Microsoft Flight Simulator is making a comeback — but Microsoft won’t be doing any of the work to make it happen.
Dovetail Games, makers of the Train Simulator franchise, has signed a global licensing deal with Microsoft for Flight Simulator and plans on releasing a new game in 2015 based on Microsoft’s popular flight sim.
In addition, UK-based Dovetail Games will also re-distribute the popular Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition — the final installment of the Flight Simulator series released eight years ago — on Valve’s Steam digital distribution platform later this year.
“I am delighted to be working in partnership with Microsoft as part of this agreement,” Dovetail Games CEO Paul Jackson said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be exploring new flight simulation opportunities using Microsoft’s technology, and look forward to using our extensive expertise of Steam publishing to successfully bring Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition to a broad new audience on the Steam platform.”
Kevin Perry, an executive producer at Microsoft, called Dovetail Games the “obvious choice for us to work with.”
“We respect their approach in terms of delivering premium quality simulation games and look forward to seeing their vision of the next chapter in flight simulations unfold,” Perry said in a statement.
Microsoft Flight Simulator was one of the most popular and well-known franchises for the PC, but was discontinued in 2009. In 2012, Microsoft developed a free-to-play follow-up title called Microsoft Flight, but the game didn’t catch on with a wide audience and was shut down within six months after launch.
Flight, which will end support for its multiplayer servers later this year, was criticized heavily by fans of Microsoft Flight Simulator, which said it fell short of a true simulation and didn’t live up to the legacy of Flight Sim.