Dovetail Games

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Dovetail Games
Private
Industry Video game industry
Founded 2008 (as Rail Simulator Developments Ltd)
Founders Paul Jackson, Tim Gatland, Charlie McMicking
Headquarters Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom
Key people
Paul Jackson, Charlie McMicking, Steve Bainbridge, Jon Rissik, Graham Poyda
Products RailWorks / Train Simulator franchise
Euro Fishing
Microsoft FSX: Steam Edition
Dovetail Games Flight School
Train Sim World
Flight Sim World
Owner Private investors
Number of employees
120+
Website www.dovetailgames.com

Dovetail Games (DTG), a trading name of RailSimulator.com Ltd (RSC), is a British simulation video game developer and publisher. It was formed in 2008 by Paul Jackson (formerly VP at Electronic Arts and Director General of ELSPA, now UKIE), Tim Gatland and Charlie McMicking. It originally produced the RailWorks franchise, now called Train Simulator.

Developed for the PC, Train Simulator is available both as a boxed product from video game retailers and as a download via Valve's Steam platform.

History[edit]

RailWorks' predecessor, Rail Simulator, was developed by Kuju Entertainment, the same company that developed Microsoft Train Simulator with Microsoft. With the release of Rail Simulator in October 2007, Kuju Entertainment finished development and disbanded the development team, turning its attention to the next project.

Knowing the potential of their proprietary game engine, and with backing from Fund4Games (Tim Gatland and Charlie McMicking), a new company was set up called Rail Simulator Developments Ltd (RSDL) from some of the core members of the initial development team with the specific aim of fulfilling continued development of the brand and supporting users and third-party developers with add-on projects. RSDL produced two patches to the core simulator, developed and released add-ons, helped the release of third-party products, and visited exhibitions to promote the simulation and provide support for users via several community websites.

In April 2009, the formation of a new company was announced.[1] Jackson, Gatland and McMicking went on to set up RailSimulator.com Ltd (RSC), employing many of the original creative team, along with Steve Bainbridge (previously of Electronic Arts and GAME stores) and Duncan Best (previously British Academy Video Games Awards, ELSPA and Director of the London Games Festival).[2]

Development switched to a new version of the software called RailWorks which would be released on Steam. This change heralded a break from Electronic Arts being the publisher in Europe and rights over the source code for Rail Simulator being transferred to single ownership by RailSimulator.com Ltd.[3] After improving the software, they launched RailWorks in June 2009. The company has released yearly updates since then, with the latest version, Train Simulator 2016, released in September 2015.

On 9 December 2013, it was announced that RailSimulator.com has changed its name to Dovetail Games.[4] The company said that it was in the early stages of developing a range of completely new simulation products to sit alongside Train Simulator, and this broader perspective required a new company name.[4]

Dovetail Games announced on 1 July 2014 its first new simulation product; a fishing simulation game titled Euro Fishing (initially Dovetail Games Fishing), utilising Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 architecture and released for PC on 4 November 2014, with more formats to follow. The company also announced that it is laying the foundation to using Unreal Engine 4 in future versions of Train Simulator.[5]

On 9 July 2014, Dovetail Games announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Microsoft to release Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition on Steam in late 2014, titled Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition. It includes content that was provided with the original FSX: Gold Edition which includes FSX: Deluxe Edition, the Acceleration expansion pack and both official Service Packs and repackages them in one bundle and a single installation. It also replaces the now-defunct GameSpy multiplayer systems with Steamworks features, enabling multiplayer to work without 3rd party software. It also sorted out a number of software bugs.[6]

The company also announced that it will be developing and producing all-new flight simulation software based on Microsoft's genre-defining flight technology.[7] Dovetail Games is currently investigating new concepts in this area and plan to bring a release to market in 2016. Following the announcement, the company announced on 25 July 2014 that it will be working in partnership with Flight One Software (Flight1), a developer and publisher of flight simulation content, to deliver a range of Flight1 add-ons for Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.[8] On 9 December 2014, Dovetail Games announced the launch date of Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition would be 18 December 2014.[9]

On 4 August 2015, Dovetail Games announced plans with Microsoft to bring a number of its future releases to Windows 10 and Xbox One in 2016. The company said that Euro Fishing, currently available on PC through Steam, will be released on Xbox One. The next generation of the Train Simulator franchise, powered by Unreal Engine 4, will be released on both platforms and Dovetail Games Flight Simulator, built on the foundations of Microsoft’s Flight technology, will be released on PC.[10] On 15 March 2016 Xbox announced that Flight School will be released on Windows 10. [11]

In September 2016, Dovetail Games announced Train Sim World, a new train simulator using Epic's Unreal Engine 4 and featuring a multiplayer as well as the ability to walk around in the world. Train Sim World was later released in March 2017[12]

In May 2017, Dovetail Games announced their new flight simulator, Flight Sim World, which released later that month.[13] However, a year after release, Dovetail Games announced it would stop development of Flight Sim World and remove it from sale in May 2018.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Paul Jackson announces RailSimulator.com". Internet Archive Wayback Machine. F4G Development 4 LLP. 9 April 2009. Archived from the original on 12 April 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Official RailWorks Website | RailSimulator.com | Corporate". RailSimulator.com. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks Interview". Internet Archive Wayback Machine. F4G Development 4 LLP. 3 April 2009. Archived from the original on 6 April 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Jackson, Paul (9 December 2013). "RailSimulator.com becomes Dovetail Games". Engine Driver. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "Dovetail Games Announce a New Breed of Fishing Simulator". Dovetail Games. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "FSX Insider | FAQs". FSX Insider. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  7. ^ "Dovetail Games Licensing Deal with Microsoft Takes Flight". Dovetail Games. 10 July 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "Dovetail Games & Flight1 Software Partner for FSX Launch on Steam". Dovetail Games. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Dovetail Games Clears Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition for Takeoff on December 18". Dovetail Games. 9 December 2014. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  10. ^ "Dovetail Games Looks to the Future Collaborating with Microsoft". Dovetail Games. 4 August 2015. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "ID@Xbox Games Soar Into GDC". Xbox Wire. 15 March 2016. Retrieved 15 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "Train Sim World: CSX Heavy Haul release date announced". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  13. ^ "Flight Sim returns to the skies this month with new title". PCGamesN. Retrieved 10 April 2018. 
  14. ^ "Flight Sim World Development Cancelled". PcFlight.net. Retrieved 23 April 2018. 

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