GamesCom 2009: In a private presentation to bit-tech earlier today at GamesCom 2009 in Cologne, Frank Dolmans, Chief Marketing Officer for Ship Simulator Extremes developer VStep said he wasn’t sure why Microsoft had recently closed their Flight Simulator team given that in his opinion, the PC sim market was still a good business.
After Frank gave us a demonstration of VStep’s upcoming ship simulator, which is a realisitic simulation of many actual ships in realistic situations, we asked him if he thought that the simulation market was dying out or being marginalised on PCs in recent years.
“Absolutely not,” he said confidently. “Sims aren’t dying out at all. We’ve sold more than 450k units of the Ship Simulator series and while I know it’s a niche audience it’s still one that has been very good to us.”
“I don’t know the specifics of why Microsoft closed down their Flight Sim team, but I do know that the simulation genre has always been there and sims like this are still good for business.”
Even if PC simulations were a fading genre, Frank still seemed to think a resurgence would be inevitable, pointing to the adventure game genre as a comparison.
“Just look at adventure games. The same thing happened there. Everyone said they were dying out and a lot of people stopped making them, but there were developers that did very well by persisting in the genre and now there’s lots of adventure game franchises making a comeback.”
Ship Simulator Extremes will be going on sale at the start of 2010 and will feature all sorts of realisitic missions, from disrupting whaling missions for Greenpeace to quelling fires and evacuating oil rigs. All 35 ships in the game can be fully explored in first person, including the Titanic, and the new multiplayer and co-op modes are coming on well too. Let us know if any of that interests you in the forums.