It really does appear that Microsoft has shutdown the ACES game studio and axed the entire staff. A lot of my friends are now looking for something else to do…

Microsoft Flight Simulator is dead.

Redmond, Washington-based ACES Studio, the Microsoft-owned internal group behind the venerable Microsoft Flight Simulator series, has been heavily affected by Microsoft's ongoing job cuts.

Development sources have told Gamasutra that a large portion of the dev house's staff has been let go - with multiple reports indicating that the entire Flight Simulator team has been axed.

It started unfolding earlier today when some collegues mentioned that the Microsoft cuts had started. I went to check out techmeme and noticed that all lot of the action seemed to be focussed around the Entertainment & Devices division. And then, little by little, it all started unfolding on Facebook

The studio has gone. The products are no more.

I feel a little stunned, but can't imagine what the folks who were working in the studio up until this morning are feeling. There were people on the team that have worked on FlightSim since it's subLOGIC days. Did you know that FlightSim is (or rather was) Microsoft's oldest product, in continual development (for the PC) from 1982 through to today?

The community seems to have noticed and popular sites such as AVSim and Sim Outhouse are waking up to the new reality. Hundreds of thousands of people just had their hobby put on hold.

So what now for Flight Simulation? I guess it's a good day for X-Plane, though I think I'd really like to see FlightGear, an OpenSource flight simulator, ahem, take off…