If you haven't read our recent blog detailing Microsoft's announcement for Flight Simulator 2024 be sure to check it out here. If you have however, you'll know that the simulator has boasted an impressive array of real-world piloting applications from mountain rescue to aerial construction.
This wasn't Flight Sims only announcement that day though - Microsoft shocked all once again by going from real-world to distant world with yet another video that debuted on Xbox’s YouTube Channel shortly after the Flight Simulator 2024 Promo which announced that they’ll be releasing a Dune Expansion in partnership with Legendary & Warner Bro’s! It has however seemed to have gone slightly under the radar due to being overshadowed by the announcement of Flight Simulator 2024.
The video shows us that users will be able to try their hand at piloting the dragonfly-inspired Ornithopter over the ominous desert planes of Arrakis and we’re expecting to see this released alongside Dune: Part 2 on November 3rd 2023 to be used alongside Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and then of course at a later date with the 2024 addition.
Whilst some of the long-term Flight Sim faithfuls may see this as an unnecessary marketing ploy that may take away from the more serious energy that the programme has established for itself over its forty-plus year history - it’s clear to see that many are extremely excited about this optional expansion. With comments like “Honestly, that's the best thing ever! I can't wait to fly this sweet Ornithopter!” , “Insane update! Thanks” and even “I'm redownloading MSFS just for this” as well as the overwhelming demand for Sandworm's and others even requesting further collaborations with franchises like Star Wars and Alien.
Others however seem to not like the idea of the line between 'simulation' and 'game' being blurred and would like the two entities to stay divided in order for Microsoft to put their energy into making necessary refinements. Despite the YouTube comment section being more so upbeat and excited about the news the official Flight Simulator Forum Discussion on the topic seemed to have a different reaction. Once user said "I saw it but was rather uninterested. I am more of an Aircraft Flight Simulation user than a Flight Simulator Gamer. This seems more aimed toward the Gamer club." another encouraged his peers to have a glass-half-full attitude by saying "c’mon - it’s meant to be fun. That looks like fun to me. Lighten up fellers" but was quickly countered with the following "It’s not fun. It’s supposed to be a simulator representing real flight. If you want fun, I suggest a different product."
So, mixed reactions to say the least! Those that are considered 'purists' can see the over-commercialisation and negative shift in priorities the developers seem to be making. As NoiseMan explains in the discussion "there’s always the issue of developer distraction. The more I see frivolous stuff like this, the more I understand why we still can’t get simple fixes like eliminating that infernal white cursor dot." On the other hand many have raised the point that the capital gained from these sorts of ventures, if spent correctly, can go back into the simulator in order to keep improving it. Maelmoor also raised the very valid point that collab's like this are a "great way to get new simmers, some of those who will try it out, will be as hooked as we are!" with SterileNeutrino seconding this as he explains that "It gets people introduced to the sim, which can convert into people who switch over to more ‘traditional’ simmers." and, after outlining his own journey into becoming a serious simmer, that "Growing the community is good for the community."
This upcoming sci-fi facet of the popular simulator isn’t the first time Flight Sim has merged with the world of Hollywood as it follows suit from the Top Gun: Maverick expansion that was released in May of last year. There was also the release of the Pelican craft from the Halo franchise which came the following month so when it comes to combining universes it’s not hard to imagine that this could be the start of a whole new avenue for the Flight Simulator world. What do you think? Is there a particular fictional craft that you’d like to get behind the yoke/control-panel of? We’d love to hear you have your say in the comment section below.