Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sim-shops, are they good enough ?

Our world is globalized for a long time already. We can buy and download everywhere but how sim-shops deal with us ? Which payment method ? What is the size of their "portfolio" ? Some answers here.

Tuesday last, Airdailyx sent emails to six major sim-shops. These are only pure distributors and don't develop products themselves. 3 of them answered us : Flightsim pilot shop, Flightsim Store and Simmarket. One send back an email but didn't have the time to answer in due form (JustFlight) and 2 didn't answer at all, AVSIM Simpilot and PC Aviator. We will try later to work on a second article, focused on others distributors,; those who have some development or co-development.

Some explanations on criterions ;

You shouln't be afraid by the number of downloads. Webshops made clear that you can reset your amount of downloads. Simshops who didn't answer me have most probably the same policy on this matter.

You will find this criterion, the release date mentionned. As a matter of fact, only a few of them (Sim-shops) are mentionning the release date of their products. If you don't have this information, you don't even know if this old/new stuff. You buy an aircraft, you think it's brand new but it has been released 2 or 3 years ago...

Policy regarding bankrupted designers : now, this is important. Simmers hardly know which designers have disappeared or been bankrupted. If you find their products and buy them on a webshop, what will be the real custom support ? We asked that to the sim-shops and their answers are rather vague..

The sim-shops who answered us are the largest by their library/portfolio size. They have more than 1000 downloadable products.  Most of these simshops have clearly mention their term and conditions, their headquarters and payment methods. All except one, the AVSIM store simpilot. There is simply nothing. No address, nothing "about them" and just two laconic lines on store policy. Maybe there is something once you create an account but if that's so, it's unusual.

I am ready to update the article if some comments can prove me wrong.

Flightsim pilot shopFlightsim StoreSimmarket
LocationU.S.A., FloridaAustralia Germany
Base currencyUS dollarAustralian dollarEuro
Payment medthodsCredit cardsCredit cardsCredit cards
Bank wireBank transferBank transfers
Check paymentCheck (within AUS.)Immediate
Cash (within AUS)Bank transfers
Number of downloadsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Size of Portfolio (downloads only)More than 1500More than 1000More than 1000
Exclusive editors, designers  :Don't wish, cannot disclose nature of vendor's agrementFTX Orbx (download),

Real Environment X V2 standalone (download)
Pete Dowson,

Ernie Alston,

Burkhard Renk, Felix;.
Release date mentionnedYes, in customer's accountNO (possibly soon)YES
Policy regarding bankrupted designers« We require all developers to provide prompt support or a customer would be eligible for a credit »If a product cannot be supported by the developers or publishers we will discontinue selling itAs soon as we are aware of the situation we stop sales of their products as we cannot guarantee support.

These simshops didn't send their answers :

Loris, SCCambs
Base currencyUS DollarUS DollarUK Pound
Payment medthodsUnknownCredit cardsCredit cards
Money orders
Check (US)
Number of downloadsUnknownUnknownUnknown
Size of Portfolio (downloads only)200more than 600235
Exclusive editors, designers  :UnknownUnknownUnknown
Release date mentionnedNONONO
Policy regarding bankrupted designersUnknownUnknownUnknown

Airdailyx will update this table upon request.

Article copyright Airdailyx August 2011