Paris? New York? Hawaii? Over the Grand Canyon? If you could fly anywhere, even on an imaginary flight via “Microsoft Flight Simulator,” where would you go? The answer to the question is a bit surprising, but actually makes perfect sense in the age of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a new documentary about the making of the rebooted video game, when faced with the ability to fly anywhere in the world, 70% of players chose the same place. They flew home.
Microsoft’s longest running product franchise returned to the skies in August with its first refresh in 14 years. The game takes advantage technology enhancements including use of Bing Maps’ global imagery and the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, along with artificial intelligence tech that enables live traffic and real-time weather.
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The 30-minute documentary by Noclip (above) takes a look at how the game was made, with host Danny O’Dwyer calling it “one of the most unique journeys in game design.”
In the film, Jorg Neumann, head of the franchise for Xbox Game Studios Publishing, shared the story of players using the game as a way to connect with their families, PCGamesN reported.
“When the coronavirus hit, I was supposed to go visit my family, and I couldn’t because they live in Germany,” Neumann said. “So I flew there, and I called my parents and we just talked about the weather, it was the same time of day, same weather, it looked exactly right. I basically called them up and said ‘I’m as close to you as I can get’.”