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MAXON Prices - Give us your feedback!

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I purchased studio R17 student version when i was studying then when i finished I upgraded to R18 for a good price. When R19 came out I honestly couldn't see that it was worth upgrading then R20 I didnt have the $1200 they wanted.  So now Ive found out if I want to upgrade it will cost me $2000 + another  $1034 for the MSA.   Next year will probably be another grand.  I honestly cannot see how they can justify these sorts of prices.  Yes I know they add new features etc etc but I honestly feel like Im being extorted.   Its like hand over the money suckers or else we are going to rort you for all you got.  Just seems extremely greedy to me.  They must be raking in squillions.

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I feel your pain. Cinema4D's upkeep is a tough one to swallow if you are a hobbyist or even a generalist freelancer. I had to opt out years ago, but I do still use the old version for some things (such as Xfrog) every once in a while. But I just couldn't justify the high costs to keep up, and C4D kept lagging behind in certain areas which required yet more costly plugins to fill the gaps. Arguably C4D is one of the most expensive 3d packages out there (that is, if you want/need the full Studio).

 

It's a shame, because at the time I loved working in C4D (still do: at my work place they have both Modo and C4D, which I both use at times), and I would have probably still been a C4D home user up till this day if it had been more affordable. But MAXON kept increasing the upkeep, and I went back to Lightwave back then for a while, and then a short stint in Modo.

 

Currently my main apps are Blender and Houdini Indie, which serve me well, and are rather inexpensive. With Blender 2.8 on the horizon the future looks VERY bright (and still inexpensive - I do support the Blender Foudation with a monthly donation).

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Think I had my MSA for 4 or 5 years before I couldn't justify it anymore, Im sure there are people who paid for many years more. Maybe some recognition of the amount of years holding previous licence would be a gesture to previous loyal customers, rather than getting shafted more and more for each version you get behind.

 

Deck

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2 hours ago, deck said:

Think I had my MSA for 4 or 5 years before I couldn't justify it anymore, Im sure there are people who paid for many years more. Maybe some recognition of the amount of years holding previous licence would be a gesture to previous loyal customers, rather than getting shafted more and more for each version you get behind.

 

Deck

Its the sad case that these tools where not aimed at Artist not in the commercial world or hobbyist, or the small time freelancer whom may do this as a sideline to his or her main job.  The prices are extortionately high for the average person but to the professional its part of the yearly payout for the tools that earn significantly more back.  Thoes whom fall outside this will struggle to upkeep such expensive software and being that all you may need is one of the tools that are within Studio you have the worse case for upkeep it. 

 

What I will give MAXON credit for is the fact that they offer the most flexible options out there, that being they are keeping the perpetual licence open, and at least if or when you cant upkeep the costs you still have a app that will run fine in many years to come.  I was right on the edge to leaving it at r19 but when I saw the price increase for future upgrades the MSA suddenly looked like a very good deal even although there was nothing I really needed in r20 at all.

 

Iv been stung by Chaos group taking over Vray, how so?  Like all 3D companies they are opting to rent their software, you never keep it, they always get a influx of money in which you keep paying.  It works for some, but there is zero chance for a hobbyist to afford such luxury when such tools are aimed at big studios, high earning freelancers.

 

Its the harsh truth but its either home in on your skills and earn from it, or have a job within the middle class to upkeep such a expensive hobbie. 

 

As time goes on the line will be cut further to the point all hobbyist or part time freelancers will move to Blender, or stick with their old apps from back in the day when they where just about affordable, and where you didnt have to rent and never own your own software.  When you look back over the years things have taken a drastic change.  I remember you used to buy software that came with a box, and a thick manual with CDs, then gradually the digital download came in, and less boxed software was produced, even then the user manual was put on a disk.  The prices never reflected the changes of loosing the box and printed manual either.  Then I noticed that updates for major versions of all kinds of software where weak, they where more like tweaks, or point updates.  The prices kept going up, then we saw the rental hitting home.  Not sure who started but I remember when Adobe did this, Autodesk, and then most followed not MAXON yet.

 

Your best bet may just be to take advantage of another flexible aspect that MAXON allows, and that is to buy a used licence, iv seen these go quite cheap, and maybe when your out the upgrade path this may be the best route to take selling what you have, and getting a newer version where you feel the added features warrant the payout.

