Autodesk to go subscription-based only

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phaedarus
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phaedarus polycounter lvl 8
Finally, the day has come. At the Autodesk Investor Day, which took place October 1st, the company’s Senior Vice President and Industry Strategy & Marketing Andrew Anagnost revealed that the company will be transitioning to a new rental-based only model and will be removing the sale of perpetual software licenses in the next 12-24 months.

Anagnost stated that there are still 2.9 million non-subcribers that happen to purchase perpetual licenses on an infrequent basis because they can, and that this isn’t good for the company’s ecosystem, because there is a significant number of people working with non-current releases. According to Anagnost, the shift in business model is not only the right thing for the company’s business, but also the right thing for customers.

The move comes one year after Autodesk announced the discontinuation of the ability to purchase software upgrades for owners of perpetual licenses of previous versions of Autodesk software, and is in line with Adobe’s move last year of switching to a subscription-based only model.

A PDF with the slides from Andrew Anagnost’s presentation and the complete audio recording can be found on Autodesk’s website.

Source article: http://cgpress.org/archives/autodesk-to-go-subscription-based-only.html

My take?

The domino effect started by Adobe has already begun. Following up with their rental only model will be Maxon, The Foundry and Pixologic.

The next phase will be cloud-only rendering where the actual software lives on a datacluster run by specialized hardware unavailable to consumers and access is done remotely through HD streaming. Not only will you be able to use Maya on a mobile device or a 10 year old machine, but it also makes the whole setup impossible to crack. Previous versions going a few years back will be made available for free (like Adobe CS2) to give everyone a sample of what the company offers or at least, to keep students and hobbyists using their software.

That will be the day when opensource will be embraced like never before and Blender users will get the last laugh.

Replies

  • JordanN
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    JordanN interpolator
    The only subscription model I like is Unreal Engine 4's. Just pay a one time fee, and upgrade whenever you feel like it. Even if you stop subscribing, your software still works.

    I get the future is moving towards more internet based services and it's something that wont be stopped. But living in a country with data caps kinda throws a wrench in all this.
  • Fwap
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    Fwap Polycount Sponsor
    I just hope that when they go subscription only they have more flexible payment options, otherwise i might have to throw in the towel with Autodesk.
  • spacefrog
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    spacefrog polycounter lvl 10
    Fwap wrote: »
    I just hope that when they go subscription only they have more flexible payment options, otherwise i might have to throw in the towel with Autodesk.

    It will NOT be subscription only ( as far as i understood ) it will be RENTAL only . Your license will stop after you stop paying. With the legacy subscription option you still can use the software, even after you let your subscription drop ( because ... maybe .... Autodesk did'nt deliver for example ? ). If that's indeed the case , i'm definitely finished with Autodesk ...
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 10
    phaedarus wrote: »
    Anagnost stated that there are still 2.9 million non-subcribers that happen to purchase perpetual licenses on an infrequent basis because they can, and that this isn’t good for the company’s ecosystem, because there is a significant number of people working with non-current releases. According to Anagnost, the shift in business model is not only the right thing for the company’s business, but also the right thing for customers.

    Oh wow, I really don't agree with that. I'm still on 2012 at home because everything past that has been a regression and not added anything I care for.
  • Skiffy
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    Skiffy polycounter lvl 11
    I do hope the Foundry does not go the same direction. We are starting to add Modo a replacement to Autodesk Maya and Max. Paying 5k usd for a new license is just too steep in my books. Modo's about 1/3 the price. This is why having a monopoly on anything is never a good thing. It tends to lead to abusive business models.

    Switching to Blender and diverting internal engineers to making it more like 3dsmax or Maya becomes more attractive with every passing day.

    If Autodesk goes the Crydev license model which locks you out of the software once it expires good luck with that. Most developers don't upgrade every year because we make custom plugins for the engines we work with and its just too dang expensive.

    Then again they get most of their money from Civil engineering and architecture firms. Games and movies account for a small fraction of their income from what I've heard. There are more companies designing buildings, city layouts and cars compared to game developers and FX houses.

    Open source indeed... I still want an alternative to Photoshop after they switched to the subscription model. We'll lets see what things look like in the next 12 to 24 months... should be interesting.

