Update on MSFS Team competing with 3rd party Devs

Its a delicate subject, but it should be clarified.

When MSFS was released, it was stated numerous times in Twitch Q&A Streams, that MS/ASOBO would not compete with 3rd party Dev in certain specific areas of the Sim, and that instead, ASOBO would support those 3rd party Devs to produce additional, more “Study Level” products.

One year later, and it seems that those assurances are no longer valid.

Please can we have an Updated statement and assurance for MS/ASOBO as to where competing with 3rd party developers now stand … and how those 3rd party Dev can expect or not expect support from MS/ASOBO


Could you please clarify in what areas in your opinion this statement is not valid anymore?
Do you refer to the payware aircraft that were/will be released by Asobo (Top rudder, Husky, Ju52 - though I’m not sure if this one counts as the dev is 3rd party)? Or do you refer to a lack of support?


I am not referring to new ASOBO produced aircraft. So far they seem to be pretty “basic” (not study level), for the Mass market. So that’s not the issue.

I was more referring to the GPS systems. together with the apparent change in 3rd party Dev support, from “One on one Communication with ASOBO”, to Group discussions on a Public Dev Forum.

And the future and direction of other addon feature from MSFS, like ATC, weather, RW AI aircraft .

Im confused also. I took Microsofts comments about competing as wanting to not create the same scenery or aircraft that anyone else may be doing. But it will happen if MS doesn’t know who is creating what.
As for the GPS systems, that goes way back where carenado asked if further development was going into them. As it was easier to use what was there than create new. Then Jorge changed his mind and decided to enhance them for all to use.
I think they should, and have the freedom to enhance their own base content. Now if they went and created a new gns750 or something, ok, then I would agree with you, as one exists on the market. Or even if they did, it’s not like there aren’t two Innsbrucks, or two O’hare’s or two A320’s. I dont think anyone is suffering here. @cptlucky8 might have an opinion.


It already has happened. With the last world update, we got improvements to the nordic countries. For Denmark, we got a detailed airport on Bornholm, EKRN. But… surprise, EKRN has already been made, and is availabe for purchase in MSFS Marketplace.
If that isn’t taking the bread out of the mouth of 3rd party developers, I don’t know what is.


Well, the 1st question has to be – How does the ASOBO EKRN compare with the 3rd Party Devs Airport. ?

I would like to believe (in my own perfect world) that if Asobo wanted to do their own Airport, and there was already one in the Market, they would at least contact that MS-Store Dev, and come to a “understanding” – whatever that might be. maybe there is ( that would be far above my pay Grade)

Do like the idea of ASOBO/MS bringing 3rd party Devs “onto the team” to develop specify products, provided that does not cause specific 3rd Devs to be pushed out and excluded from participating like all other 3rd party Devs seem to be able.

But currently, it does seem a little Animal Farm —

"All 3rd Party Dev are Equal, but some are more equal than others"

You gotta be more specific, otherwise there’s no point in a post like this. It’s vaguebooking at its best.


I haven’t had a closer look at Asobos version, other than when both airports were loaded at the same time. Two runway centerlines, dual (and not quite agreeing) taxilines. And mayhem at the parking lot in front of the terminal.
I kept the 3rd party version as it has more to offer, like custom-made airport vehicles.

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Am I right to presume that ASOBO will always take priority? (at least in the sense that ‘competition’ doesn’t really mean anything when the balance of power is utterly in ASOBO’s favour) A 3rd party piece of ‘property’ may always be superseded by some World Update that rolls out and the 3rd party provider will need to deal with that. It will be interesting to see how this works on Xbox.


I don’t see how Asobo choosing to hand-do an airport in any way “competes” with a 3rd party redoing an airport any more than there’s an issue with 2 or more 3rd parties competing with each other.

If it’s part of the base package, assuming all is working correctly, then, if the 3rd party properly develops the airport, they’ll delete Asobo’s version and insert their own in the VFS.

If, instead it’s a separate airport (i.e. Gaya) and isn’t affected by the “delete airport” commands in the scenery editor, then, just like any other addon, the user needs to be instructed to go into the Content Manager and remove the one they don’t want (as it will be a separate package).

It’s no different than two different 3rd Parties choosing to develop a Piper Arrow or a Spitfire. It’s up to users to choose which they want.

As far as GPS’s, it’s just another gauge. Again, the user can choose which gauge is used based on support from the third party vendor aircraft. The only thing that’s missing here is that Asobo needs to expose more functionality for developers to access information from the underlying sim. They’re working on that. But that has nothing to do with “competition” or “not competing”.

I always thought their comment they “don’t want to compete” was silly. All the tools are there for users to choose which they want to load and what they want to spend their money on.

As far as weather, I agree with their decision to own it. The access into the sim is way too complicated to allow others to develop the weather system. We just need to be patient and wait for them to finish it. I am 100% positive, and they’ve said as much, that they have big plans for this. And such plans take quite some time to implement.

