Microsoft Flight, a popular flight simulator game has been taken down and brought back many times over since 2009. Microsoft has once again decided to end the development of this free-to-play game.
The game was re-released in January this year to replace the old Flight Simulator game. Another project that Microsoft has decided to axe is Project Columbia, an interactive children’s TV project. The company plans to reassign 35 Vancouver-based studio jobs as a result of these shutdowns.
In an official statement from Microsoft, the company said that it is always evaluating its projects to determine what is best for gamers, families and the company, calling this decision “the result of the natural ebb and flow of our portfolio management.” Redmond said that their decision to axe Microsoft Flight and Project Columbia is steeped in the idea that this will help the company better align with their long-term goals and development plans.
Microsoft has been publishing the Flight Simulator for a long time but the franchise was shut down in 2009 when the developer of the series, ACES Studios, was shut down by Microsoft. In August 2010, a new game in the franchise was announced with the name Microsoft Flight. Microsoft released the game as free-to-play in February, allowing anyone to explore Hawaii.
No more Flight
Microsoft Flight will remain available as a free download with a limited number of planes and locations. According to a report by Ars Technica, the affiliated online store will also stay open so that players can purchase new planes, areas and gameplay goals, though new content will not be added to the store.
Here are some of the key features of Microsoft Flight, according to them:
- Free to Download and Play: Enjoy hours of exciting gameplay for free with the initial download.
- Got a Mouse? You Can Fly! Jump into the adventure of flying with no special hardware or past experience.
- Beautifully Rendered Planes and Locations: Immerse yourself in a vibrant aviation experience as you soar over visually stunning landscapes, and fly with authentic weather patterns and flight physics.
- Level Up and Unlock New Content: Earn experience points, explore, accept daily challenges, discover hidden Aerocaches, and master an ever-expanding variety of planes.
- Customize Your Experience: Fly through career mode, complete missions, search for hidden adventures or simply explore the sky. Beginners can get up in the air in no time, while customizable difficulty levels offer challenges for even the most experienced PC pilot.
- Fly with Friends: Connect with Games for Windows – LIVE to explore the skies with your friends and enjoy seamless integration of achievements, gamertags, gamerscores, additional free content and more!
Project Columbia, first announced last year was based on the Kinect. It was set to partner with Sesame Street and National Geographic TV to allow kids to interact with the TV Shows.