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Number of MS Flightsimmers
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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:49 AM
A well known Flight Simulator add-on developer recently made a fairly complex calculation of it based on various sales figures, and came up with the number 40,000. That supposedly being a figure for the number of flight simmers who present a market to payware add-on developers rather than the total number there are, although even in considering that, it of course makes an incorrect assumption that the flight simmers would want to buy the specific add-ons the person making the calculation actually considered. It is in fact the case that the most successful Flight Simulator add-on developer in the world in terms of volume of sales is actually Abacus Publishing, so I think that number is not only a bit low for potential buyers of add-ons of all types, but also not a good guide figure for simmers alone. Another consideration is that the majority of add-on developers are now making stuff largely for FSX, but there is a large number of Flight Simulator users who do not even use FSX.Leaving aside add-on sales alone as the criteria, which one should since there will doubtless be many flight simmers who simply use the base product, or fall off the grid for other reasons, Earth has a population of just over seven billion people. From that figure, to gain any even ballpark figure of how many Flight Simulator users there are, you would have to subtract all those who are not of a suitable age to be interested in flight simulation or computers, then subtract all those who even if they were interested are not in a position to do anything about it, since there is much poverty in the world. I think that would still give you a figure well over 40,000, since 40,000 represents 0.004 percent of the Earth's populace.So perhaps if we consider the number of personal computers there are in the world, a figure which reached over a billion four years ago, but is estimated to double by the end of 2015, then 40,000 flight simmers seems a really rather low figure indeed. Microsoft allegedly hoped that Flight would reach 20 million users, and although that sounds a rather optimistic number to me, when we consider that Flight Simulator X has supposedly shifted over a million copies, and that there will be people using cracked copies of it, then there does seem to be a great disparity between the 40,000 figure and the number of installations of FSX which there are likely to be.Thus in the end, any figure can only be a guess, since even using Avsim users or visitors as a guide, will not necessarily elicit a useful number, because many of those who visit Avsim could be doing so for reasons other than being into flight sims themselves, for example, partners seeking gift ideas, journalists doing research, analysts, etc. That would probably be a small percentage of Avsim visitors/users, but it would probably be enough to prevent one determining an accurate figure, since not everyone who uses flight sims will actually visit Avsim either. There is also the burgeoning Asian market to consider, much of which sees no presence on Avsim at all, for example, how many Avsim members are aware that AeroSim (a Japanese flight sim add on developer) are currently in the final stages of producing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner? Or that they have made two 777 add-ons, a 767, a turboprop, and numerous airport sceneries, all for FSX.All of this means that to find an accurate figure is probably not possible, and any figure that is suggested can therefore be nothing more than a guess, although doubtless some guesses will be better than others. In other words, take a guess yourself; nobody can say they know your guess is wrong.Al
Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:13 AM
Or to give you an upper bound for your estimates:FS1 was the best selling flight simulator ever, with 4.7 million copies sold.http://www.guinnessw...tion-video-gameEven though MS never published sales figures for FSX, you can assume that the number of copies sold until the ACES studio was closed was lower than 4.7 million. Whatever the actual number of copies sold was, you can add some users that use FSX but did not buy it (a.k.a. software pirates) and subtract some that bought it in the past but no longer use it.And of course, there are other sims still being used. FS9, X-Plane, FlightGear to name the most popular ones. But I suspect that many of their users are already included in the group of FSX users.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:26 PM
interesting discussion, I think the 40 000 number is abit too small. maybe correct when calculating potential costumers but not total amount of FS users. Just for fun i checked the Vatsim forum and it has 209178 registered users. this forum have 85,770. Offcourse not all of these users are active but they probably have more interest in flight simulation than the casual simmer/gamer
Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:42 PM
Yes, but remember that this number referred to the (FSX) payware addon market. There are certainly a lot of simmers who do not buy any payware for various reasons.Of course there is a chance that John Venema's numbers are too low because they may underestimate how many simmers buy payware addons but not any Orbx products. But even if you double or triple that estimate, it would still be a very low number compared to other gaming/entertainment markets.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:59 PM
LevelD licensed users (in the forums) are 22.500. So I assume the LevelD B767 has sold at least 22.500 units. Add to that all the users that did not register to the forums. And these are the MSFS users that bought a _single_ add-on. So the number of MSFS users that buy payware add-ons should be much more than 40.000.Marco