I have to confess, and I can do so on my private blog here, that I am disappointed and often even appalled by the current state of the FS add-on market.
Where the sim has gotten better with FSX – within the known restrictions and limitations – there are a lot more outright bad add-ons appearing on the market as compared to FS2004 times ! It looks like every guy with an (illegal?) copy of 3DSMax, Gmax or FSDS is drawing square buildings, plopping some 3-rd rate textures on it and selling it as the best invention since sliced bread.
But WHY is this happening this time?
– really stellar add-ons are few and far between now, because the hugely increased skill set, tool set and work load they require
– the ‘retailers’ (and some publishers) are less picky these days. They are trying to make the same profits as before, with less products to choose from.
– there are quite a few ‘new’ FS users who don’t have a clue and whom you can apparently sell anything
– with fewer add-ons on the market and simmers craving for stuff to add, there is an opportunity for the less-than-stellar products, more so than before
– the few good products out there have gotten even MORE expensive than before because of the increased efforts needed to make them
– the general economic downturn – which started long before the mess in America – means less add-on spending from the regular customers on top of it all
So, the vultures have free play on this market now and I cringe at many a product that gets ‘released’ these days. Since this may give new users a bad experience, and hence bad ideas about buying more add-ons, this is hurting the add-on market on the long run, which in the end is bad for everybody….. EVEN for those not caring about quality.