In case you have missed it, yesterday FlightFactor opened the second round of their public beta sale program for their anticipated A320, putting some hundreds of copies for sale! For those who lost track, here’s the latest official announcements and a short summary of the current situation:
Last Monday, Ramzzess of FlightFactor announced the second beta sale: “ok guys, here is your 24 hours notice. The sales will open for a few hundred users. you need to own at least 2 FF models to buy this. Windows and MAC (!!!). again, this is a beta!!!”
Unfortunately, some folks weren’t too happy with FlightFactor’s way of handling the beta program. Some rather unobjective comments by users led to this announcement: “ok. I truly do not understand what is happening here. We built, what seemed to me, like a quick way to get the plane to a large amount of people. All we wanted is not to have new customers, unfamiliar with XP and our planes, to get a very raw and buggy product. And we wanted to have it out now and not next year, as it would take 6 more month to get the bugs out with 20-30 testers. But… as I see it, it would be better to have another 6 months of testing in private. In future project I will not plan any more public betas.“
However, Ramzzess also explained the rationale behind this second beta sale: “This batch is mostly to test the mac version, as again, its is a totally new platform. After this batch, we need to fix the remaining bugs, make sure it is stable and make the release public. No plans for more batches”
As expected, the second round was over quickly, leaving some (potential) customers unhappy. See Ramzzess’ next and latest announcement:
“Guys, the batch 2 is already almost sold out. we will close it in 60 more sales. I would like to reiterate why we do a limited beta.
- we want the plane to be tested by a large enough amount of users
- we want the amount of users who get the beta to be limited because we can’t handle more than a certain amount of reports
- we want to limit the number of users who get an unstable product, so not to create irritation and unhappiness with the users, especially if there are bug that will need time to be fixed
As soon as we confirm that this version stable on both win and mac and as soon as we fix a few items which we deemed to be necessary for the release, we will reopen the sales for good. hopefully, very soon”
In my personal opinion this public beta program is a good thing. Due to my standing in the community I got a copy of the A320 early (outside of the beta program). Trust me, it was not done at that time but the team is getting there. I am absolutely certain they will release this A320 as a polished product each and everyone of you will love. That said, I believe it’s worth waiting for this instead of having an unfinished product on the market, which would result in a lot more unhappy customers. What’s your opinion?