The MSFS team took the community by storm this Sunday with the surprising announcement of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024. The immediate excitement about all the cool things seen in the teaser video quickly gave way to uncertainty and a flurry of questions, especially concerning compatibility with existing add-ons.
Responding to the community’s rising tide of curiosity, Microsoft has now addressed the most pressing questions in a newly released FAQ that clears three main questions surrounding this announcement. First, MSFS 2024 will be a standalone new simulator release and not a DLC for the current 2020 edition of Microsoft Flight Simulator. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly of all, virtually all existing add-ons for MSFS will be compatible with the impending 2024 edition and won’t have to be re-purchased. Lastly, the team promises to continue to support and deliver new content to the 2020 edition.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024: a standalone successor
From the FAQ, it is clear that Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024 is not an optional paid update for the existing simulator; instead, it stands as a full-fledged sequel to the 2020 version. This next-generation simulator, however, promises compatibility with the current aircraft, airports, and almost all the Marketplace add-ons that exist in the 2020 version.
Microsoft has previously said that this will be a “brand-new simulator is designed to take advantage of the latest technologies in simulation, cloud, machine learning, graphics and gaming to create the most sophisticated, immersive and awe-inspiring flight simulator of all time”, and it will be powered by a “significantly evolved Asobo Studio engine”.
Existing addons are compatible and won’t have to be re-purchased
Another major concern addressed by the FAQ is the transferability of purchases from the Marketplace. Microsoft confirmed that, with very few exceptions, virtually all add-ons working in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 will function in the 2024 version. Additionally, add-ons purchased from the in-simulator Marketplace will not need to be repurchased in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2024.
The above most likely applies to all other add-ons available through other sources such as freeware repositories or third-party stores.
Ongoing Support for MSFS 2020
Notwithstanding the impending launch of the 2024 version, Microsoft reassures that support for the 2020 version will continue. The roadmap for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, which includes aircraft and avionics updates, sim updates, city and world updates, and the free Dune DLC, will be delivered as promised.
Still a lot of questions in need of answers
The published FAQ answers only these three major questions, but there are still a lot of doubts waiting to be clarified. For example, how much will the new version cost, and will existing owners of MSFS 2020 be entitled to any kind of discount? What does the famous promise of “a 10-year project” now mean for the MSFS team with the new platform release? And what does this all mean to developers and their daily work? Can they safely continue to put out work for MSFS 2020 and expect a smooth transition to the new platform when it comes out next year?
Stay tuned for further information and updates from the MSFS team about all of the above in the coming days and weeks!