I don't think you quite understand LOAF's point, though. As I understand it, what he is saying is that FS2 killed the space-sim genre because it knocked LucasArts and Origin out of the picture. Both of these companies considered FS2 to be the next big space sim (since it was a sequel to a pretty popular space sim). That Privateer Online design documentation where they list all the ways how the game will be better than *FS2* serves as good proof of this. In this situation, unsurprisingly, both companies got really scared when FS2 bombed.milo said:As a secondary point, it is my opinion that this evidence strongly suggests that the space sim market contraction was not caused by the poor sales or negative public opinion of the Freespace series.
So, whether FS2 sold very poorly or just poorly (80,000 is a lot more than 20,000, but it's still nothing), and whether the game itself was bad or not - these are irrelevant issues. What matters is that it was the game that EA and LucasArts executives were using to measure a market for their own space-sims, and... you know the story.
...As for the market contraction, personally I'd go out on a thin limb and claim that there was no contraction whatsoever. The market is still there, and just as big as ever. Reason why I believe this - there are still many space sims on consoles (especially Star Wars sims), and they sell very well. The problem, I believe, is related specifically to those games that sold poorly, not to the space sim market in general.