There’s no doubt in my mind that Microsoft Flight Simulator is a gargantuan release of a flight sim that has breathed new life into the flight simulation world. Today, a post on FlightSimulator.com marks a number of milestones for the sim including news that the sim is now 10-million strong.
While Steam Charts reports DCS and IL-2 picking up anywhere between 1,000 and about 4,000 peak players, Microsoft Flight Simulator is reportedly now reaching beyond the 10-million mark. Although those charts on Steam don’t tell the full story as all of those sims command strong audiences outside of the Steam platform, even if we multiply that number by 10 times, their population numbers we’re still nowhere near what Microsoft is reporting for MSFS.
That 10-million number might be a bit of a misnomer too because not every single one of those virtual pilots are going to be sticking with the platform. Even flying for a few minutes in discovery mode and walking away from the sim forever is likely to be counted in that total. But even if half or a quarter of those people stay, Microsoft Flight Simulator is absolutely huge and an undeniable success for what is otherwise a mostly niche hobby/training tool.
Those aren’t the only numbers being reported today. Microsoft shared some other numbers including 500-million flights and 40-billion miles flown. Enough for 10-million trips around the Earth and 200 round trips between the Earth and the sun. There have also been 27 updates to the sim since launch and while not every update has been a resounding success, the sim has truly landed in a good place with the 40th anniversary update.
And, as they said today, Microsoft Flight Simulator is still just getting started with a lot of new content planned for release in 2023.
It’s an impressive milestone and it shows off just how big this sim is and how many people its reaching. It’s all a bit mind boggling. Congratulations to Microsoft and congratulations to the team at Asobo Studio!