I'm helping put the finishing touches on RealFlight 9.5S to get it ready for release next week, but I just got done for the day (night?) and wanted to answer a few questions I saw here.
9.5S is a free update for all RF9.0 & 9.5 users! It is available exclusively on Steam.
For distribution of the software itself we are moving to Steam for this and future versions. RealFlight will still be available for sale in hobby shops, both physical and online; it's just that a key redeemable through Steam will replace physical media (DVD edition) or a download of the software directly from Horizon (Tower digital download edition).
9.5S is fundamentally the same software as 9.5. You won't lose any features. (Well... the Launcher goes away, so I hope you're not super attached to that... ;-)) That means yes, custom content works exactly the same way it does now! Literally, the process is 100% identical, whether you're importing an FBX of your own creation or importing an .RFX from the swap pages.
Steam allows you to run in offline mode for long stretches of time before needing to connect briefly to validate your installation. If you want to operate in offline mode, please make sure that after downloading and installing 9.5S you also run it once
before disconnecting. This is necessary for activation.
If I do not exchange my Realflight 9.5 key to the Steam key, will my RF key have an expiration date. ?
Your non-Steam copy of 9.5 will continue to operate if you choose not to exchange your serial for a 9.5S Steam key. You will not receive any future updates, though.
If they would allow me to use my existing key or have it detect it from my installed copy I would switch as I do have a Steam account. Perhaps that is an option they might consider.
That is not an option. However, as long as you avoid the wrong uninstallation options, you can retain all your custom content across the switch. I'll try to remember to write more about this later. I know this will be important for those of you with extensive collections!
Between the imminent product release and the ongoing transition to Horizon I am exceedingly busy at present. I'll still try to pop in now and then to answer additional questions.