    Pixologic on the other hand are crazy. I almost feel guilty for the amount of free updates I've gotten with Zbrush over the years. :)
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 8
    Welp, that's where I either switch to Blender or ditch 3D entirely and go to flight school for a different career. In the end, I understand how this is economically more beneficial to them. What they're failing to grasp is that this basically converts many of their non-corporate customers - y'know, US - into sharecroppers. And fuck that noise hard.
  • Zocky
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    Zocky polycounter lvl 9
    Anagnost stated that there are still 2.9 million non-subcribers that happen to purchase perpetual licenses on an infrequent basis because they can, and that this isn’t good for the company’s ecosystem, because there is a significant number of people working with non-current releases. According to Anagnost, the shift in business model is not only the right thing for the company’s business, but also the right thing for customers.

    Lol, but you gotta love it when company goes all "well i don't really know why you do X, but i say it's not good for you, so you will do Y, because i know better what's good for you, so there's no need to ask your or give you a choice. This is really mostly for your sake, not ours. ".
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 9
    Will they atleast allow us to buy their previous versions' licenses (including the Maya LT Licenses) in one full payment, when we can?

    They can say what they want but subscription is never the "right thing for the customers."

    I should start learning Modo.
  • Higuy
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    Higuy polycounter lvl 4
    This is bullshit. Why should I continually pay for really pricey software when I already know I won't be using half the features in it? Looks like I might want to considering upgrading to latest version before all this happens, or simply start learning something else like Modo.

    They way they have it now is perfectly fine... some users rent, some users buy the program and are done with it. If they need to upgrade later, they have the option. They don't care about you anymore, just want to make more money.
  • Eric Chadwick
    Higuy wrote: »
    They don't care about you anymore, just want to make more money.

    I understand the sentiment, but the hate is a bit misguided. This is a business, always has been. When a business talks about "caring about the customer" this is a euphemism for providing the features that will drive paying customers to buy their products.

    Like any other product, if you don't feel it's worth it, you don't have to buy it. There are competitors out there, and there's Blender too.

    I already pay them a subscription fee for Max. It's cheaper than buying a one-time license, and upgrading every 3 years.

    Rental will be a bit different. If it keeps me perpetually in the most current release, that could be real trouble, as it consistently takes them a year or more to work out the bugs.

    I'm off to read up more on this. Thanks for the heads up phaedarus!
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    They don't care about you anymore, just want to make more money.
    They never cared about you. The difference is that in the past their business model aligned with your views. Now it doesn't. Their goals are the same.
  • Ponk
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    Ponk polycounter lvl 8
    Skiffy wrote: »
    Switching to Blender and diverting internal engineers to making it more like 3dsmax or Maya becomes more attractive with every passing day.
    Blender core team developers won't allow for that. But also you don't have to, plugins that make something like that are here already! Similar tools will flourish in next months. ;)
    http://blenderaddonlist.blogspot.com/2013/10/addon-b-max-tools.html

    On photoshop... Krita is becoming so strong lately and I'm sure that many people will switch to it. In couple of months news folks will be able to translate their workflows to Krita from photoshop, one-to-one. You already can open photoshop brushes in Krita.
    https://krita.org/
  • Anchang-Style
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    Anchang-Style polycounter lvl 7
    I honestly would be suprised to see Pixologic to follow this trend. They have been the ones to not jump every bandwagon of licensing model. I think they gained quite a fan following thanks to their idea of owning their software against "renting" others software or having to purchase ever new iteration with just slight changes. I can see them trying to stay the alternative (eventhough it feels more like everyone else is the alternative to ZBrush) to mudbox when it turns rental only.
  • thomasp
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    thomasp sublime tool
    well if this move pushes other apps to the top i'm all for it. max and maya have become really stale over the years, probably due to lack of real competition.
    interesting to see how some of the bigger vfx places seem to have developed their own solutions to replace them.

    just a shame that other than with photoshop where the last non-rental version was pretty great, worth picking up as a last hurrah and should suffice for some time, the current max does seem like the kind of mess you wouldn't want to touch.

    last few companies i worked with (and the current one as well) are/were on pretty old max versions for all relevant departments. and getting grumpy about paying subscription fees for software updates their teams were rejecting.
  • Norron
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    Norron polycounter lvl 8
    I'm pretty torn about this. I think this is a terrible thing for everyone who uses any autodesk product but I can't exactly afford a one time cost of Maya anyhow. At least this way I'd be able to get a proper subscription?

