Autodesk has recently announced the end of the maintenance licensing options, leaving a monthly subscription cost as the only option for being able to use the software that we depend on to do our jobs. This has caused a huge backlash in the 3dsmax community with plenty of users now looking to other non-Autodesk DCC apps for fairer licensing terms. This is happening across the Engineering and M&E areas, and from the users (customers) perspective, it's been extremely badly handled, the 'facts' are distorting the 'discounted' costs of moving to subscription. Having a permanent license far out-weigh the benefits of paying monthly, both financially and also in terms of having access to old files in old versions.
The sad thing is, we actually need monthly licensing, but as an addition to our permanent seats, we have a core team which we expand on a project-by-project basis, having a system where we can rent more licenses if we need to add 10 artists to our system would be great. But losing perpetual licenses could be a disaster if there is a down-turn in economic and well paid work is in short supply? Why should a multinational company like Autodesk have a guaranteed income stream when that is certainly not the case for those paying to use the software??
CG artist are smart people, these software are not simple to use and we can see a mile through marketing nonsense, we can see why Autodesk have looked to Adobe's success case of Creative Cloud, but the two do not compare... Adobe had almost complete market dominance, Photoshop is a house-hold name, they dropped the price and made it affordable... and there was (at the time) no significant competition. Autodesk investors please note the rise of software like Affinity Photo which markets itself as "No Subscription" there is a serious shift in the industry to using this software now instead of Photoshop, and it's aggressive pricing point should give you a good indicator as to what Autodesk's competition will do to woo customers away. And unlike the Adobe Suite of Software there are completely free and open-source alternatives that we could use like Blender instead (which improves at a faster rate than most paid-for software).
On top of this enforced move to subscription, 3dsmax users particularly are seeing less value for their investment in Autodesk, with gimmicky features, 'free' add-ons like Arnold which will be a further revenue stream for Autodesk and slow-down of development due to Autodesk making some of the core team redundant (Shanghai office) and causing instability with yet another change in Product Management.
Please add your concerns and comments below and see if we can get this to the top of the 'Ideas' list so maybe someone above the 3dsmax development team (who are all committed and do care), will listen... Chris Young? Marc Andre Ferguson? Marc Stevens? Amar Hanspal? Andrew Anagnost?
We are all passionate users of your software, we have invested huge amounts of time in learning, adapting, improving, giving feedback, bug-testing and even promoting your software.
Perpetual license selling should be restored, and mainteinance should have a proper price with proper value, not increases year after year without real value for the product.
I completely agree with the above article. As I have a small studio I would love to keep on using Max. But if Autodesk is going to diminish my profits, I will leave!
Up Up and away ..
subscription price at twice the cost of maintenance including giving up your perpetual license just makes NO sense whatsoever ...
pride comes before the fall ...and I have a feeling this might very well apply to autodesks future ...
or at least (unfortunately) max's
I'm only a freelancer with a small income and although I love 3ds Max since the beginning (I've started with 3d Studio 3).
I can't afford twice the price of a my actuall perpetual license. I'll be forced to switch to Blender or Houdini or something like that.
Being a Freelancer myself I completely agree with all of the above, in Canada I have had and maintained 2 seats of 3dsmax since 3dsmax 2.0 and when I saw the new subscription was DOUBLE per year to what I was currently paying there was no way I was going to jump on that band wagon given the last quote I got worked out to about $300/month (Canadian dollars) and my last maintenance fee was about $800 (CAD$) for 1 seat, so you can obviously see the frustration. Needless to say I am looking for an alternative to 3dsmax now as AD is acting with poor judgement and moral's and cranking up the price with adding ZERO benefit is just bad business as far as treating your users go. I love 3dsmax but unless things change in a hurry then Im getting off the Autodesk train and taking my money elsewhere.
We are a small studio as well. Max is -by far- the biggest expense we have anyway. Considering what goes on with development, the updates we're seeing, how many issues persist from version to version - it is too expensive as it is. Let alone with the new pricing schemes, which are ridiculous. Like many others, I love max. I spent most of my life using it, and turned it into a job. I would absolutely hate switching to something else, but if you force me to do so, I will, and I will do so loudly.
The marketing propaganda we are being sold is insulting. I have no other term for it. 3dsmax is a product with a long history, one that is an integral part of lives and careers to many of us. You are not only disrespecting your own product, but all of us as well. And we have been loyal for many years, not because we like the way you do business, or we think Autodesk is a great company, or because we thought the prices were great. No. It was just because we love max. And you're systematically ruining it for all of us.
