Microsoft Flight, the long-awaited successor to the company’s classic Flight Simulator franchise, has started accepting applications for its first public beta, set to start in January.

Microsoft Game Studios says the new PC game will aim for a more “universal appeal” than the traditional Flight Sim, with options for simpler controls, a persistent online world and elements of social networking built into the game.

The new game “builds off its heritage of deep, immersive simulation and is redesigned to make the experience easier for virtual fliers of all interests and skills,” the Microsoft Flight team says on an FAQ page.

The company closed Aces, the team that was responsible for the nearly 30-year-old Flight Simulator franchise, as part of its broader cutbacks nearly three years ago. It was a highly controversial move among the hard-core flight simulation community.

Microsoft has been previewing the new Microsoft Flight with a series of screenshots and videos, including the one above. More details on the beta available here.

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  • Guest

    Congratulations to Microsoft on this new release! This is truly a testament to the power of the Internet: Microsoft Flight would not exist but for the passion of its fans, constantly demanding perfection and innovation.

  • Guest

    Congratulations to MS on first taking focus off PC gaming entirely and then eventually killing this product, which many still loved, at considerable expense. And now bringing it back years later, when nobody cares about it or PC gaming much anymore, at even more expense!

    Why does the stock market continue to overlook such obvious genius leadership in action?

    • Jason Gerard Clauss

      You, sir, are epic.

    • Jason Gerard Clauss

      In other news, it’s a shame that people are abandoning the PC as a game platform. Those who would play a first person shooter without a mouse, or those who think true games are the ones you can play on a tablet don’t deserve to play games.

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    This could go one of two ways. If they design the product as a fundamentally complex simulator, and add gamification and automation as a *layer* on top, then it will be wildly successful and appeal to both real sim fans and casual assclowns.

    If they design it from the ground up as a toy, then it will be a failure.

    I hope it’s the first one.

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