A message of courage and hope to the Ukrainian developers affected by war

Ukraine is facing an unprecedented attack on its territory, in a war that is affecting millions of people who are now seeing their hopes and dreams shattered over political disputes. In these sad times, we wanted to highlight some of these folks that are closer to our community, as flight simulation fans and developers who now face this war in the fight of their lives.

Such an event has worldwide consequences, especially in this day and age where everything and everyone is interconnected. This week, we feel great sadness for the struggles of our Ukrainian friends, some of whom have given us so much joy with their products for flight simulation and MSFS in particular. Their fascination for airplanes of all types is now being replaced by fears of being attacked by such beloved machines – a sentiment that is hard to grasp, let alone comprehend.

Dear readers, today I want to bring your attention to a few of these developers (those that we know of), and what we know about them at this point, wishing that they are all safe, strong, and hopeful for the times to come.

Let’s start with Pyreegue Dev Co., who released some really stunning airports for MSFS, including some of the most important ones in Ukraine – now possibly damaged. Pyreegue developed Boryspil Airport, in Kyiv, but also Odesa and Lviv International Airport, among others elsewhere in Europe. All development has now been suspended, the developer told us, and will only be resumed “as soon as peace comes”.

You may remember when we recently featured a very cool project to bring the Mig-21 to Microsoft Flight Simulator. Golden Key Studio, the small team responsible for this re-creation of the legendary “Fishbed”, is composed of aviation enthusiasts from Kyiv, who collaborate with the Ukrainian Youth Space Center and, at the time, had the help of real Mig-21 pilots in the development of the aircraft for MSFS. We reached out to Sergiy, one of the team members, to see how they are doing at this time of trial, but have yet to hear back from him. (Update: they are safe and expect to resume production of the Mig-21 soon. It was almost ready for release!)

GKS Mig 21 MSFS 2 1

GKS Mig 21 MSFS 3 1

GKS Mig 21 MSFS 1 1

Golden Key Studio working on the Mig-21.

Another well-known developer that is possibly being affected by this war is Captain Sim. Despite not being very communicative, Captain Sim appeared to be based in Kyiv at least until 2021. We reached the developer for comments about the current situation, but have yet to hear back from them, and no official statement has been released yet.

FlightSimGames (FSG) is another developer being affected by the current events in Ukraine. He’s been creating a Pilatus PC-6 for quite some time, showing great promise as he regularly issues development updates in the MSFS forums. He announced this week that development has been interrupted.

fsg war statement
FSG’s grim statement about current events.

And there are more. Northern Sky Studio, maker of a variety of gorgeous Hawaii airports for MSFS, is also based in Ukraine. The last update from the developer indicates that he is safe, but in an area that has seen heavy combat. Even Orbx is affected, with developers of the Mesh product series also being affected by the war. Orbx is even proactively helping all these developers that work closely with the studio, by waiving the store fees for products made by them until the end of March, at least.

This is a good way to help: go buy the add-ons made by these creators. There’s not much we can do to help, but some financial support is better than nothing, and they will probably need all the support they can get for the weeks and months to come.

These are just a few teams and individual developers that we know about, but there are certainly many more. Not only connected to development for MSFS but for other flight simulation platforms, such as Felis Planes, well-known in the X-Plane circle. If you know of other developers that are being affected and could use some of the little help we, as a community, can provide, let us know in the comments below!

There’s isn’t much we can say during times like these. Our solidarity can only do so much, and our words are meaningless in face of what is happening in Ukraine. We send our best wishes to our Ukrainian friends in the flight simulation community and beyond, wishing they all can soon return safely to doing what they love. If you’re reading, do reach out and let us know how we can help.

Stay strong, dear friends. You are all in our hearts!

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley 

Special thanks to our reader Sean K for his help highlighting these developers.
The special livery featured on the top of this article is freely available through flightsim.to