There was a lot of confusion in the comments from my last post regarding X-Plane and free updates.  Let me try to clarify.

First, here’s how updates have worked historically:

  • Users get free patches for the life of a major version run.
  • These patches include bug fixes, performance improvements, and sometimes substantial new features.
  • No new patches once a major new version is released.
  • The old patches are available and hosted indefinitely while the new version is out (at least for versions that use our updater).
  • There has never been any kind of guarantee as to what features will be released as patches, or how long a version run will last.  Users who buy X-Plane buy the new version because historically the sum of a major version release plus its patches has been substantial.
  • The global scenery doesn’t change for a major version run, and therefore there are no automatic updates to the global scenery.

That’s how version 9 has worked, that’s how version 8 worked more or less, and it is how I expect version 10 to work in the future.

To address specific concerns: yes, the version 10 run will have free updates to the core sim, just like before.

The point of my previous post is this: in the past, we have not done any updating of the global scenery, and I am not committing to anything more now.  OSM gives us a sane way to collect new data, but it’s too soon to talk about distribution.

About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.

6 comments on “X-Plane 9, X-Plane 10, and Free Updates

  1. Just to throw in my two cents: Given the size of the global scenery files, I think it only makes sense to release updates to it in some pretty rare circumstances (e.g. correction to the wall of water in the Turnagain Arm between Anchorage and Whittier, Alaska ). It should also be tied to an optional part of updating, so that people with fast internet connections can get the new scenery tile(s) if they have the old ones installed, but people with slow connections can pass on it.

    But I also think that the updates shouldn’t be tied completely to a major version release, but instead to a rough time table like “about every two years” or even “about once a year”. It’ll be around 4+ years after the cutting of X-Plane 9 scenery before we get an update to it. It would have been nice to see a new render once or twice in that time period, even if I have to pay a little for the update.

  2. Thanks for this article.
    When could we expect X Plane 10 to come out? Can’t wait to fly it !!

  3. Ben, would you consider a one-time midlife update of the global scenery? By the time 9.3 was out, the Alaska wall of water, land-reclamation project off the coast of Libya and a few other irrugularities were known.

    Add a few new major airport background textures, and this could be as little as replacing a dozen files by the time 10.3 goes final.

    1. We are making no statements, guarantees or promises about a mid-life update for the global scenery. We have done this in the past and it’s caused a ton of chaos, confusion, and user anger. So I really can’t say anything about this.

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