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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

July 9, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Microsoft’s “Flight Simulator” returns, sort of

A British game company is re-releasing Microsoft’s late, great “Flight Simulator” game under a licensing deal announced Wednesday.

Dovetail Games will use the software engine powering the game to develop new games, including a new concept that it expects to release in 2015. The company has had success with a similar game called “Train Simulator.”

“This partnership is perfectly timed to support our expansion into new areas of simulation,” Dovetail Chief Executive Paul Jackson said in a release.

Jackson said the company is looking into new flight-simulation games. But don’t count on a new version of the classic “Flight Simulator” anytime soon.

Under its deal with Microsoft, Dovetail will distribute the circa 2006 “Flight Simulator X” through Steam, the PC game service and store operated by Bellevue-based Valve.

New versions of that particular game would have to come from Microsoft. It retained all development rights to “Flight Simulator,” according to Xbox spokesman David Dennis.

Microsoft probably isn’t in a big rush to update “Flight Simulator.” It scrapped the “Flight Simulator” studio in 2009 after the meticulously accurate game failed to captivate a new generation of gamers. Microsoft tried rebooting the franchise in 2012 with a free-to-play version called “Flight” but abandoned that project within a year.

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