Interview with Jorg Neumann (Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator) on future updates and plans, AI, the airport gateway, the Xbox version, the Garmin, and a lot more

I interviewed Jorg Neumann (Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator) and I thought I’d share. He offered lots of interesting insight on future updates and plans, AI, the airport gateway, the Xbox version, the Garmin, the plans to let people help with testing patches, and a lot more.

I tried to squeeze all the info I could in the time I had and I hope ya’ll like it, so it’s a lot to read. Jorg is really a pleasure to talk to. Very frank and open. It was one of the most enjoyable (for me) interviews I did in a long time.:hugs:


Jörg is an absolute class act, a top human being and consummate professional. I’m beyond happy that this man is in charge of this project. I wish he’d receive more praise for what he’s doing.


By now I think I have a pretty good idea of when I talk with someone who really cares about what he does (been doing this for a long time), and I’m very positive Jorg is part of that category, and a prime example :hugs:


Yes, that was well said. And that’s why he’s in charge. Such a passionate and devoted man. When he talks and you look at him, you can clearly see and feel the joy and passion radiating from him. Sometimes, during the Q&A they’re like little kids enjoying something they deeply love doing and that makes me smile.

That, together with the commitment to include and respect disabled people that want to enjoy flying, gave me goosebumps. I’m not disabled myself, but I started thinking how I would feel about the fact that the head of flightsim at MS thinks about how disabled people can enjoy the sim like everybody else. That goes way beyond wanting to make money, that’s called love for your customers and your project. Jörg and Asobo deeply care.


I’ve actually beating myself for forgetting to ask about whether the commitment to accessibility could lead to an acceleration for a bult-in shared cockpit feature. I’d think that’d be a great first step, especially for those who have issues with heavy workloads.

There’s always that question that I forget to ask and comes to mind when the interview is done :frowning:


We thought that if we overshoot too far, we are actually damaging those people’s businesses. We clearly don’t want that.

That’s a reference to development of built in systems, basically saying, we left some stuff out because others will fill in the gaps. Well thanks for that but I bought the game from you so if you can take care of the basics without me paying a feature tax, that would be cool. Developers will always find a way to develop something but not building a complete system because you feel for the little guy is bad business and bad customer service.

I had to buy an app for a decent moving map with name data on it despite this game being produced by Microsoft who own Bing maps, a fully featured global mapping system.


Awesome interview @Abriael ! I hope you can as well interview Seb or anyone from Asobo in the future :wink:


I’d love that :smiley:

Will have to let some time pass before I knock at Microsoft’s door again for another interview, haha.


Great interview and a lot of good stuff from Jorge. I like the way they are handling continued support and development and being as transparent as possible. Theres a lot of hope going forward. I just hope live cross-play is possible between PC and xbox so I can fly with my friends who will never buy a gaming PC but want MFS for Xbox. Otherwise I may need to buy a second copy of MFS for the new xbox, but I’d really like to avoid having to do this.


Really great interview. Tbh the main four area’s i really want covering are;

  • Helicopters & other forms of aircraft.
  • FSX style missions.
  • Liveries & more AI aircraft models.
  • More graphical options to extend beyond the current photogrammetry/autogen/sat imagery draw distance limits.

I know it’ll take time but those things will really add so much to the sim i think.


Jorg did mention cross-play will be in. I don’t think he means only cross-save with that, even if he did mention saves afterward. MS’ policy is pretty much having cross-play with everything they do.

It depends. I strongly suspect, (and he couldn’t say either way) that this was pushed out by Microsoft way too early. The beta was a joke and far too many things still don’t work properly.

But if he was told to do this, there’s not much else they can do.

I have some concerns about the adding of yet more pretty graphics rather than dealing with the core bugs.

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By now I thought it was clear that “pretty graphics” and “core bugs” are handled by different teams and different developers. Work on them is not mutually exclusive.

Texture artists, 3D modelers, and such won’t code your Garmin, and they won’t go on vacation just because there are other issues to be addressed.

Studios with hundreds of developers have different teams and different disciplines working on different things. There is no reason to hold back things that are less complex in favor of others.


In that case there are far too many people working on “pretty graphics”. Perhaps they could work on, I don’t know, documentation perhaps ?


I’m sorry, but with all due respect, you don’t seem to know how game development works. Working on “documentation” isn’t part of the job description of an artist or any developer who works on scenery.

And no. They’re not going to fire their artists and modelers because you want the studio to work on something else. They’re already working on that as well. It’s simply more complex so it takes more time.

It’s really, really weird to see people who complain about getting regular new content for free. :thinking:


I’ve had a look at the fixes list, and your characterisation of the division is inaccurate. There are plenty of changes that are ‘prettying up’.

It isn’t “new content for free”. It wasn’t finished. The beta test was PR not an actual test, and it still only half works. With all due respect, you don’t appear to be able to detect a “developed” product, or maybe you just have low standards.

I don’t count bug fixing that should never have been allowed out as some sort of “new content”. If they employed the wrong staff, that’s there own stupidity. This isn’t a game where there’s a core engine and a lot of prettiness. There’s significants about of complex code to simulate and emulate.

The joke is that it’s already been done in the core code they copied. It wasn’t great, some of it, but at least it worked. In many ways it’s actually worse than FSX, and in some it’s worse than FS2004. (e.g. no proper training)


No. I simply have some experience of how development works. Talking with developers from all walks of life and segments of the industry for 20 years does that.

All the “prettying up” (new airports, DEMs, photogrammetry and such) has absolutely nothing to do with the sim being “unfinished” (which is very, very debatable, it wasn’t any less finished than any previous flight simulator at release). It’s literally new content provided for free. That’s simply a fact.

In any case, you’re going way off-topic and you don’t seem to grasp how it works no matter how much I explain it, so I think I’ll simply move on.


I believe you’re right. And I also believe this was a decision made above Jorg’s position. If 27 years in software development has taught me anything is that the bean counters have far too much clout.

And typically in the games industry, it’s the financial department that ends up being responsible for pushing out something before its ready. They see they’ve invested X millions over Y number of years in this project, and they want to start seeing returns on that investment to keep their books balanced.

No programmer or project leader with the slightest self-respect wants to deliver half-finished or broken products. And we’ll never know for sure what happened because being a MS employee, Jorg can’t go against the company line. And even if he were to quit or be fired, he’d still be under NDA and not allowed to talk about it anyway.

But I think most of us will agree that MSFS was released far too early. And I suspect the aforementioned bean counters are the ones that made the push for it.


Yeah just going through that interview it’s amazing Jorg can keep all the plates spinning at the same time. Man he’s pulling up trees for us and for that I’ll forever be thankful. Cheers Jorg! :beers: and I hope you get some time to actually enjoy the sim!


" it wasn’t any less finished than any previous flight simulator at release"

With the fairies. Yes, there’s no real point in continuing. I’m 57 this year and I’ve been programming since I was about 13, so that’s slightly more relevant than “talking to people”.

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