Just over two years since its initial release, Microsoft Flight Simulator has hit a coveted milestone — over 10 million people have played it. Microsoft and Asobo made this announcement in a recent official blog post, where the achievement is being celebrated mere weeks after the release of the sim’s massive 40th Anniversary Update.
The road of support for Microsoft Flight Simulator remains long with its next major update coming in January 2023.
Fly guys (and gals)
Asobo took this opportunity to share even more stats about how far Microsoft Flight Simulator has come since it first released back in Summer 2020. In addition to the aforementioned 40th Anniversary Update, there have been 26 other “robust updates” released for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Initially, Asobo had the goal of releasing a new update for the sim each month. However, that was changed earlier this year when Sim Update 10 got delayed for several months for quality assurance purposes.
Though the updates are now releasing at a slower rate, not only has there been a deluge of new add-on content flowing in from third-party devs, but the sim itself is more stable and fleshed out than ever. And there’s more to come in 2023.
The company shared other fun stats. For example, there has been over 500 million flights flown within the sim, amounting to over 40 billion miles. As Asobo points out, such a figure equates to about 10 million trips around the Earth itself, and “200 round trips from Earth to [the] Sun.” Simply put, simmers have been doing quite a lot of flying.
Microsoft Flight Simulator has managed to rack up a lot of players and playtime. This can be contributed to a lot of new factors that weren’t present in past iterations, nor are relevant to competing flight sims.
These factors come in the form of two main facets: cloud support and console support. Microsoft Flight Simulator has never released on any Xbox console before the Series X|S release that came back in mid 2021. The sim later arrived on Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming service, granting players the ability to stream the sim to virtually any device with a stable connection.
While Microsoft Flight Simulator’s biggest competitor, X-Plane, does have a mobile edition, it’s not at all the same as its PC-locked big brothers, X-Plane 11 and the newly-released X-Plane 12. In short, Microsoft Flight Simulator has flown higher than any dedicated flight sim before it thanks to being more accessible than ever before.
For Asobo, 2023 will be another packed year and its partners as they continue to flesh out Microsoft Flight Simulator with more content, both free and paid.
The next major update, dubbed Aircraft & Avionics, will be releasing in January 2023. It will kickstart a series of more updates that will rollout throughout the rest of the year. This particular update will bring deep enhancements to various default aircraft, outfitting them with more robust flight systems and features.