With the announcement of MSTS 2, and the attendant talk and attention it is receiving, there is a marked trend that has been noticed here at VSC and its afiliates, and, I suspect, with other commercial MSTS vendors. The trend indicates to me (either rightly or wrongly) there has been a significant loss of interest in the current sim platform we have, as well as interest in the commercial products available for it, or are being developed.
Basically, since the MSTS 2 announcement, all VSC sales have come to a screeching halt. Email correspondance with Gaetan Belanger of BLW (an affiliate) indicates essentially the same malady has affected his sales as well.
Fortunately, I have a primary vocation. VSC income is a needed supplement, but not a neccesity. However, some of my fellow developers DEPEND on MSTS sales to pay their bills and put food on the table. (In which category Gaetan resides.)
At VSC, there are several things in the pipeline that are headed your way, some you know about, some you don't.
As for the products you know about: Regardless of market conditions, it is still my intention to try to finish up and release (as soon as practical) the Ozark Northern route, as well as the Steam Sound Pack. However, any effort expended may be for naught in regards to commercial endeavor. I understand and accept that.
As for products you don't know about...
Well, I am not at liberty to reveal all, but I can tell you about one, which I will now do:
Gaetan and I are collaborating on a huge Mega Pack project that was to be headed your way. Not only is the pack itself quite an endeavor, but plans for commercial use of the pack were quite extensive. Though the upcoming pack is of intense personal interest to me, sales of such packs are vital to BLW's existance. Simply put: If sales are no longer there, then some developers will be forced to find other non-MSTS means of family support.
Below you will find a few pictures of the project that Gaetan and I have recently undertaken. Currently the F series (F7's in particular) are being developed. There was also to be Alco's (FA1/FB1, RS2, RS1, S2), EMD GP7's, Baldwin VO1000's, as well as a comprehensive SLSF rolling stock pack w/cabooses to be developed. This was to be the largest, most comprehensive equipment pack line to ever be tackled by any content creator, period. Essentially, purchasers of the complete line of packs would have ALL the freight equipment (engines and rolling stock) needed to support operations in the 1965-1970 time frame of the target railroad. In addition, there were other plans for the equipment's use. However, none of this is practical if the commercial MSTS market has died on account of the bulk of the community having given themselves over to counting eggs before they're hatched. (i.e. speculation on MSTS 2, KRS, etc, in conjunction with suspended MSTS interest/support.) MSTS 2 is at least 1 1/2 years away. More likely 2. KRS is at least 1 year away, maybe more. However, MSTS you have now.
Therefore, I am turning to you, my friends, customers, and the potential buying public that frequent here, and ask you straight up: Are you still interested in supporting commercial MSTS content?
How you respond, or how you don't respond, could very well determine the fate of future product to be developed.
Now... here's a glimpse of what had been going behind the scenes...