But both Falcon 4, EECH and DCS are just too damn complex for an entry-level or casual player.
Completely not true. The avionics and flight models are completely scalable for the casual player. There is no one more casual than I am, and I have a blast with it.
Dude, the casual customer is someone who wants something that looks like Ace Combat but a bit more realistic and runs out of the box. Neither you or I qualify as entry-level or casual users in the accepted sense of the terms. It doesn't matter that the avionics or flight models in hardcore sims are scalable because they are designed as simulators first and foremost and not games. Besides, both EECH and F4 are both over a decade old and require lots of mods to make them look anything approaching decent. So that's a major turnoff as far as casual users are concerned. As far as DCS is concerned, it's whole reason for Existing is that it is a super-complex simulation of the A-10. Scale away the complexity and you lose the whole point of the game.
Again. Strike Commander has been mentioned as a good entry-level sim. Go play it again, then play something like F4, then stop to consider why Strike Commander is a good entry-level sim:
First of all, it has excellent production values and is plot-based. Casual users and especially those accustomed to console games like campaigns that have a definite direction to them.
Second, the combat feels pretty authentic (ie limited weapons, quasi-real physics, real avionics etc) but is cleverly designed so that distances are much closer than in real life, so you get more of the in-your-face action than boring "look at symbols" BVR.
There are many more examples of games that did these things, like Jetfighter III, Thunderhawk, Wings.
So a good entry-level/casual sim needs to be designed as game first, simulation second.