Microsoft Flight Simulator Is the PC's Killer App for Xbox Game Pass

Microsoft Flight Simulator Is the PC's Killer App for Xbox Game Pass

It's the biggest PC Game Pass launch yet.

For every flight yoke-owning, special edition-buying Microsoft Flight Simulator fan out there, there's probably a handful of folks with Xbox Game Pass subscriptions who just wanted to see if the game would melt their PCs. That's what the numbers suggest, at least: today, Microsoft announced that on top of logging over 1 million unique players since it launched just over two weeks ago, the new Flight Sim is the biggest Game Pass PC launch ever.

Over at Xbox Wire, Microsoft also discloses all sorts of neat facts about the most popular planes, how many flights there have been, and so on. But don't go looking for exact figures on the Game Pass boom in activity—as with the launch of Gears 5 a year ago, Microsoft's reporting overall player count and Game Pass milestones instead of focusing on sales numbers and exact subscriber counts.

Still, for Flight Simulator's new 2020 version to become the biggest Game Pass launch for PC yet, it likely had to drive a big boost in subscriptions. This also goes to show that Flight Simulator has pretty broad appeal. It may be a hardcore sim, but it at least has folks curious enough to put it over other titles that have debuted on PC Game Pass, like Gears Tactics.

A large part of that probably has to do with just how much Flight Simulator's new tech is pushing boundaries. The satellite imagery-aided world generation and true-to-life weather simulations have folks checking it out if only to see if they can spot their own houses or to fly into hurricanes.

Right now, Flight Simulator is only available for PC. There's still no word on when it'll come to the Xbox One or Xbox Series X, so if you want to get in on this high-flying phenomenon, you've got to hope your PC can handle it.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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