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      2019 Drive   05/31/2019

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Dear VEAO Customers,

We regret to inform you that we are ceasing development of all DCS modules effective immediately. This was a very difficult decision to make - our aim was always to provide high quality content and support for the DCS platform, however due to reasons beyond our control, continuing to partner with Eagle Dynamics is no longer a viable option for us.

We want to thank all of you who supported us and our products and we apologise for any disappointment this announcement may have caused. We are so lucky to have been a part of this amazing community for the past thirteen plus years, and are very sorry that our time as a business has come to an end.

Thank you once again,

Chris, Pete + VEAO team

 

https://www.facebook.com/veaosimulations/posts/2153465558037833

 

 

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Not happy with this, but not surprised at all. I have the Hawk and pre-purchased the P-40F when it was first made available with the announcement that it would be available for early release download in about "two weeks". When they changed their name to Blue Sky and released the P-40F for Flight Sim World, the writing was on the wall despite all the show appearances and promises that the Hawk was being completely redone and the P-40F was very close to release again. In less time than VEAO produced 1.5 aircraft, one a subsonic trainer with no radar and the other a "simple" WW2 fighter, RAZBAM released the very advanced and complex Mirage 2000, AV-8B, and have one more aircraft coming relatively soon, the MiG-19. VEAO bit off more than they could chew. I remember their project list that had countless aircraft on it with 3d models in various stages of completion for the F8F, Spitfire Mk.XIV, Meteor, Spanish Bf109, etc.

I can't remember how much I spent on the Hawk, but at least I have something that is halfway flyable. Whereas the $40 I put on the P-40F is gone.

ED has enough problems without third parties that are unable to put their money where their mouth is. I shed no tears for the departure of VEAO from ED's approved third party developer list. I am only sad at the thought of how much rum and coke I could have bought with the money I lost on the Hawk and the P-40F.

From my email records:

2014/10/19 DCS:Hawk Beta (EFM) Pre-Sale 20% Discount $39.99 USD

2015/07/02 DCS: P-40F Kittyhawk (EFM) Beta (Pre-Sale) $34.99 USD

Edited by streakeagle

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The purchase was made directly from VEAO, not ED, so ED owes me nothing. I bet on many DCS releases. The MiG-21bis was my first and mostly paid off. The WW2 debacle wasn't really a debacle for me, I got three planes, the new terrain, and asset pack for $40. I only lost the P-47 and the Me-262 from the crowd funding promise, but that was still a fantastic deal.

Not only has the VEAO FB page and YouTube channel disappeared, but so has the BlueSky FS page and channel. They have gone kaput!

Found this great video on YouTube: 

 

Edited by streakeagle

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Some final thoughts on VEAO and the Hawk, starting with VEAO's side of the story:

Quote

Dear VEAO Customers,

It is sad that we are having to write to you now that our business has permanently closed. However, we as ex directors of VEAO feel that you, our customers, are entitled to a full and frank explanation of at least our side of events.

Early in November 2018 we were contacted by Eagle Dynamics offering us a new contract in retrospective agreement for our Hawk module. 
This agreement varied significantly from our original publishing agreement signed many years ago. 
Now while we expect and agree that contracts are subject to change and variation, especially in the technology and software industry, this should not be implemented unilaterally. 
The new contract included several clauses that we as a British business simply could not legally or morally consider. 

Clauses included terms to place our IP into escrow outside of our control at a mandated agent, penalties for bug fixing where the error is solely within the control of ED. 
An example being 4 bugs that we reported with ED in 2014 that are still unanswered or fixed, these would incur financial penalties to us as a business where we are unable to remedy the issue. 
This is obviously unfair and impractical.

We raised our concerns with ED directly and via the directors of the business, these concerns were met with rebuttal as we were advised that the contract was mandated and non-negotiable, as a result we are unable to sign the agreement. 
ED’s response to this was simply “we wish you well in the future” but that they could not do business with us going forwards without us signing this retrospective and punitive agreement for Hawk. 
This included a refusal to renew the standing agreement we had with ED for the P-40F.

Our existing agreement makes no provisions for IP transfer or ownership in the event of company failure, as such we will not be making assets or code available for the Hawk, either to ED or the community.