    Not much of a silver lining to be honest.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    I honestly would be suprised to see Pixologic to follow this trend. They have been the ones to not jump every bandwagon of licensing model.
    As much as I love Pixologic, I'm at a loss as to how they make money. Are they gaining THAT many new users every month to keep the ship afloat so well they never have to charge for upgrades?
  • Makkon
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    Makkon interpolator
    Sounds like it's time to learn blender.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 9
    WarrenM wrote: »
    They never cared about you. The difference is that in the past their business model aligned with your views. Now it doesn't. Their goals are the same.

    That would be, whatever program we used is going to cost us double when finalizing the project and publishing it?

    I kind of like the idea how they provide sub option for Maya lt, and there is an option to buy it out right.

    I am hoping for that or I have to start learning modo.

    OFF TOPIC: What do you guys use for cloth animation along with is maya lt. I think we should also start focusing on re-configuring our workflow.
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    I still use mode 302, and photoshop cs6.

    Just don't play their game of stupid subscriptions and let them taste the dust of the ground.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    302? ... How? Why?! :)
  • ExcessiveZero
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    ExcessiveZero polycounter lvl 6
    hmmm with zbrush I can probably jump to blender for modeling, but animation :/ I dunno.

    whole thing is the price point on whether this is gonna be fucky or not, and what you get for the price.

    max for instance hasn't had anything new worthwhile in it in years
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    why? :D, i said it several times in this forum.

    I don't need the animation tools, nor the rigging, nor the particles, nor the other useless features they added in the newer versions i don't use, etc.

    Modo 801 for example, has for me ZERO improvements in modelling, and it's worse in viewport perfomance, much much worse (the app is already overbloated and full of bugs). They didn't improve the modelling, nor the painting, nor the sculpting...

    Would you upgrade to photoshop CC because they added 2 filters? With modo is the same, and with Max as well. Most companies still use older versions of 3dsMax like Max 2009, or 2011. Max hasn't had anything new for modelling in years, but stupid ui changes full of bugs and glitches.
  • NegevPro
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    NegevPro polycounter lvl 4
    Has anything been said about the price? I'd imagine Autodesk would drop their subscription price to an amount that is affordable by everybody or else they'd risk users migrating over to other software. I think this move is bullshit but if they can offer an attractive price like Epic does with UE4, then I might be willing to stick with their software.

    Still, I'll probably have to start looking into Modo or Blender, which sucks because I love Max :(
  • ExcessiveZero
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    ExcessiveZero polycounter lvl 6
    Blaizer wrote: »
    why? :D, i said it several times in this forum.

    I don't need the animation tools, nor the rigging, nor the particles, nor the other useless features they added in the newer versions i don't use, etc.

    Modo 801 for example, has for me ZERO improvements in modelling, and it's worse in viewport perfomance, much much worse (the app is already overbloated and full of bugs). They didn't improve the modelling, nor the painting, nor the sculpting...

    Would you upgrade to photoshop CC because they added 2 filters? With modo is the same, and with Max as well. Most companies still use older versions of 3dsMax like Max 2009, or 2011. Max hasn't had anything new for modelling in years, but stupid ui changes full of bugs and glitches.
    Simple really, most software isn't that hard to pickup, blender has always been interesting from a open source point of view and then furthermore I expect the envelope to be pushed eventually, mesh fusion for example I think was one of those big things, and as the features advance you will have to jump forward at some point to keep up.

    so while it may be okay to use old versions for now, 5 years from now I dont expect that to be the case.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    do 801 for example, has for me ZERO improvements in modelling
    Eh, agree to disagree. I've gotten a lot of value from 801 - even if you only include the snapping overhaul it's worth the price for me. And MeshFusion is a whole other level...

    But whatever works for you!
  • repete
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    repete polycounter lvl 6
    Stay away from modo :poly121:

    one of the worst 3d apps ever !
  • oXYnary
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    oXYnary polycounter lvl 15
  • RobeOmega
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    RobeOmega polycounter lvl 7
    Notepad (Nickname Mojo).

    Will be the new best program for 3d.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 9
    repete wrote: »
    Stay away from modo :poly121:

    one of the worst 3d apps ever !

    *bait taken*; Just because one doesnt know how to use Luxology Modo, doesnt make it "the worst 3d app ever."

    As long as it provides the essential tools that one requires to make art and present it. I am ok with that.

    On the other NOTE: http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/collectives/creation-collective/
  • repete
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    repete polycounter lvl 6
    oXYnary wrote: »
    ^^Flamebait^^

    despicable-me-2-header.jpg
  • Higuy
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    Higuy polycounter lvl 4
    I understand the sentiment, but the hate is a bit misguided. This is a business, always has been. When a business talks about "caring about the customer" this is a euphemism for providing the features that will drive paying customers to buy their products.

