Aerosoft at the Threshold
November 24, 2018
As we see our world of X-Plane evolve, we find more developers supporting our preferred platform. So why are they doing it? How did they find it and what are their plans for the future?
We reached out to Mathijs and Jan from Aerosoft, and they were, as always, only too happy to chat:
Mathijs and Jan, welcome to Threshold!
> From Aerosoft’s point of view, when did you first stock an X-Plane product, or the base sim itself? Do you remember the version?
- Mathijs: I believe we had a few XP9 add-ons but we never took that very seriously. Sales of XP9 add-ons was not very strong. When XP10 was in development we started to talk to Austin and decided to be the publisher in Europe and on Steam.
> What was the Aerosoft strategy behind stocking and supporting X-Plane add-ons? Was it based on market research? Or someone liking the platform? or all of them?
- Mathijs: We always knew that XP was a potentially fine platform as long as it matured a bit. It needed to be more stable (so updates do not break add-ons etc). with XP10 that started. As FSX was not the best shape, P3D not as important as it was now we felt that XP could grow fast. Limited market research though.
> What was the first Aerosoft branded product for X-Plane and how did that come about?
- Jan: It was Lugano airport, a port over which recently had a major update.
> What are your impressions of community vibe from X-Plane 10 to X-Plane 11....have you noticed more activity? Are users happier, more positive?
- Mathijs: XP11 made all the difference. Better, faster, FINALLY a usable user interface. A lot of people who tried XP before finally noticed it's potential.
> Compared to XP10, how do you see X-Plane's current marketshare? Is it bigger and growing faster with XP11, or is it the same? or smaller? any ideas why?
- Mathijs: Definitely growing. For many users, it is a follow-up sim from FSX that is quickly fading away. Users can choose between P3D and XP as platforms that are in solid development and future proof. Many people,incorrectly, believe that P3D should not be used by hobbyist. That helps XP.
> Where do you see X-Plane 11's appeal compared to other sims?
- Mathijs: A very good development team that keeps on adding features and solving issues (though Lockheed Martin is also very solid in that). There is a lively 3rd party scene, loads of freeware (again also true for P3D).
Jan: More sophisticated flight physics and graphics compared to P3D.
> How many aircraft and scenery developers are associated with Aerosoft currently for the XP11 market?
Mathijs: A bit hard to say as it changes a lot and we have many kinds of contracts. Sometimes we are just publisher, sometimes we fund the development,sometimes it is done internally. But I think there are always at least 10 people involved with XP projects.
> Will you continue to support XP10 actively or migrate to XP11 exclusively?
- Mathijs: We really focus on XP11, commercially XP10 is dead.
> Will we see Aerosoft aircraft for XP11 in the future or will you focus solely on scenery?
- Jan: We are actually developing one right now in-house. More info will follow as the development progresses. There will definitely be more Aerosoft aircraft in the future.
> Attending the many Flight Sim Expos,would you say our hobby is in a healthy state? What would you like to see changed?
- Mathijs: It has surprisingly changed little over the years and while not like it was in 1995, still very healthy and vibrant. Commercially we have not seen it decline at all. What we dearly miss however, are young people. It's s shame the hobby seems to attract so few young people.
> How do you currently receive information on X-Plane releases, projects and add ons? Do you have a direct line of communication with LR and most developers? or follow information on forums?
- Jan: We do have a direct line to Laminar. It is very important for us to constantly exchange information with them in order to keep things like the translation of the German version up-to-date. Same goes with most of the developers.
> What can we expect from Aerosoft in 2019 for X-Plane?
- Mathijs: A steady stream of scenery (and maybe aircraft) add-ons. Some specifically made for XP and other spin-offs from our P3D projects. We'll also try to get more tools and new kinds of add-ons.
Many thanks to the Aerosoft team for making themselves available to us, and their ongoing friendship.
There you have it folks....lots of good things coming form the Aerosoft hangar to our world of X-Plane...stay tuned, as we keep you up to date.
The Threshold team.
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