By now, one can perhaps feel sorry for Paramount Pictures’ “Top Gun: Maverick.” The film, a sequel to the 1986 fighter-plane action blockbuster that became a megahit for its star Tom Cruise, began full production in 2018 for a 2019 release. Then the crew made the fateful decision to delay its premiere to the following year to fully flesh out the featured flight sequences. On 2020 the COVID pandemic hit, so “Maverick” was delayed again to 2021 in hopes that the outbreak would be under control by then. It has not; thus, another release delay until 2022. And this new wrinkle has affected one tie-in product being developed by Microsoft.
The Verge tells us that following the postponement of the “Top Gun: Maverick” to next year, so has game developer Asobo Studio and Microsoft publisher Xbox Game Studios decide to hold off on the original release of a highly-anticipated DLC for their 2020 game “Microsoft Flight Simulator.” Said add-on would have enabled players to experience the events of the film in broad strokes, piloting a US Navy F/A-18 Hornet from a carrier and performing the intense low-altitude maneuvers as seen in many trailers of “Maverick.”
The “Microsoft Flight Simulator” expansion based on the “Top Gun” sequel was first announced this past June, along with a teaser shown on the virtual E3 2021. Their planned release was in the fall of this year, around the same time as the previous November premiere of “Maverick.” But with the source movie delayed once more, Asobo Studio and Microsoft have decided to follow suit in order that movie and tie-in videogame DLC will come out simultaneously. The developers and Microsoft do promise to give future updates regarding the expansion.
“Microsoft Flight Simulator” actually has a long, storied history. The very first iteration of the amateur flight-sim software was released in 1982 for the IBM PC. From the humble beginnings of flying a Cessna plane in four locations, the game’s sequels expanded in aircraft types and flyable areas. After a long pause in new titles from 2006 to 2020 (barring a Steam rerelease of “Flight Simulator X” for Windows), the latest version of the franchise (Windows, VR and Xbox Series) taps into realism like never before, using Microsoft Bing Maps to potentially simulate the topography of the entire Earth, allowing for round-the-world flights if not for the realism of aircraft mechanics and limitations. Its 2020 release was to universal praise.
As for “Top Gun: Maverick,” starring Tom Cruise who co-produces with Jerry Bruckheimer, it will hopefully premiere at last on May 27, 2022. It will follow with a streaming release on Paramount+ 45 days later.
Image from Global Esports News