Hi there from the UK.
I have been flying flight sim since FS 98. I played FS 2000, FS 2002, FS 2004, FSX and now the new FS 2020. I played throughout the early 00’s on the MSN Gaming Zone Lobby for flight sim.
Does anybody remember this? There were lobbies and you could join individual games by pressing a join button. There was a live chat room with emoticons, and some people would hack/lag the servers deliberately to annoy people. The functionality of multiplayer then was good, because you could chat to people before you joined a game. You could advertise specific flights or airports and people would join you accordingly. You don’t get this with FS 2020, unless you arrange it on a forum. You also don’t get live chat on the multiplayer. Somehow, multiplayer still seemed a lot more “fun” than it does now. The game launched as soon as enough people joined a particular lobby. It was a sad day when Microsoft switched off the Flight Sim gaming Zone lobbies. !! Maybe the developers of FS2020 can develop FS 2020 Multiplayer further to make it more fun like the good old days. Microsoft retired the Lobby system in June 2006.
Interested who was part of the MSN flight sim lobby as well? My user name ID back then was Jumbo_Jet. We have set up a reunion Flight Sim group for MSN Gaming Zone users on Discord. It is here: https://discord.gg/9fcTCemZ