To me, the more interesting reason for FBW not returning to the marketplace was this:
Finally, although the SDK has improved since the release of the sim a year ago, it still lacks some key functionality that limits what we can do with the aircraft. In an effort to work around this, we are considering the possibility of running certain components of the aircraft outside the simulator - something that would also not be compatible with the marketplace.
Everything that is wrong with Microsoft Flight Simulator is well summarized there. If we had a sufficient SDK, the whole debate about “simmers” versus “gamers” would be gone as would all of the whining about all of the stuff that Asobo can’t seem to get right. With a decent SDK, the community would have already developed suitable replacements for all of the poorly implemented features. They would have also already tackled the missing features and we would already have the kinds of add-ons that would address the “simmers” needs for realism. People could stop caring about that fact that (for many of us) the development roadmap (and therefore Asobo) is missing so many of the most important things that need to be addressed from a simulation perspective.
That even FBW is finally admitting that the SDK is insufficient for their needs is fairly telling. I’ve been saying this from day 1: WASM sucks and trying to force developers into a tiny little sandbox to ensure X-box compatibility is the wrong approach. What is going to happen is what is already happening: developers interested in producing add-ons with the level of realism appropriate for the simulator are going to find ways to bypass the obstacles that embody the SDK. That Fenix is building on top of ProSim may or may not be a happy accident, but now that cat is out of the bag other developers are going to follow suit.
Unfortunately, the X-box is a second-class development platform for flight simulator add-ons because of that platform’s locked-down nature. Many of the things that developers are doing (or will do) to work around SDK limitations may not work on X-box without platform changes that would enable a far more open cross-platform development environment. While undoubtedly add-on developers would love to take advantage of the X-box market, I suspect that those add-on developers producing cutting edge of flight simulator realism aren’t going to be willing to target X-box if it means delivering a lesser product. As a result, such products aren’t going to be available in the marketplace presumably due to the fact that they won’t work on X-box.
Plus, the reality is that cross-platform development is never completely seamless. Yes, stuff built with the SDK should work on X-box, but making products available in the marketplace is a commitment that it will. That requires developers to have access to x-box hardware for testing as well as the willingness and know-how to support that platform. For small shops, that may be a large ask and ultimately too much of a bother.
Of course, the other thing that I’ve been saying for quite some time is that the Marketplace itself is unfriendly to developers and customers alike. MSFS is the first FS platform that I’ve bought add-ons for and in the early days I bought into the idea of “one marketplace to rule them all.” However, my experiences with the marketplace were so bad that I quickly realized that as a customer, the downsides far outweighed the upsides. Now I won’t buy from there if given a choice, and if I’m not given a choice, that will work against vendors who sell exclusively there. There are definitely vendors who are cool on the marketplace because the slow turnaround times in making updates available result in the vendors looking bad to their customers. The reality is that unless Microsoft addresses the myriad problems with the marketplace, there are most likely always going to be products that will never be available in the marketplace regardless of whether they could run on X-box.