    Like any other product, if you don't feel it's worth it, you don't have to buy it. There are competitors out there, and there's Blender too.

    I already pay them a subscription fee for Max. It's cheaper than buying a one-time license, and upgrading every 3 years.

    Rental will be a bit different. If it keeps me perpetually in the most current release, that could be real trouble, as it consistently takes them a year or more to work out the bugs.

    Yeah sorry, feel like my comment came outta a little harsh than needed. Realize their a business and gotta make money, but as an indie dev it hurts alot to have another thing on my mind gotta pay for (although less, but more frequently, rather than just buying and waiting). And also, if your a small team (like 2-3 artists) and only need to use some of the features in the entire program, perpetual sounds like a good deal, since it lasts forever. No need to upgrade if you don't have too, and like you pointed out newer software is can be buggy. And even then, within 3 years I find a bunch of features have been added, refined, and found to be mostly bug free, I can simply upgrade if needed. If i don't want too, then I also have the option.
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    WarrenM wrote: »
    Eh, agree to disagree. I've gotten a lot of value from 801 - even if you only include the snapping overhaul it's worth the price for me. And MeshFusion is a whole other level...

    But whatever works for you!

    It's a matter of preferences. Mesh fusion is useless for subdiv modelling. It just creates a very dense mesh and it's not very useful for production models, models that can be modelled with less polygons (70-90% less). And of course, it's a plugin you MUST pay separately. Meshfusion is not the tool of the gods :), but a great one for lazy people without basic technical knowledge of 3d modelling.

    And about the snapping... err, have you ever tried a modo 302 trial version?. The snapping is not much better in modo 801 SPx :).

    Most modo users here starting using modo with the 601 version. When i recommended it here, the first version, almost all the users said me that modo was garbage, and that SILO was the best subdiv app ever. And now look, where are those Silo users? and Silo?. The same with "super Hexagon"...

    Like i commented, i won't pay for an upgrade just because they added 2 "filters" or "two BASIC and prehistoric features", bad programmed and with a huge poor perfomance.

    BTW, like with gpu drivers, you don't have the need of the ultimate/latest version.
  • WarrenM
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    WarrenM Polycount Sponsor
    Meshfusion is not the tool of the gods :), but a great one for lazy people without basic technical knowledge of 3d modelling.
    Tor Frick has incorporated it into his work flow. You might want to let him know what a noob he is. :)
  • Kraftwerk
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    Kraftwerk polycounter lvl 13
    Haha was saving up to get a proper version of Maya guess now i invest my money in either modo or say fuck it and learn Blender for real now.
  • Tobbo
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    Tobbo polycounter lvl 7
    I'm personally really interested in the new Zbrush 4R7 hard surface modeling workflow. It seems like one might be able to model pretty fast with it? Comparable to Modo? I dunno.
  • weee
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    weee polycounter lvl 3
    I'm fine with subscription model, but i think they need to think again on pricing, it's understandable Autodesk can't follow exactly the model Epic offers, but separating license to indies will only make thing better, in this case, Maya LT is not enough, I think the following model is quite viable,

    commercial sub (full support full price)
    indie (whose profit is <$$$, full support indie price)
    learning (free with community support like Autodesk is doing right now, full featured but strictly no commercial use)
  • Blaizer
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    Blaizer polycounter lvl 14
    WarrenM wrote: »
    Tor Frick has incorporated it into his work flow. You might want to let him know what a noob he is. :)

    I knew that since ages... and like him too many great artists that work in the games industry and need to save time and effort. And you know, Tor Frick is not precisely a guy without knowledge :). You should check out his previous works.

    but well, this is not the matter of the thread. If you want to waste your money in software, do as you please. But think that you won't sell me the "godly features" of modo because i could say i'm one of the few users of this forum that have been using modo since version 1, and i have tried out all the trials (some of them 5 times, due to their stupid huge amount of service packs).

