Just some random thoughts, as have a cup of tea in hand.
I wonder how much of this FS 2020 idea was because Asobo did a tech demo of all the landscape/scenery stuff and Microsoft liked the idea of the ‘Azure’ hook in?
For people that don’t know Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing offering, where they are trying to transition the company from being desktop based (Win10, Office etc) to datacenter-based offerings. Microsoft saw the success of things like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and knew they had to heavily invest in all that to keep up. Also, at the same time, when it came to things like Search and Maps, then Bing was pretty much a money hole, just to give the appearance of competing with Google.
So here’s Microsoft, with big ol datacenters, lots of Bing map aerial photography, and was thinking ‘how could we use this in a consumer product of some sort?’. Asobo come along with a tech demo showing that (a) you use the datacenters to stream the textures/data as you go and (b) you use the datacenters to do massive processing jobs to do the ‘AI’ bit, to make up the mesh, autogen and all that good stuff. To cover the world you’d need some serious computing power plus base data. Places like Orbx didn’t have that, only someone like Microsoft or Google is in a place to get that going seriously (or rather, without having to relicense huge datasets plus pay for the cloud computing).
In some ways, I wonder if FS2020 is just a lucky coincidence of other bits of the puzzle just being around for Microsoft, and Asobo being smart enough to show the potential at the right time. Cool.
PS Anyone applying to the ‘Mission Designer’ vacancy for the sim? https://www.asobostudio.com/careers