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X-Plane.com is expanding


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X-Plane.com recently announced that they are opening a store. I'm assuming the model will compete with sites like X-Aviation and X-Plane.org.

 

I'm excited to see the store open but also concerned about X-Aviation. I support the X-Aviation to the extent that I've purchased aircraft that I never intended to fly. I do this to support the site and the developers who sell on the site. On the other hand, I've avoided buying aircraft from the .Org site that I want to try out. That's because I do not want to support that site. You'll find my reasons here. Nevertheless, I am compelled to buy aircraft there. That leads me to why I support X-Plane.com opening a store. I'm hoping the new store brings some humility to the guy (you know who you are) who runs the site. At the same time, I'm hoping it'll minimally affect X-Aviation. Unfortunately, I know I can't have it both ways. At least people won't confuse X-plane.org with Laminar Research's site since X-Plane.com sells aircraft. I initially made that assumption without reading the fine print.

Since LR is competing with MS I appreciate the need for the additional revenue stream. Austin still publicly denies it's a competition and claims X-Plane occupies a different space. I'm not so sure about that. I do believe XP12 will to continually peel off simmers from MSFS. Thus, LR is benefiting from MS marketing.

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9 hours ago, mjrhealth said:

No idea of what there is to be concerned about.

Let me explain. I'm making assumptions. I'm assuming developers from all sites will want to add their wares to X-Plane.com as well. Therefore, X-Plane.com might become the largest repository of payware and thereby become the store of choice for simmers, including those who currently purchase wares from X-Aviation. We know that sales are a major revenue source for 3rd-party sites. My concern is that sales for 3rd party sites will take a hit.

There may be some things that 3rd party sites can do to mitigate loss of sales, like build loyalty programs through promotions and discounts. We'll see.:huh:

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On 2/8/2024 at 5:14 AM, VirtualGAaviator said:

Austin still publicly denies it's a competition and claims X-Plane occupies a different space. I'm not so sure about that

Labels are relative to our own points of view,   both views can be construed to be accurate depending on the argument at hand.    Near where I live, we have two coffee shops within 1/2 kilometer from each other and indeed two starbucks within a kilometer of each other.  From the perspective of "starbucks corporate", those two stores don't compete...but ask the managers of each of those stores if they're competing with each other for 'performance bonuses' and from their perspectives they are competing.

Regarding the two coffee shops NOT the same company, each has some 'value point'  niche they cater to (i.e. the "space") which allows their business to attract customers and be profitable, because the size of the market supports it, BUT, they each do need that 'niche hook',  whether it be location, a "convenient driveway" or just plain better coffee.   I'll point out that "loyalty" can be a hook too. 

So while MS / Laminar spaces obviously overlap, it can definitely be argued that there are portions of those spaces of 'the simulation experience' that do not overlap and each excels in differing areas where those markets are big enough to support both.  

XA has some hooks that I don't think Laminar can effectively cover in a cost effective manner, nor handle the logistics of supporting products of a certain fidelity level as they tend to be 'high maintenance'.   In the space XA occupies and we don't see much changing and expect to continue providing high-fidelity products.

-tk

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1 minute ago, VirtualGAaviator said:

I'm assuming developers from all sites will want to add their wares to X-Plane.com as well

Given that assumption, sure, your points would absolutely be valid points of thought.  I don't want to use the word "concern", because that's relative to each person.   I'm not bent on putting my wares on the Laminar store for several reasons I won't go into here, but suffice to say there's many considerations  and factors with regards to product type, quality, market, deployment / support that go into distribution decisions beyond the simple exposure of a convenient insim "store page" that users will see.  

So while on the one hand, I can see the benefit of our products "easily waved in front of the faces of customers previously unawares of our wares"....on the other hand, and given the types of products I like to produce and my own experiences over the years, I can also forsee a very large range of potential pitfalls that Laminar is less equipped to handle over the long-term...and not completely sure they should try to do so.  If I was magically put in charge of "product support" for Laminar's,  I would put forth an argument that supporting products over a certain level of complexity could be cost prohibitive and resource draining.

Its my opinion that the special needs/support of high-fidelity, "study level" aircraft developers and the customers who seek those out is a niche space in the sim world and better suited to a bespoke distribution and support system like XA and given our experience, do not see this changing in the near term.   

-tk

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11 minutes ago, tkyler said:

Regarding the two coffee shops NOT the same company, each has some 'value point'  niche they cater to (i.e. the "space") which allows their business to attract customers and be profitable, because the size of the market supports it, BUT, they each do need that 'niche hook',  whether it be location, a "convenient driveway" or just plain better coffee.   I'll point out that "loyalty" can be a hook too. 

I hope I wasn't misconstrued. I think competition is a wonderful thing. I'm already reaping the benefits of it. And I get that ultimately XP seems to cater to a more serious crowd of simmers (at least IMO). I hear the arguments that XP's flight model is attractive, while MSFS's graphics model is attractive. I also believe MS's reentry into the space is driving more sales to LR ("Thus, LR is benefiting from MS marketing."). And just like the coffee shop analogy, both have value and, yes; both excels in different areas.

By competition, I don't mean there will be winners and losers. There's Coke and Pepsi, GM and Ford, all winners in my book (albeit I prefer Ford and I don't consume soft drinks). What I meant earlier is that I'm not so sure that MS and LR are not competing. Actually, I think they are. Both would like to have the very best flight sim. As long as I don't get both sims when I buy one or the other, there's competition.

If you'll indulge me for a moment, I've heard rumors that P3D's sim is being rebuilt using the Unreal Engine. If that's true, then we may ultimately get 3 major players in the space.

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9 minutes ago, tkyler said:

Its my opinion that the special needs/support of high-fidelity, "study level" aircraft developers and the customers who seek those out is a niche space in the sim world and better suited to a bespoke distribution and support system like XA and given our experience, do not see this changing in the near term.

Thanks for that. You're absolutely right and you've pointed out some things I hadn't considered. I don't think I've seen the hi-fi 737 in MSFS's store.

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1 hour ago, VirtualGAaviator said:

I don't think I've seen the hi-fi 737 in MSFS's store.

Same here, and IMO, mostly for the reasons I mentioned above.

1 hour ago, VirtualGAaviator said:

What I meant earlier is that I'm not so sure that MS and LR are not competing. Actually, I think they are

In the business sense, they absolutely are.   I believe the flight sim market to be big enough and each player to be competitive enough for end-consumers to reap the benefits and ergo, I see the competition between MSFS/Laminar healthy as is.

Now the "intra-X-Plane" competition for distributing 3rd party works spawned by Laminar's entry into the store space ....then that is a different discussion regarding the benefits of competition, one I'm not interested in participating in textual form...its just too big of a discussion.   If one competitor is so big and formidable as to render the others non-competitive, then there could be undesired collateral consequences.   I think the XP community is aware of this and relevant players are working to limit such collateral damage.

-tk

 

 

 

Edited by tkyler
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