I couldn't agree more with this. I appreciate the corporate appeal of a subscription model but it's hugely insulting to those of us who have already invested in buying & maintaining perpetual licenses. We are just a two man team but this shift will have a major impact on us financially, especially (as Dave highlights) if there should be a lull in work, which is very common. Also, unlike Adobe's move to CC, I have yet to see a single 'feature' of swapping our perpetual licenses to a monthly subscription that is an improvement or at the very least, not worse than the status quo.
I understand that the threat of losing two users will mean less than nothing to a corporation of Autodesk's size, but for the first time in 18 years of using 3ds Max, I find myself agreeing with that this change is damaging enough to make me move away from using Autodesk products.
Yes. This is an absolute make or break issue.
If subscription only is the only path forward, my company will no longer use 3ds Max, which is a shame since we've been using it
since version 1.
SaaS is just a vehicle for greed. For those of us in the US, they need to consider that we have to pay for stuff like health insurance every month. So if you are having a bad month, you have to ask yourself..."Do I keep coverage, or drop it and keep working and hope I don't get sick, or in a car accident?" AD has gotten to the point where the academic packages cost more than some of the others.
I believe in honesty. And the honest fact of the matter is, is that in all the years I've know, Autodesk has never been a customer driven company - it is a shareholder, profit driven monster that doesn't innovate as such, merely buys out CGI software and kills it off as it so wishes....
We all know that.
I've been paying for 3DS Max for years on a perpetual licence (since 1999). But now for example I'm still using 2014 even though 2017 is also loaded on my machine. Why ? Because 2017 is too unreliable. So, I've been paying for the last 3 years of 'maintanence' whilst being stuck with 2014. This, to my mind should be illegal. If you want people to pay for licences, you need to DELIVER your side of the bargain with a product that works.
There will no doubt come a time when AutoDesk will no longer have my money or business (they will not get another dime from me for AutoCAD) as they will no doubt put prices up and up whilst driving the very customers who helped get them there move away to somewhere more tranquil. That's life, that's the way of the world. We see it in all forms of life. The big guy, the big monster, the greedy fat cats beating up the little guy.
I'm fine with that - I'll take my custom elsewhere and then I'll be rid of this unpredictable monster.
Don't say we never told you so, Autodesk.
PS - I'll add that in all the years also, Autodesk, you've never protected me, the single freelancer who has always used legal software - you let the pirates go free and threaten to punish the honest guys.
When subscription / rent arrives I leave and I use Max since rel 1.
It was already hard to accept that last 10 years nothing really big happened to the Max dev but paying tons of money every year.
After over 20 years feeding AD shareholders it might be the right time to feed smaller companies that are more close to artists.
If subscription only comes my money will arrive somewhere else.
Maybe AD will not believe in our postings but be sure that plan B is already running at a lot of artists...
JezEmin: "So, I've been paying for the last 3 years of 'maintanence' whilst being stuck with 2014. This, to my mind should be illegal."
To add insult to injury.. as soon as you install and activate 2018 it actually will be illegal since a user is only allowed to have 3 version back. And if you stop renewing your contract you're only allowed to have the last highest activated version. So if you ever played with 2015 or 16 you can't even go back to 14 when you stop renewing.
Autodesk at it's finest!
Whilst I concur with the sentiment of the OP, it is important to remember the ADSK is a huge organisation of which Media and Entertainment is but a fraction in size and more importantly revenue.
Comparisons to Adobe in the Autodesk product range can be made, Photoshop is a house hold name as is AutoCAD PSD files can be opened by many competing products likewise DWG & DXF files, if Autodesks AutoCAD customer choose too voice their displeasure with their wallets and migrate to another platform they can, as is the case with many other CAD packages, inter OP within CAD is relatively painless.
However, Media & Entertainment is different, comparing products is apples and oranges. Even Autodesks two competing platforms do not open each others native files, .max file s are only opened in max, as is the same for Maya.
If the new system is untenable for you what are you to do with your intellectual property, your library. Personally I have been using Max since its inception and before in DOS I simply cannot move the Houdini C4D or Blender as I would be throwing away my entire library.
Our leverage as customers is small based on or revenue, our hope is in the hands of the AEC customers and their displeasure, though I wouldn't hold your breath, Adobe experienced a drop in sales initially but they bounced back in a couple of years, I would anticipate ADSK are expecting the same pattern of behaviour..
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