I think ED has duped a lot of people into thinking that their modules are closer to the real thing than they really are.
Agreed. See my other thread here
regarding misleading or mis-selling their customers.
I disagree with you completely that it is incompetence that drives ED's ludicrous module selection, I think they know exactly what they are doing.
While it is correct that ED pays no attention to their customer base, your reasoning is incorrect, it is exactly because they know that customer base will accept just about anything, which is what makes it relevant and gives them the latitude to do so.
I see no evidence that ED knows what they're doing regarding module selection. Even if ED knew their customer base will buy anything they make, it does not mean that throwing darts at a dartboard with pictures of aircraft is "knowing what they're doing."
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you sell 100,000 copies of something worldwide, at $50 a print, you're okay, to them it's just a money game.
Then how do you explain the recent announcement of FC4 comprising of DCS-level airframes dumbed down to FC-level?
The irony is, had they taken the direction of spending more time enhancing existing modules for airplanes people really want, which are now years off at best if in fact they happen, and staying within the original concept behind LOMAC: Modern Air Combat, the sales numbers would probably have been about the same, and they may have attracted a larger customer base.
Agreed. I've scratched my head for a long time with regards to this. If ED did know what they're doing, they'd have chosen the staple aircraft to start with -- the Hornet, the Tomcat, the Apache, bring up the Sukhois and MiGs to DCS-level -- these airframes are no-brainers with regards to mass appeal and marketability. Instead, they waste time building the L-39? They allow a 3rd-party to make the Tomcat?
If ED had more direction, even if they took the same amount of time, I would wager that the community would be in a much better place and even if they didn't have such a large customer base, they'd have a more understanding and patient pool of customers.