Helicopters support will be added free of charge, but Microsoft mentions a paid DLC that may be bringing several helicopters and other type of content for the rotorheads.
- Helicopter functionality will be added for free to the base sim. Third-party developers can then make helicopters for the sim (both freeware and payware)
- A paid DLC with, several helicopters (Microsoft mentions 4-8) will be released by Microsoft. This DLC will be optional and it won't be required to use helicopters from third-party developers.
- The DLC may also bring other content to the sim such as missions, for example.
- As promised before by Microsoft, Helisimmer.com and its community will be involved in the process, to help Microsoft add helicopters and any helicopter-related extra features to the sim.
- Visit HeliSimmer.com's homepage for more stories.
On the live interview Microsoft and Asobo streamed on August 13th, the subject of helicopters came out (which is starting to become something normal – meaning there is more awareness and concern about this type of aircraft) and a couple of points were mentioned.
The first one was about how our community would be involved in helping Microsoft test and develop helicopters. HeliSimmer was mentioned during the conversation and Jorg Neumann (head of Microsoft Flight Simulator) said that folks from the development team “[…] will have to take some helicopter lessons and then we will also rely on people that fly all kinds of different helicopters because we need to […] get lots of input, so, clearly, […] we’re gonna work on this together”.
This was assured to me personally back in September on the Global Preview Event, and Microsoft is confirming it now, once again.
The other topic that was covered, was actually a reply to a question I had sent Jorg directly earlier that day (he mentions that on the video) as I felt we needed to get a better understanding of the helicopters DLC which has been mentioned earlier.
Because of the mention of the DLC, there was a rumor starting to popup in the community saying that we would need to pay to get helicopters. Because of that, I asked Microsoft to confirm what we should expect from the DLC and how helicopter dynamics will be added to Microsoft Flight simulator.
Jorg actually replied to me in that interview as I asked if we had to buy the helicopters DLC to be able to use helicopters in the sim. The answer was a very firm “no”.
The basic functionality will be added, free of charge, and Microsoft will release a paid DLC with several helicopters (and probably some more content) but Jorg said that we “can also experience helicopters without that” (the DLC).
What does this mean?
It means that Microsoft will add support for helicopters, which will come free of charge. It will be released on one of the regular updates. If a third-party developer makes a helicopter for Microsoft Flight Simulator, we can get that helicopter, install it and it will work.
But Microsoft will also release an optional DLC that you may or may not buy (well, that’s what optional means, right)? Not buying it will not hinder the ability to fly helicopters in MSFS but, let’s face it, we will probably want to get it anyway, right?
These are amazing news and exactly what I was expecting to hear from Microsoft. The team seems to be listening to us, loud and clear, and I am extremely excited to help them do a great job for all of us.