Microsoft’s Flight Simulator returns as a freemium offering

There’s good news for fans of Microsoft’s Flight Simulator franchise, which published its last game in 2006 and was then seemingly shut down. Microsoft has announced plans to resurrect the franchise as a PC “freemium” offering called Microsoft Flight. The game’s first stage, which lets players fly over the skies of Hawaii’s Big Island, will be free to download. Players who wish to explore more of the game can fork over some cash to unlock more planes and locations.

“Many people dream of flying, but few have the chance to experience the fun of exploring the world from above.Microsoft Flightprovides players the opportunity to explore that curiosity and interest,” said Joshua Howard, executive producer ofMicrosoft Flight, in a press statement. “Aviation can be incredibly technical, but we’ve taken great care to build an experience that makes taking to the skies thrilling and accessible for everyone.”

Microsoft said it plans to release new content for Microsoft Flight daily, which will include new aerocache challenges to complete. Players will also receive exclusive missions, achievements, and aircraft if they sign in through their Games for Windows – LIVE account.

Microsoft Flight is set to launch this spring.