It's been a weird year, with many people all over the world either 'furloughed' or generally at home much more than usual, it seems that either getting into flight simulation for the first time (or returning after some time away) has been a popular distraction from everyday life. With so much else changing, now seems to be the perfect time to share some of our predictions. Whilst obviously not guaranteed, we think these future trends will be the way forward over the next few years. Lower Prices: As more people get into flight simulation, demand is likely to increase for quality scenery, utility and aircraft addons. You'd assume this shift in supply and demand would lead to increased prices (how the free market usually works). Personally, I think the opposite will happen. More demand means the prices can be decreased - especially for scenery addons. This is because we always need to meet the cost of producing new products and locations, things like ortho imagery and other features aren't free. But with more people purchasing addons, prices can come down as the costs are shared amongst more people. This blog post isn't based so much on specific data, but more on general trends which can be seen. It seems that the launch of MSFS has already had an impact on this, if you look at prices of scenery (generally) for that sim, it's lower than on other platforms. The same thing seems to be happening with XP11 too, lower prices for customers. Say goodbye to $30 airports! More Stores: Big, centralised stores are always going to have a place - especially when people are comfortable with buying addons from one location. We think that these stores will continue to be important, but people will also have more choice in purchasing direct from developers. Last year, we only sold through the larger stores, now, we have our own online store which has been really successful - giving people more choice. A balance of the two would be the best approach from a customer perspective. Better Quality: As the sims improve, the addons should follow. The past year has already brought out some amazing quality addons from various developers, think Toliss Airbus series and iniBuilds A300 for example. The same is true for scenery, as new devs grow and add more features to their work - something which comes with experience. Looking at the MSFS visuals in particular should be an encouraging hint at what the next few years will look like.
More Choice: This is an easy one - aircraft and scenery take time to develop. As more devs expand, we will be seeing a lot more choice as new products are released. There really is nothing else to say on this one! Better Customer Service: You buy an addon, it doesn't work as you want it to, you email the dev, you don't hear back. With active devs, this shouldn't happen. The increase in customer choice, reviews and competition should ensure customers get long term, quick assistance. Even things like chatbots could be a great way of providing help quickly and easily to people.