First reported official comment

A brand new simulator announced from Microsoft based on the Flight Sim X engine. Note: Microsoft closed the ACES Studio on 23rd January 2009 thus terminating this product along with other Simulation products -Flight Sim and ESP.

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dkightley
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First reported official comment

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Microsoft Confirms Aces Closure
Studio responsible for Flight Simulator shut down amidst layoffs.
by Jason Ocampo
US, January 23, 2009 - Microsoft has confirmed the closure of Aces Game Studio, the internal development studio responsible for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Flight Simulator is one of the company's oldest product lines, stretching back more than 20 years. The closure came amidst the company's first major layoffs in its history, announced on Thursday. Approximately 5,000 Microsoft employees will be laid off; around 1,400 were cut immediately, with the remainder to but cut over the next 18 months.

In a statement, Kelda Rericha of Edelman, Microsoft's public relations firm, said that the decision was made within Microsoft's Internal Entertainment Business "to align our people against our highest priorities."

The closure of Aces marks the shuttering of another major developer within Microsoft Game Studios. Since September of 2007, the company has shut down FASA Studio (Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, MechWarrior 4: Mercenaries, and Shadowrun), announced the closure of Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires), and Carbonated Games (Hexic HD, Uno). In addition, Bungie, the studio responsible for Halo, left Microsoft Games Studios and became an independent studio, though Microsoft does maintain an ownership stake in it.

Does this mean the end of the Flight Simulator franchise? According to Rericha, "We are committed to the Flight Simulator franchise which has proven to be a successful PC based game for the last 27 years. You should expect us to continue to invest in enabling great LIVE experiences on Windows, including flying games, but we have nothing specific to announce at this time."
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paulz6
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by paulz6 »

I read that as MS will be keeping hold of the FS franchise, but the development of it is going to be put on hold. Since TS2 uses the same engine, it will probably be the same case. No doubt it will be put on hold longer.
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by Paul_Boland »

The MSTS 2 website is still up:
http://www.tsinsider.com/
Perhaps it will be given the go ahead! PLEASE!!!!!!! I'm so looking forward to this!!!!!!!!
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Re: First reported official comment

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Paul_Boland wrote:The MSTS 2 website is still up:
http://www.tsinsider.com/
Perhaps it will be given the go ahead! PLEASE!!!!!!! I'm so looking forward to this!!!!!!!!
I dont think so sadly, For what it is worth here is some info from the head of AVSIM,
Folks, we have been working all morning to get details on the demise of ACES Studios beyond the rumors flying on the various game sites. That news is starting to roll in. Most of it is non-attributable because of NDA's and slight chances for some members to have continued employment with MS in other studios / home rooms.

The picture that is emerging is not pretty. Of the over forty ACES members assigned to MSFS, all but six appear to be immediately impacted. Those six will be left to button up the product, burn master DVDS and then be forced to look for employment within the greater MS.

TrainSim is dead. There will be no further releases of this product, according to our sources.

We are working on this and developing the story. In the meantime, you may want to read my blog.

Tom Allensworth
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http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?s=59 ... pic=241688

John
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Paul_Boland
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by Paul_Boland »

NNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aw, come on!!!! MSTS 2 looks superb, I'm so looking forward to it! PLEASE, don't let this happen!!!!
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stonelance
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by stonelance »

Hi everyone,

I wanted to say something since I know that the IGN article was particularily focused on Flight Simulator and not Train Simulator.

ACES studio has been closed and approximately 130 positions eliminated. MS remains commited to the Flight and Train Simulator franchises, and while it is possible that the products will be continued in some form in the future, for the time being no further development is being done. In the mean time sales of FSX will still continue, and I hope everyone continues to enjoy that product and all the fantastic 3rd party add-ons for it.

I am saddened that people will not get to see our work on TS2, as it was shaping up to be a fantastic product. I just wanted to say it was nice to be able to participate in the community. I enjoy both the feedback and the excitment of the community and I hope it remains strong and looks to other alternatives.

Take care!
Steve Heijster
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by Paul_Boland »

Thanks, Steve, for the official word. I have to say, I'm totally devastated by this news. I was so worked up about MSTS 2, so much looking forward to it. I am so saddened to see it go and hear that you have lost your jobs. I think I speak for everyone when I say please pass on our very best regards to all the team.

What a real bummer this is :(...

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Re: First reported official comment

Post by longbow »

My sympathies Steve - I hope you and your team will get the opportunity to apply your talents to trainsimming again in future.

Howeever, having abandoned MSTS1 and cancelled MSTS2 twice, Microsoft have some nerve in claiming they are "committed" to the trainsim franchise.
Last edited by longbow on Fri Jan 23, 2009 10:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by shortbart »

Yeah, this ar so very bad news :cry:

I wish the ACES-Team all the best!
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by Acorncomputer »

Hi Steve

Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated. Your contributions, and those of your colleagues have been much appreciated.

The best of luck to you all.
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BR7MT
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by BR7MT »

Yes, best of luck to you and the rest of the ACES team Steve. Hope you all manage to find employment soon.

Regards,

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dkightley
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by dkightley »

Thanks for the feedback, Steve.

If you read this, do please pass on our good wishes to everyone in the TS2 team. May you all keep well and find fruitful employment in the near future.

I feel particularly saddened by your current situation....as I so nearly secured a position on the team some months ago. Had I been successful, then I would be over there with you, sharing your pain and sorrow.

God bless you all......and may we sometime in the future share the vision you and your colleagues so nearly creeated for us all.
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by buffy500 »

While I suspect that personal issues take priority it must be a real kick in the teeth for the people involved to have got so close to having something to release after all the work put into it.

Good luck to everyone involved and hopefully there might be a solution which means its a 'delay' not a 'total loss'.
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by Portergraphic »

I also wanted to say how incredible the community has been with the news and I really personally appreciate how classy you guys have been.
I really feel horrible about what has happened and I hope in the future you guys get the sim this community deserves.

Thanks again
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Re: First reported official comment

Post by CaptainBazza »

To the ACES team, no matter how disappointed and shocked this community is about the postponement of MSTS2, our thoughts go out to you all, the people most affected, in this time of travail. As has been previously mentioned, some members of this community, myself included, have been where you are now, thus we understand and sympathise with you at this time.

Our very best wishes to you all,
Thank you for the fantastic groundwork you have done; MSTS2 will live, just not for a while.
You are not alone.

Cheers n sadness
Bazza
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