The “dev forum” was developed because the number of developers has absolutely exploded, and they saw a need for a new portal for direct communication with the SDK team. I’m 100% positive that one-on-one communication with developers is still happening. Nothing has changed here, in fact, it’s improving at a record pace.


Agreed, it’s up to third parties to keep up with the development of the game and make sure they remain compatible with what’s there. My experience with is X-Plane has been it suffers from this all the time that developers take off after getting sick of having to rewrite to keep up with changes.

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In many cases, they have. It’s just that established devs are still trying to build their stuff the “old way” using SimConnect so they can port over their FXS/P3D stuff to MSFS with minimal effort. If you look at AvSim and other such sites, the biggest complaints are coming from these old established devs that insist on doing things they same way they’ve always done it and are very resistant to adapting to the new model.


Well, in the case of the GPS, no, there’s not enough variables exposed to build a fully capable GPS. That’s what Matt and his team are working on. It’s a work in progress.

I am bit confused, isn’t the GPS systems the whole reason why Microsoft hired WT to redo the whole Garmin thing? Jörg said before, even in last year Q&A, initially they wanted a “basic” Garmin and leave the rest for third party, but then third party themselves were asking Microsoft and Asobo to correctly implement the Garmin stuff. Even the PMDG DC-6 uses Asobo Garmin GNS 430. Therefore, I don’t see where the competition is?


I’m all for 3rd party developers for things like airports, aircraft and scenery. Ideally it would challenge Asobo to put out something better as part of their own product. It seems they’re busy building other parts of the world, meanwhile we have to wait a long time before we get accurate taxi signs, taxiways and airports (e.g. Phoenix Sky Harbor) for our own area, items people using this simulator for real world training at home can really use. So 3rd party developers can help with that.

On the other hand…I don’t want to experience getting suckered into buying a very pretty looking weather engine that makes all kinds of promises that I could never get to run on my fairly beefy machine (at the time). That was a BIG mistake and waste of $75 (XEnviro). I’m hoping that’s why Asobo has no plans to allow for 3rd party developer weather systems. As far as weather goes, I like what’s coming out of the box from them and hope they keep working on improving it, which I’m sure they are. (of course this is my own opinion on this part)

I’m not flaming Asobo…just anxious for more accurate airports and airplanes. Aircraft I might rent (or would love to own) for training and places I may go IRL. That’s my two cents.


Yes, on one level you’re right, most 3rd party aircraft devs have no desire to develop a GPS gauge for their planes.

The question that was implied but not said was, why can’t RXP use their engine to create GPS gauges. They use the Garmin trainer programs as their basis, and then develop an interface for that into FS so they are command matching GPS’s. It’s not an easy job, and it requires a lot of work and hacking of the graphics of FS in prior versions in order to get the necessary performance. That’s not allowed anymore.

The problem here is, XBox does not allow external programs to run outside of the game, not easily anyway. And FS was always developed as an XBox first implementation. That’s where Microsoft sees this product as a competitive advantage over its competition. If you question that, just look at the interface, it’s XBox through and through. And look at the sandbox implementation.

Be that as it may, the other issue gauge developers have is they can’t access enough information to develop a decent GPS if they wanted to. @ScorpionFilm422 has done an excellent job, but there’s only so far he can take it currently. WT is working on that now, exposing more information to gauge developers so that they can create better gauges. And Matt and the team are improving the base GPS gauges as well.

So you want MS to abandon their plans to improve AI and ATC so we can buy those from 3rd parties for lots of money. Are you ok?


This thread is kind of funny to me.

Ultimately, all 3rd party devs ply their trade at MS/Asobo’s sufferance. If MS/Asobo decided they didn’t want anybody else to make money off of MSFS and shut down the cottage industry of third party payware addons… they’d be within their rights to do so. It would be a very stupid move on their part (one I was somewhat fearful enough they’d be stupid to make when I heard MS was developing a new version of Flight Simulator after all these years, since when the FSX came out “DLC” in the modern sense wasn’t really a thing). But they could do it, legally speaking and all that.

Is there some third party developer who was planning an Aviat Husky cursing their misfortune right now? Perhaps, I suppose, but it’s really no different than if another third party had beaten them to the punch. Make a better Husky, maybe. We already have two competing payware Piper Arrows, if memory serves.

The comment about an airport being included in a free world update that was already in a payware scenery add-on is simply risible. Apparently Asobo should stop trying to improve the sim for free so that 3rd parties can improve it for a profit? Keep in mind a huge share of the people who buy MSFS, maybe even the majority, will never buy any addons at all. Should Asobo not try to give them a better experience because it competes with addon makers?


Exactly this. I’m waiting to see how and if this will work on Xbox. I suspect my interest will mostly be local to me. Most of the PC pricing seems ‘expensive’ compared to typical Xbox microtransactions. It will be interesting to see if pricing falls on Xbox to encourage the doubtless possibility of huge numbers.

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World updates - including improved airports - have been announced on day one. Nothing new here.