I told you so. You were initially a little concerned about watering down the FSX: Adrenaline announcement by mentioning Service Pack 1 and the DirectX 10 update in the same breath.
You weren’t wrong, of course – it isn’t good marketing to dilute the message of a commercial product by trumpeting the interim arrival of something free. However, we knew what was going to happen – as soon as we announced an expansion pack, we’d be on the defensive, facing accusations of incompetence and conspiracy. Incompetence, because not every single person involved with the ongoing creation of Flight Simulator is focused on a service pack, and conspiracy because, well, pretty much anytime Micro$oft does or doesn’t do anything, it’s conspiratorial.
I even wrote a post here that went live at about the same time, oh-so-cleverly entitled "Prequently Asked Questions", to hopefully head off some concerns. No, this doesn’t mean that SP1 or the DX10 update will be delayed, no this isn’t an evil plot to make you buy Vista … Granted, fewer people read this blog than read FSInsider, and, I suspect, fewer people read FSInsider than read AVSIM.
But still, we tried.
You, Marketing and PR, listened to us against your better judgment. We told you that some segment of our customer base would react negatively to the announcement, because they’d assume it meant we were taking resources away from the Service Pack and DirectX 10 updates we’d promised. We also told you that we needed to emphasize the fact that the Expansion Pack was intended for both XP and Vista, since we’d be accused of forcing people to upgrade.
What we didn’t tell you was that it didn’t matter how clearly we tried to get these key points across – some people would still say we were unethical liars, simultaneously too stupid to build a decent piece of software and smart enough to dupe our customers, surely a far-brighter-than-average demographic.
We also forget to mention that our latest bit of transparency would mean that somebody would compare us to Hitler. Sorry for the oversight, but, really, you should have known that announcing a series of updates to a piece of entertainment software really is just another flavor of National Socialism. That should have been obvious. Come on – bang the rocks together guys.
If you haven’t seen the threads, check them out:
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When I’m not shaking my head, finally understanding the full meaning of one of my father’s favorite words – incredulous – I’m especially grateful for the cooler heads that find their way to the surface. Friends I’ve met, like Geofa, and those unmet, like Ladamson. And even, in fact I daresay especially, those who are disappointed with FSX, genuinely anxious for some additional support, and who manage to express that without accusing us of being dead fascist dictators. Those are the customers I like to think we’re working for.
And for the record – I’m a fan of Ground Environment Pro. If there’s anyone reading this who doesn’t know their stuff, go check it out. Their work is an example of why we build a platform, and not just a product.
Anyway, I wonder if it would have been worse had we announced the Expansion Pack with NO mention of the other updates? I have to think so, though one wonders.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and lasciviously eye Poland.