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Microsoft Flight Simulator isn’t “legally problematic,” despite depicting the entire world

Microsoft Flight Simulator

With Microsoft Flight Simulator drawing on real-world satellite imagery to generate the world (yes, including your house), you’d think its devs at Asobo Studios might run into all kinds of tricky legal issues in developing it. Not so, according to Flight Simulator head Jorg Neumann – because the sim’s based on pictures, “and the pictures are true.”

In an interview with PCGamesN at X019, we asked Neumann whether the Microsoft Flight Simulator devs ran into any legal or privacy-related issues when building a map of the entire world, to which he replied no. “The only thing that’s legally problematic, really, is borders, country names – and we have none of that. We just have the pictures. And the pictures are true.”

Given the flight sim’s satellite imagery – taken from Microsoft-owned Bing’s maps and combined with cloud processing – will recreate the world as it looks, this means it should be free of any potential questions around country or region naming. An example of this was raised during a spate of Warframe review bombs earlier this year.

You can get a sneak peek at the world through Microsoft Flight Simulator’s eyes in the X019 trailer below:

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Neumann also revealed at the Xbox show that the sim’s use of Bing’s mapping data is not just a one-way street – “we actually give some stuff back to Bing.”

Neumann also told us that scientists and military veterans are helping make Microsoft Flight Simulator accessible to everyone, with the idea of “Leave no pilot behind” being the studio’s goal for one of the most anticipated plane games.

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