While ED maintained that we could continue publishing Hawk under our current agreement, we as a business are unable to maintain a product / support line for a simulator where there is zero potential for growth so under these circumstances the decision was made that we would close VEAO Simulations and walk away from DCS.

Contrary to popular belief the last communication we had from Eagle Dynamics happened on the 27th of November, a mere 2 days after our decision to withdraw from DCS. 
No further contact was received from ED after this date.

Some 3rd parties have agreed to the new conditions and we both sincerely wish them well, some were bullied because of liabilities that they have and financial investments they must recoup. 
We had no such obligation as we were entirely self-funded, while we are no longer involved with DCS World we wish them all well in the future. 

A major stumbling block for any DCS world development is the lack of documentation and assistance for the platform. 
Some people may criticise us for the slow response to critical software issues and bugs. 
Often we had to find a solution for these with little to no assistance from ED, despite them claiming 35% of the gross revenue for each sale. 

It is our belief, that if more support was provided to 3rd parties that critical bugs would be resolved faster, damage model implementation would work as intended and release timelines would be considerably shorter. 

ED even admitted in a 3rd party developer meeting that their SDK documentation is almost non-existant and in fact Chris from VEAO produced development guides that are still part of the SDK today.
There is a reason that most 3rd parties have now undertaken to work outside of the DCS world simulation, to calculate results required for their aircraft…

While this news is never welcome, we invested heavily with both financial and personal sacrifice to work on DCS world. This led to many sleepless nights and countless unpaid hours to try and resolve and improve our product. 

We would also like to remind the community that while Hawk was our only released publicly available product, we undertook many corporate and military projects and over 30 contractors are now out of work based on this decision, as the refusal to allow us access to DCS World was universal and not limited to our consumer works. 

This decision came at a critical time for us as we were on the verge of signing a new agreement with outsider investors for over £100,000 of investment to recruit a full-time studio to work solely on consumer products for DCS world. 

Finally, I would ask that you remember that the VEAO family worked on DCS as a love for the subject matter and the product, every one of our guys and gals worked on DCS world for the love of it and came from within the community. Each and every one of us were heavily invested emotionally and with passion for the DCS community and we are all devastated to be leaving under such circumstances. 

We wish you all well in the future,
The VEAO team.

Based on the way VEAO was branching out into other sims ( Flight Simulator World with their P-40F for instance ), I suspect there is more to the story than VEAO is telling. I am sure ED has a very different point of view as to why things went down the way they did. I am pretty sure the contract terms that VEAO refused to sign were principally introduced due to VEAO. Why would ED want to penalize buggy modules and want the rights to their IP? VEAO left, now people who paid for the Hawk have the option to stay with an obsolete revision of DCS World just so they can fly the most incomplete, buggiest and worst looking DCS World aircraft module. Furthermore, those that paid for the P-40F never got more than some screenshots and some videos.

Imagine if RAZBAM abandoned DCS World and took all of its source code for its aircraft with it. How long would it take for those aircraft to become incompatible with the latest DCS World release? ED should have demanded sufficient rights to maintain code from the start, or they will never be able to support third party contributions over the long term.

The fact that other developers overcame the same obstacles that VEAO faced to produce far more complex aircraft to much higher standards (AJS-37, F-14A/B, Mirage 2000, AV-8, etc.) over a much shorter time frame tells me a lot. I would have been happier if VEAO had been able to deliver all the aircraft they listed as being under development (many of them with screenshots of 3d models in advanced stages of completion). But if they couldn't handle a subsonic trainer with simple avionics and a very basic armament, then they had no business developing any further products for DCS World.

To be fair, Eagle Dynamics development plans and execution has been very erratic. It must be extremely difficult and stressful trying to debug and keep modules working over the frequent and sometimes drastic changes to the core game engine. But again, I point to how other developers have weathered that storm and are still releasing more modules. The other third parties are far from perfect, but their initial releases tend to look better and function better than the Hawk despite having far less time to develop and debug them.

So VEAO can play the blame game all they want, but the fact is they took peoples' money and made promises they couldn't keep. I think everyone is better off with VEAO out of DCS World third party development.

Edited by streakeagle

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Yep - bottom line is that VEAO clearly did not have what it took compared to their peers.......as demonstrated by what was released.

 

 

 

 

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