    BTW, modo is just another app, you can do the same with maya.
  • MainManiac
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    MainManiac polycounter lvl 8
    Maybe if they actually added stuff that is in demand to the newer versions people would have incentive to upgrade

    Blender is going to have a free pass to the top soon.
  • Fwap
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    Fwap Polycount Sponsor
    fuck this, i'm going back to Gmax, http://www.turbosquid.com/gmax
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 10
    Depends on the price, I might be game for doing this. If not, just go to Modo.. kinda like Lightwave, but it isn't... (kinda regret selling my LW licenses last year).
  • StephenVyas
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    StephenVyas polycounter lvl 15
    Part of me hopes this backfires on them.
    I'd love to see another company roll into the industry that chisels away at their monopoly while offering a sound competitive advantage

    Edit:: Hmm, another thing just occurred to me.
    If they force everyone to keep with the current software version, that could likely break custom plugins. - designed for specific versions of their software.
  • JedTheKrampus
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    JedTheKrampus polycounter lvl 5
    I dunno man, part of me says that if this means Pixologic will finally update GoZ to work with the latest versions of Maya that this can only be a good thing.
  • Kraftwerk
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    Kraftwerk polycounter lvl 13
    I dunno man, part of me says that if this means Pixologic will finally update GoZ to work with the latest versions of Maya that this can only be a good thing.

    You really think that they will care when they didnt in the past ? Just because Autodesk jumps the most retarded bandwagon ever ?
  • Zack Maxwell
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    Zack Maxwell interpolator
    If this is accompanied by a drop in price to a reasonable level just as Adobe did, then I'm all for it.
    They're complete morons if they think they can do only half of what Adobe did and find the same level of success.
  • Lazerus Reborn
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    Lazerus Reborn polycounter lvl 8
    Seems the bandwagon & speculation is strong on this one aha!

    I think it could work, if autodesk pulled their collective thumbs out of trying to dominate the market and did something useful with the software.
    It's wishful thinking to maintain plugin compatibility for the streaming updates. I mean in a studio environment, you make your own tools or use studio tools, to speed up certain task's across the board. Update X.XXX comes along and bang a week or two of work broken and useless since the script lost compatablity. *More advanced workflows that required dedicated tech's to build would have a longer time investment ofc*


    TLDR:
    They're walking a fine line to half assing it and losing the market, cause they already have a begrudged user base by some woeful choices. /metaphor/ pic relevant to the latest half assed Max release
    sparkle-hips.gif

    I wonder if they are reading this thread at all aha
  • Lamont
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    Lamont polycounter lvl 10
    Maybe they can implement a feature to update auto or when the user chooses to do so. So if you are in a studio environment, your tools will be safe and only update when the admin/tech says so.

    Even better is to have a SysAdmin license/client and the admin is the one who pushes out the updates to the studio.

    Just need to see what price they come in at.
  • Xoliul
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    Xoliul polycounter lvl 10
    WarrenM wrote: »
    As much as I love Pixologic, I'm at a loss as to how they make money. Are they gaining THAT many new users every month to keep the ship afloat so well they never have to charge for upgrades?

    If you compare nr of Pixologic staff on linkedin (24, let's say that's only a fraction of them, probably easily 3 or 4 times as much), with the nr of Autodesk employees (7500 or so) it's obvious they need to make a lot less money to keep afloat...

    Erik has a good point about the compatibility, we have at least half a year delay on average for switching over to a new version; if you're unable to stay on an old version, that could cause major issues for production!
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 8
    Edit:: Hmm, another thing just occurred to me.
    If they force everyone to keep with the current software version, that could likely break custom plugins. - designed for specific versions of their software.


    This is what bothers me most, and keeps me on older versions of max. Nearly every single update breaks something (mostly plugins, sometimes scripts).
  • Slave_zero
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    Slave_zero polycounter lvl 8
    I think it will fail if they expect to force people or companys that can't afford yearly license upgrades to pay monthly subscriptions that equal a yearly license update.

    On the otherhand I can see some benefits if they drop the price, such that you pay less per year than upgrading a new license.

    I think the price-tag will make the difference here.
    Besides that it is always good to have some other fallback to rely on, be it blender, modo or what ever.
  • Ponk
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    Ponk polycounter lvl 8
    Maya and Max are not worth that amount of money if you compare prices to other DCC's like Modo, LW, C4D (Prime version). Not to mention Blender which progress faster every month.
    If ADSK cut their prices by 50% this can work. But I strongly doubt they do.

    More realistic scenario:
    Year since first subscription-only versions they show some fancy features and break FBX backward-compatibility (they fuckin' love to!).
    People will shout: "Finally autodesk give us great update!".
    Then they announce "great 6-month discount" to switch from perpetual licenses to this subscription crap. Many folks will be happy for a while.
    After 2 years most of them will realize how they was fucked and regret renounce of their perpetual licenses.
    Mark my words.
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