Why Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Isn't Available In China

Illustration for article titled Why Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Isn't Available In China
Screenshot: SCMP
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Microsoft just released a new Flight Simulator. Players around the world are enjoying the game—save for China.


The last Flight Simulator came out on Steam in 2014, and that version previously came out in 2006. But this latest edition hasn’t made it to China.

As South China Morning Post reports, the game has not been approved for sale in China, even though you can fly above the Forbidden City and CCTV headquarters.

“I think it’s a mix of publishing license issues and the content of the game,” said Daniel Camilo, a business game developer at Apptutti in China.

“Since the game allows [players] to virtually travel all over the world and ‘inspect’ many locations in high detail (airports in particular), that would potentially bring up a lot of issues with the content for Chinese regulators, [such as] flying over Xinjiang, Taiwan, and how those regions would be identified.”

As SCMP notes, it can also take a long time for a game to get approved for release in China. Players in the country, however, are still playing the game by changing their region on the Microsoft Store.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.