It’s that time of the year where we get a update from major developers as to what they are planning for 2017! Orbx have joined in and yesterday released a statement.
John Venema the CEO of Orbx said “Hello everyone,
What a year 2016 has been! My goodness, so much change, so much hard work by the team, so much patience and good grace shown by customers. One thing is for sure, there’s never a dull moment with Orbx eh?
So 2016 saw Orbx be the main sponsor of FlightSimCon 2016, release 18 products including a new FTX region, another openLC region, airports, ports of all our products to P3D 3.x (for free), new developers, new staff, new unified lclookup, new FTX Central and of course, new store: OrbxDirect. Whew!
Has it all been smooth, perfect and without issues? No of course not, change comes with a price, and we hope it’s a price that most of you are willing to pay. The end game is clear: the best customer experience, the simplest product management, and the continued release of the highest quality FS addons in the industry. We’re not quite there yet, but I believe we have made good progress towards our vision.
Some are wondering what is the Orbx mission? Is it to be a rich company that dominates FS and just wants to be MegaFS Corporation? Not on my watch. Orbx is about innovation, quality and fostering the best talent. We are far from the biggest FS company in our community. There are other companies that could swallow Orbx up in an instant, such is their revenues and depth of products that span into the commercial side as well.So world domination is not our plan. Doing a good job is, however. I would give us a score of 7/10 for
So world domination is not our plan. Doing a good job is, however. I would give us a score of 7/10 for 2016, because I admit some things we did not roll out in the most smoothest and effective manner. We learn, we grow, we adapt. That is the nature of business.
So what for 2017 and beyond?
Well this is where things get exciting, not only for us, but for you. Let me share some key things to look forward to, whilst at the same time keeping our cards close to our chest. We will keep to our policy of not announcing products until they are in beta (yes, I know – we broke our own rule with ENNK and Cote d’Zur but hey, nobody’s perfect )
The big one is Germany South. When I say ‘big’, this will be our biggest region yet in terms of content. 770 airport upgrades! Large areas of photoreal and cityscapes ‘lite’. Hundreds and hundreds of POIs with custom 3D models. The usual meticulous attention to detail from Sascha and Holger. Oh, and mountains. Lovely, hilly, wonderful alps and mountains. We love mountains at Orbx and GES will give you a nice playground. Release timeframe? Hmmm, April maybe, possibly May.
After GES we will be spending R&D resources on some top-secret projects, see below.
OpenLC South America is almost in beta, should be in your hands by the new year sometime. Better data, incredible detail, a whole new continent to explore in glorious openLC detail. Oh, and we’ll be making airports in SA as well. Good times.
Let’s tackle this by developer shall we? These guys have their own following from you, and you have your favourites. So without giving away too many secrets let’s begin with Jarrad.
Jarrad Marshall is finishing LOWI Innsbruck, which I think is his biggest and most beautiful project yet. I can’t stop flying my beta build, it’s that good. And in VR, my goodness it’s something special. Jarrad will be in Europe in February on a special project and at the same time he’ll be venturing out to take photos. Where? I can’t tell you …
Misha Cajic is finishing Santa Barbara which will take a bit longer since he’s been spending time in EU with family and friends. Well deserved too, he’s been very busy in 2015/16. I’m looking forward to KBSA very much, it will have that classic Misha touch to it. D’Andre Newman from AirDailyX is even claiming developer credits for some water masking, haha! After KBSA Misha has a number of options including KHAF Half Moon Bay, but will also start his university degree. He’ll need to balance his time.
Scott Armstrong is still working on BuildingsHD. It’s gone quiet on that project but he does fly commercially as a pilot so it’s not his day job. Do I want it finished yesterday? Of course! Let’s see how that goes, I’m looking forward to seeing cities take on a whole new shiny look.
Maurizio Giorgi’s labour of love Cityscape Cote d’Zur is going to be his focus for many months to come. Some projects need that hand-made care which Maurizio is now famous for after his freeware for OZx and then Canberra.
Alex Goff is now working full time but still actively making great little airports in the New England region. The next one is Block Island which looks just terrific. It will work nicely with Bill Womack’s upcoming Nantucket and we hope the attention to the NEM region continues by those guys.
Tim Harris is now going solo after years of a successful partnership with Ken Hall. It’s good for developers to team up; we’ve had a lot of fantastic partnerships at Orbx this last decade, but at the same time it’s also good to focus on a solo project or two to get new inspiration. Tim is now working on a project on the US mainland. It will be a great destination I promise you.
Ken Hall is working on GES for now and casting his eyes to 2017 for a few projects he and I are cooking up. Watch this space.
Finn Hansen is our young Norwegian Tornado and I am sure he has his eyes on many more Norway destinations. Together with Tore Stranden (Bodo) and Andreas Hegi (EN??), Norway is going to be the hub of lots of activity in 2017. Why not? It’s one of the prettiest regions in the world to fly. We love mountains remember?
Marcus Nyberg and Philip Schall are still glowing in the success of Valdez (what an airport eh!?) and are back in southern Europe working on another destination. All will be revealed soon. ESSA’s moving jetways have been outsourced to a contractor and we hope to have that patch delivered soon.
New developers. We have new developers not yet introduced to our customers who are working on airports in the US, South America and Europe. These guys all have years of development experience and I am sure their Orbx debuts will impress!
Top Secret Projects
Now to the juicy stuff! Next year we have a number of top-secret projects being started. All of these are big budget, big investment, risky, adventurous and a little bit scary for us. I know I am going to sound deliberately vague, but understand we are investing deep into six figures for these initiatives so it’s important to keep things within the company for now. Don’t worry, I think you know how much we as a team love showing you new stuff, so things will be revealed soon enough.
Project A – Massive. A huge investment in new tech, new tools, new apps and new staff. It will surprise many of you, and delight you all. It will focus on both Europe and North America. It will perform like nothing you have experience in your simming life. It will support VR. It will be a VFR flyer’s wet dream. It will be sold on OrbxDirect. Oh, and it will be 64-bit.
Project D – The evolutionary next step. Another big $ commitment, worldwide coverage, new tech, new experiences, a strong partner and an established record. Oh, and it will be 64-bit.
Project P – Our continued commitment to our strongest platform and it has a huge backing. More refinement, more performance, more destinations from Orbx than ever before. An old friend gets better, faster, stronger, bigger. Oh, and it will be 64-bit.
Project X – The surprise package. The dark horse. A big $ R&D commitment. Orbx quality where it’s needed the most so things finally get to truly shine. Oh, and it’s 64-bit.
Project O – Introduced in 2016 this will become your go-to for all things Orbx with more stability, more features, better performance, and continued development so it never gets stale.
How’s that? Obscure enough for you?
So let’s recap: 2016 was huge, we’re growing at over 20% per year in revenues, this is accelerating with OrbxDirect. 2017 sees your trusted developers doing what they do best; delivering quality, reliably good addons that you know will deliver what it says on the tin. 2017 will most importantly see a huge R&D investment by Orbx, new tech, new partnerships and new adventures for us all.
Won’t you come along for the ride?”