Yes, that is precisely what I’m saying. I’ve talked about this subject for many years in a lot of posts. I suppose I can talk about it again.
Sound makes up at least half of the simulation experience for me. I appreciate that a lot of people experience this game on potato speakers or “gaming” headphones and couldn’t care any less. Well, I do care and while I’m not an audiophile by any stretch of the imagination, I do have the hardware that lends itself to the enjoyment of subtleties in a sound mix.
Most games, especially simulators, have terrible sounds. Flight Simulator did. Train Simulator does, as does Farming Sim, just to name a few. All these games however made modding those sounds relatively easy, which allowed the community to supplement the developers’ laziness or ineptitude. Armstrong Powerhouse are a prime example of how a gifted sound engineer can literally transform the gaming experience.
Changing the sound engine, while obviously opening the game to a world of opportunity, will not magically make engine sounds better. That still falls to the people behind the console. Those people have time and time again proven that they are incapable of delivering a proper sound engine mix. How do we know this? We know this because members of our community have consistently delivered far better sounding mixes – and they have done this with the use of both professional recording equipment and by sampling YouTube videos. If a modder can deliver a better engine sound basing his work on a remix of SCS sounds and a YouTube video than a professional whose only job is to do the same thing, this leads me to believe that fmod or no fmod, the end product is still going to be deficient.
SCS are also lazy. They reuse sounds between trucks. Sounds that are completely different and very often specific to a given truck model or a manufacturer. I suspect this business will continue unabated simply due to development time constraints or other concerns. It is also very unlikely that SCS will deliver multiple engine varieties between truck models for the same reasons, with the added wrinkle of any approval and licensing issues that may also get in the way.
Modders do not have such constraints. They are free to make the sounds as accurate as their skills allow. They give us many engine types to choose from, allowing us to tailor our experience right down to a specific engine configuration. We will never get this granularity from SCS.
So yes, long story short – if fmod kills sound modding, I will no longer have an interest in this game going forward, because I do not trust the people involved are capable of delivering a proper sound mix, irrespective of sound engine used. At the end of the day, a lawnmower will still sound like a lawnmower, regardless of whether your window is open or not.