird "turn on" :unsure: ), so there's no need for you to be ashamed of your previous work.

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I think the point has been properly discussed, to which I would add one final `food for thought` - and a request to look to the past for inspiration for the future.

Remember FS2004? No-one had dared create that pig-ugly, dog slow, light-on-technology, flying-bathtub-with-a-whisk-on-the-front the A10 Warthog because it would never sell against all those pretty Mach 2 wonders... :huh:

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I think the point has been properly discussed, to which I would add one final `food for thought` - and a request to look to the past for inspiration for the future.

Remember FS2004? No-one had dared create that pig-ugly, dog slow, light-on-technology, flying-bathtub-with-a-whisk-on-the-front the A10 Warthog because it would never sell against all those pretty Mach 2 wonders... :huh:

Snave, let's hope Aerosoft also takes (at least some of) this to heart :cheers_s: .

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Snave, let's hope Aerosoft also takes (at least some of) this to heart :cheers_s: .

The only certainty in marketing is: It won't work if you don't try it... :huh:

Let's hope a triumvirate of Tomcats leaves room for Aerosoft... I know I wouldn't be advising a client of mine in a market like this to launch against more than one established opponent.

There's always room for two, but three's a crowd.

And what that means in FSX is if there are three, then even avid fans buy one or two, but save on the third `coz times' iz ard..! And if the one is freeware and it's brilliant, the risk is that satisfies most and the purchasers cumulatively are nowhere. Who wants to be in a market where potential penetration is one third what it should be, and that's the best? At worst it could be 4-8 percent of the total Tomcat market. And that's probably single digit units in this rarefied market.

THAT'S the risk here as I see it, as an outsider looking in. But it's not my sausage.

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The only certainty in marketing is: It won't work if you don't try it... :huh:

Let's hope a triumvirate of Tomcats leaves room for Aerosoft... I know I wouldn't be advising a client of mine in a market like this to launch against more than one established opponent.

There's always room for two, but three's a crowd.

And what that means in FSX is if there are three, then even avid fans buy one or two, but save on the third `coz times' iz ard..! And if the one is freeware and it's brilliant, the risk is that satisfies most and the purchasers cumulatively are nowhere. Who wants to be in a market where potential penetration is one third what it should be, and that's the best? At worst it could be 4-8 percent of the total Tomcat market. And that's probably single digit units in this rarefied market.

THAT'S the risk here as I see it, as an outsider looking in. But it's not my sausage.

One word, Huey, think about it :), then go google and see how many Hueys you can get or 'potentially' get for FSx :), I know of four with out even breaking into a sweat, doesn't or didn't stop all those publishers from replicating more. Airbus, Boeing tubeliners, most have two, some, three, others possibly four duplicates in the market place.

Duplicity is rife if you look around.

I still think people are missing one small point, a minor diversion I admit, but the current competition is almost two years old, are people saying that they can never be improved ?, by virtue of simple building techniques, mapping and art work that has been developed in the interim, anything new has the potential to be better. If the current market duo is so good, then why are both developers considering upgrades, I say consider because there is no proof that they actually are or even will, remember the F-111 or the C-17, well 1/2 of it anyway, I only use these indicative two as they are fore front in my mind, but I am sure there are many others. Things change, circumstances alter plans, there is no reason to suggest that either party will now proceed with their upgrades, which means that by the time the Aerosoft one appears, both will be at least 30 months old, good as they are, please don't try to tell me they're cutting edge :).

Finally, if you find in the future that this is my only Aerosoft project, then you know I failed and you were all right :), or I became another statistic LOL.

Sincere regards

Michael

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Michael, you have been very candid with your replies, for which I thank you (it also must have kept you from doing work on the Tomcat, so sorry for that :blush: ). I understand your position, I hope you do mine. My post may have been kind of provocative, but unfortunately it seems that sometimes you have to "kick someone in the nuts" dry.gif to get their attention and (hopefully) get them to listen. I also hope you understand that I wasn't taking a swing at you personally for doing the F-14. Rest assured I would have given you/Aerosoft as much hell if y'all would have announced another Hornet :lol: . And I could live with an F-5A/B :P .

P.S: your "historical" work has given me a lot of pleasure (gee, that almost sounds like some sort of weird "turn on" :unsure: ), so there's no need for you to be ashamed of your previous work.

Don't worry, I'm on shift block so historically do not model during those four intense day / night shifts, reserving that for the four days off where I can hit the model for periods of 16-18hrs at a time, no point attempting bitty 1-2 hour sessions on shift block.

I understand your position, as I do all others here, been at this much to long to let things get personal, though some still do try to press the right buttons here and there and occasionally my responses will go up an octave or two LOL.

Kindest

Michael

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