Trial period for items in Marketplace

Yes but encryption etc does currently work. I mean they do it already I believe for current marketplace purchases, so the only thing different would be an expiry date. I’m sure it’s not overly complex, but then again I’m not a software engineer.

Really nice idea, and no so crazy considering the subscription model the gaming world seems to aim.


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I would love a gamepass like option.
Pay a subscription and receive 1 plane per week/month, and maybe an airport. Random or specific chosen by someone, will dissapear after the period and replaced with something different.
At a price of 2-5 dollars/month would be an instant buy.

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There are definitely lots of ways to implement. I’m more liking a rental approach so we can pick and choose what to test/temporarily use rather than it being the other way round.

It’s a good idea however someone mentioned 72 hours which I believe to be way too much for addons. This would heavily impact developer income and the reason why we don’t already have something in place from the past 40 years.

Not to sound a bit anti-thread but if quality expectations aren’t met you are entitled to a refund. Also, I’m unsure if a rental marketplace idea has merit to warrant the infrastructure development and cost to constantly monitor existing rental agreements and fight off software pirates.


I understand some of your concerns there. The 72 hrs was arbitrary and could be charged at a different rate for say 24 hr rental period.

The same concerns about piracy have been kicking about for ages though, and buying doesn’t prevent piracy. It’s not really any different from a movie rental where you can download to watch offline.

I see rental as being a steady income generator tbh. Eg. Say 50-100k people all payed $3 to try out an aircraft. How many of those people would have bought it had it been a one off $30 purchase? There are plently of aircraft that fall into this category for me. Other simulators (DCS) allow users to try/rent an aircraft before buying.
I see it as a win/win. Apart from the cost of development implementation & ROI.

Re refunds, although correct, you are limited to 3 refunds (a year?) I believe and then there’s the hastle of that process. No hastle when a rental expires.

Some interesting points made however 24 hours is still way off the mark to allow developers peace of mind when it comes to income. I’d say 15 mins max if a developer wanted to implement such a feature.

Movie rental is a different technology and can’t be used as a comparison as you don’t get and have root file access to the full binary on your device unlike a trial which this thread is proposing.

It’s a full time job for someone to monitor and maintain software rights and rental agreements. (It’s not just a website + monitoring server with every customer and their expiry). And the same person needs to be paid for doing that job and develop the product further or hire another person which requires further management costs and employment costs.

I also think your numbers are off unless directly aimed at PMDG. 50-100k isn’t an average and I’d say it’s more like 1/10th of that for regular MSFS developers. Let’s use your example of 50k though to work out how much a rental agreement would potentially cost a developer.

The average conversion rate of any trial based product which businesses typically forecast on is around 10%. Using 5000 sales from 50k results on a $30 purchase is $150k before taxes.

Refunds on the other hand have an average 30% return rate (high average and in reality it’s more akin to 18%). So taking the 35k sales from 50k results on the same purchase is $1,050,000 before taxes.

So your rental agreement idea would in this scenario lose the developer $900,000 and now they have to monitor software licensing on trials and combat piracy by either developing a solution themselves or licensing one from a third party.

Obviously in this scenario I’m using high averages and there will be outliers which would affect the return rate on development, updates and maintenance costs, etc. But this should give an insight as to how much a developer would lose by implementing such an idea.

This is also based on a single product and scale’s relative to the amount of products in your catalog.

It’s financial suicide to develop such a business model in flight simulation.

