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Happy New Year and Update

Anna Cicognani

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Happy New Year everyone!


I wanted to give you an update on what has been happening @ Orbx and a bit of an outlook for the next little while.


First up, the production team, under Ed’s leadership, has been super busy in the past few months, releasing a number of awesome products, including some of my favourites like Cityscape Sydney, Graz, Newcastle, the more recent Canary Islands for X-Plane from our internal teams (thanks also to Frank, Tony and Holger), and a number of highly detailed and charming airports from our indies, like Burbank, Malmö, Olbia, Göteborg. So many to name, it’s an embarrassment of riches! 


Our not-so-new-any-more Havant Studio in the UK is really producing outstanding visuals. We have such a great breadth of skills there, guided by Greg’s expert hand, with some real gems in the pipeline (check out the Coming Soon page if you have not seen it yet).


We have also been flat chat freshening up our brand and marketing - you may recall we had an extensive initiative last July (#flyjuly) which we look at repeating this year - plus recently we have redesigned our newsletters and email comms. Kalum, our digital marketing manager, is the guy to blame here ;-) and we have added Alberto as our digital design lead, who is refreshing our designs and looking at how to best keep things simple.


Our tech team (Ben, Josh, Mitch, Luke, and a couple new additions, Adam and Sagar) have released the first version of Volanta. This is still in beta, but will soon be released to everyone as a free platform, with some unique and exciting premium features to come. You would have read the release note already and we hope to see many many of you picking this up. The team has so much in store for Volanta in the coming months... stay tuned.


The launch of Microsoft Flight Simulator has kept us on our toes, not really knowing what to expect in terms of customer preference for products, or how the simulator was going to handle some of our scenery products - we are pretty happy with the way it has turned out, even if it has been a steep learning curve. Watch out for the upcoming Orbx video in the MS partnership series, all things being equal, it should be out on 28 January. We are still working with MS and Asobo to make MSFS better and better. The video will have some info on how we do what we do (but no secret sauce just yet).


With the various lockdown restrictions and international travel banned, it has not been easy for any of us a bit all over the globe, with lots of ups and downs, but Hangouts and Discord have helped a lot. You all know we have developers and artists all over the world, so we are pretty used to working remotely, at all hours of the day and night. Still it is kinda tricky at times to sync Europe, Canada (West) and Australia (East and West), but we mix night owls and early birds just fine ;-)


All in all, Orbx has grown quite a bit in the past 18 months. We have more partners on board, strutting their stuff on OrbxDirect and Central. We are very fortunate to have some big names joining us recently in this journey to create the best catalogue of flight sim products there is.


Developing for multiple platforms has been quite a challenge, but I want to reassure you that X-Plane and Prepar3D are firm on our radar (no pun intended), as well as - of course - MS Flight Simulator. Our HQ in Essendon Fields will also become the subject of a new version of YMEN with some cool details for the upcoming 100th anniversary of the airport. You may be able to take a sneak peek of what’s happening @ Orbx behind that glass on the apron!


I won’t end this update saying Orbx has a long runway in front, because it would sound a bit too on the nose ;-) but let me say we have some exciting initiatives coming up. We are growing and expanding, we are crazy about all things flight sim, and some other games too (Cyberpunk 2077 anyone?). We want you all to be part of this journey, so please keep sending us feedback, comments and your wish lists. Though the team is bigger and we can achieve more than ever before, first and foremost, we want the quality of our airports and scenery to remain top shelf, so top it’s on the highest shelf, the one hardest to reach, and a little bit exclusive too. 


That’s what Orbx stands for. Expand your horizons.

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