by Jorg Neumann, Head of Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft Flight Simulator is Microsoft’s longest running franchise with a history of 38 years, and we are proud to announce that the latest entry is the fastest to grow to over 2 million pilots. This was possible thanks to the incredible community of fans, real-world pilots, flight enthusiasts, and virtual travellers who have embraced the new simulation since its arrival on August 18 and made it the biggest game launch in Xbox Game Pass for PC history. On behalf of the entire team, a huge thank you to all the fans who have taken to the skies and are exploring our world while discovering the magic of flight with us.
The community have piloted more than 50 million flights and have logged more than 3.5 billion miles flown to date – the equivalent of flying 19 times roundtrip from the Earth to the Sun, or around the world over 400 thousand times. It’s been humbling to see the positive reactions to Microsoft Flight Simulator and we feel incredibly fortunate and blessed to have such a highly engaged community that continually helps us improve the simulation with their ongoing and insightful feedback. We are also so energized by the community of creators who have already embraced our SDK and developed over 500 airports, aircraft, and other add-ons in the short few months since launch. The quality of work, knowledge and passion on display from creators is an inspiration to our team every day.
Looking back, December has already been an incredible month. It was a lot of fun to be part of the 2020 Microsoft Holiday Commercial in which Microsoft Flight Simulator helped Rufus and Sam soar over the sunny skies of snow-covered Pittsburgh!
Winning “Best Sim / Strategy 2020” at The Game Awards a last week was such an honor as well. The team is extremely proud that we have been able to follow the storied history of previous Microsoft Flight Simulator titles that received such accolades, and we feel humbled to be selected from the amazing group of games that were nominated for this award. The evening was perfectly rounded out as we announced that Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox Series X|S in Summer of 2021. The trailer, which was captured in real-time on Xbox Series X, already gives a glimpse into how incredible the sim will look when it comes to console in a few short months.
As a thank you to all of you – die-hard simmers and newcomers to flight simulation alike – we are pleased to announce that we are preparing a few surprises alongside the VR update launching on December 22. Everyone will receive a unique Microsoft Flight Simulator-themed livery for the entire launch plane fleet and simmers will be able to fly with the same cute dog-themed liveries that Rufus and Sam flew in their Pitts Special. Finally, given the time of year, the update will add real-time snow and true-to-life ice coverage to the entire planet.
As we’ve said time and time again, our launch in 2020 was only the beginning of our journey with Microsoft Flight Simulator. We are excited to carry this momentum into 2021 – we will launch on Xbox Series X|S in the summer, we are planning 3 large updates to the simulation, and we will update the world 4-5 times with additional World Updates (as well as a few other surprises we have planned).
Thank you very much for all your support and see you in the skies! Happy Holidays from the Microsoft Flight Simulator team. Let it snow!