It’s interesting to hear this. I was basing the 50k to 100k figure on a 5%-10% of FS user base tbh (assumption of 1M users world wide, but adjust accordingly, as noone knows for sure except M/S & Asobo!). Not on sales figures. Like I said you can base a sales figure on say me if you want. I take a chance on some aircraft, but the majority I don’t. Now there are loads out there and I’d happily go fly them oncce for the right price for one night to see how good they all are before buying them. How many me’s are there out there who are not spending money at all on such aircraft? They are never seen other than in a brochure or in a promo video. Same goes for airports.
I think the estimates of income based on (one and done) unit sales alone grossly underestimates a much wider base of FS users (1M+?) that may be opened up if they have the option to rent (pay for 24hrs) or try (free 15min) an add on first.
I do agree about the cost of resourcing it, but that’s for devs to decide on ROI. Obviously it would have to work for everyone.
I am just basing it on me and what I’d be spending (as of right now picky/minimally) but if rentals were in place then far more on one off trip type rentals, especially for scenery. I fancy a wee flight to Turkey from UK, possibly just once though, so I’d like to rent some scenery before deciding on whether I want to do this trip more frequently.
Keep in mind as more and more free new in game add ons appear from M/S Asobo which will likely dilute the attention levels even more it may be a model that has to happen in order for small devs to keep surviving.

Great idea for those that travel the world and only visit an airport once and never use it again.


I should point out that the rental market I envision is in game marketplace only. I realise that small devs don’t have resources to set up/control their own external to the game rental market etc. I just see it as something that could potentially be controlled via the current in game marketplace, be a continual revenue generator and potentially lead to more sales down the line.


I’d already voted for this, but today it seemed pertinent.

I would really like to buy the Vision jet, but have read it can be quite a hit on FPS because of the amount of glass in the cockpit. Whilst reviews and other accounts of usage will give an indication of what to expect, no two systems are alike in terms of hardware, OS, preferred addons, settings and so on.

I have no problem with paying for a rental to try new addons and this would influence my decision to buy or not. I can’t just throw money at something that may or may not be usable on my system. So, as it stands, FlightFX (and by extension MS) in this instance are losing a sale. Come to think of it, there’s been a couple of other aircraft I have held back on purchasing for the same reason, but it hit home today because I really wanted to try the Vision.


Yes would be great to have aircraft rentals. There are so many GA aircraft that I wont buy now as I have too many already, but I’d hire for a night to check out. Seems like a loss in revenue right there.


A trial system in the MP would benefit everybody including developers.
If you think some kind of trial system would be a good idea then please go to the post below and add your vote.
Unless we get enough votes so MS starts taking some notice, the MP is never going to improve.
So please support this effort. It is worthwhile.
Go to the post highlighted below and vote please.

Trial period for items in Marketplace

introducing subscription into the SIM would be the thin end of the wedge.
The thread is about trying to introduce a trial period on the MP.
There are no downsides to this.

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Sep '22

[quote=“WobblyDuck3467, post:40, topic:277033”]
And if you decide to purchase the product within a certain time period, the rental fee is deducted from the purchase price.

This is an important point. Good point to make. Makes it more of a systems nightmare to implement though no doubt!

It does make it all far too complicated for MS to consider, I am sure.
A simple trial system before you buy is easy to implement and would be a great step forward. Best keep it simple.

The introduction of a Trail Period for Market Place purchase would clearly benefit the potential purchaser.

But maybe the question more important to MS, is how would l it benefit MS.

Will it result is a lot of returned sales, as users discover what they purchased did not meet it’s advertised (or expected ) potential ?

Or will it increase sales, as users will be more open to Try before Buy, and try more products, know they can always return them (if they can be bothered)

I might buy a lot more from the Marketplace if I could temporarily own a product for say 5 days, after which it stopped working FOR EVER, and permanently stopped working, unless I completed the purchase.

At the moment, buying anythung on the Microsoft Market is definitely a “Pig in a Poke”

  • A pig in a poke is a thing that is bought without first being inspected, and thus of unknown authenticity or quality*



First of all a trial period would not involve a ‘purchase’ but it may result in a non purchase. This will benefit MS in seeing the reputation and quality of the content of the MP over the longer term improve and thus increase the trustworthiness of and therefore willingness to purchase from the MP by the users.

I can think of a bunch of reasons why a trial period may not be a good idea for MSFS…

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I think the analogy is of being cautious and informed to avoid unpleasant surprises when purchasing content. I try to stick to reputable developers with positive reviews and a history of delivering high-quality products.

It is never difficult to think of reasons NOT to do something.
I really don’t think a ‘try before you buy’ policy has any disadvantages for anyone. As discussed elsewhere, it has advantages for all.

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