FlyByWire Simulations


3 min read

FlyByWire, MSFS Marketplace and Xbox

Written by Iceman

Posted: 2021/09/16

Unfortunate Departure

Following the release of Sim Update 5, the A32NX was pulled from the marketplace due to compatibility issues in the stable version of the aircraft, requiring an additional fix. Although we have released a new stable version that addressed compatibility issues, we regret to inform the community that the A32NX will not be returning to the marketplace and will not be available on Xbox. The same will apply for the A380X.

We would like to make clear that this decision is not a result of Sim Update 5, but rather other ongoing concerns that were being discussed by the team in the weeks prior. Chiefly, on July 4th, we changed the A32NX’s license from MIT back to GPL-3.0, following the overwhelming wishes of our development team and their commitment to free, open source software. However, due to legal concerns regarding copyleft licenses, Microsoft does not permit GPL-licensed projects to be listed in the marketplace. As a result we created a separate fork of the A32NX (dubbed the “marketplace edition”) with the MIT license necessary for marketplace compatibility.

It became clear with recent updates, however, that maintaining this separate version as well as working around the marketplace’s release schedule would be a challenge. As new features were being introduced to the mainline version of the A32NX, many developers wished their code only to remain in that version, under the GPL license. This had the effect of making any code that built upon it increasingly difficult to port to the marketplace edition.

One of our other main concerns is the extra workload that marketplace and Xbox traffic would place on our support and quality assurance teams. Everyone at FlyByWire is a volunteer, and works in their free time out of passion for this project and the community. Having very distinctly different versions of our airplane on the marketplace and Xbox would overwhelm our support team on Discord, and double the work for our QA to make sure every new feature works on both PC and Xbox. Simply put, we just don’t have the manpower or resources.

Finally, although the SDK has improved since the release of the sim a year ago, it still lacks some key functionality that limits what we can do with the aircraft. In an effort to work around this, we are considering the possibility of running certain components of the aircraft outside the simulator - something that would also not be compatible with the marketplace.

We hope you can understand our reasons behind this decision. We remain committed to producing the most detailed and accurate A320neo simulation possible for the flight simulation community, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.