 

Dan

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I miss the thick manual. I agree with what you say re C4d just being another expense for a working freelancer. At least i think I can now rent R20 for a month or something if i feel its crucial for a project. I have the creative suite to pay for as Im more of a retoucher.

Just thought a little extra leg up for previous long standing customers would be a nice thing, Im sure some people have been paying up since day one and have possibly just had tough times these last few years, given the chance they may be repeating customers again possibly with more licences but Im sure if they move then someone else will profit from it.

Im not a very business minded corporate thinking chap obviously, or I would still have my MSA :)

 

Deck

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12 minutes ago, deck said:

I miss the thick manual. I agree with what you say re C4d just being another expense for a working freelancer. At least i think I can now rent R20 for a month or something if i feel its crucial for a project. I have the creative suite to pay for as Im more of a retoucher.

Just thought a little extra leg up for previous long standing customers would be a nice thing, Im sure some people have been paying up since day one and have possibly just had tough times these last few years, given the chance they may be repeating customers again possibly with more licences but Im sure if they move then someone else will profit from it.

Im not a very business minded corporate thinking chap obviously, or I would still have my MSA :)

 

Deck

I think a good business move for MAXON would be to offer a better deal for existing customers whom are outside the upgrade path.  As things stand they get the same deal as any other customer coming from a side grade path.  I know of a few who are old customers that would have gone back on a MSA if the path back on board was more in their favour.

 

Dan

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Folks, now that we have new CEO, it would be really good to see as much as possible feedback on this matter. Dave is really determined to make changes to better, so this is your chance to tell everything that you don't like etc.. Hopefully we will see the positive change that the majority of you will like. But we all know its really hard to please everyone!

 

Thank you for your time and your commitment, we all want to see our beloved software to be best as possible. 

 

EDIT: And by the way, Dave is reading this forum, so now is the time to speak if you have something to tell! :)

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I would love for better pricing as well. Being a Modo user, the sidegrade discount is almost non-existent. I do like the rent option to own, but why should I pay for 500+ at a time? Can't they do it like Adobe and you commit for 3 months or 6 months, but paying on a monthly basis? That makes it a lot cheaper for us out there.

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Firstly I would say please, please keep the perpetual licensing available. Subscription only is not something I would ever be interested in.

 

Penalizing folks for skipping upgrades should be done away with in my opinion. Having a set upgrade price that is reasonable and accessible to hobbyists and freelancers will go along way to build brand loyalty. There are allot of unhappy artists using other programs that will likely be won over to a software that is powerful, stable, well thought out and doesn’t have any wishy washy licensing schemes that so many programs are plagued with.

 

I understand that from a business standpoint a company might think forcing people to upgrade in order to avoid having to pay thousands of dollars to basically rebuy something that they spent a ton of money on and invested allot of time into is a good way of making money. But I wonder if it just scares people away, leave a bad taste or if there are some people who are using ancient versions of Cinema begrudgingly that are outdated compared to the competition. Not sure if this is a smart business move for MAXON or not. They may want to compare the positives and negatives of such an upgrade approach.

 

The first software I bought was Modo 701, at the time under Luxology all upgrades cost around $450 no matter what version you were on. For instance you could go from 601 to 801 and pay $450. That to me made allot of sense but then Luxology merged the Foundry and my passion for the software has slowly waned ever since.

 

Right now I am likely not going to extend my MSA when is expires as I can’t really afford it right now. I’m really conflicted about this, I don’t want to fall behind. I love all the new tools and the possibility of what is coming ( fingers crossed on updated particles and fluids ! ).

 

I also think there are too many modules for Cinema, looks like there are four currently to purchase this confuses people as to what to buy. I wonder how many people bought a cheaper version only to wish they had bought Studio or something with more bells and whistles. Maybe have a Studio version with all the goodies, a lesser version and perhaps an indie or non commercial version like Side fx has with their Apprentice and Indie versions. But I know that this can be tricky and creating upgrades or migration options will need to be considered.

 

Just a few thoughts I had, sorry for the long list. 

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  • Thanks for all your feedback guys.  Id honestly prefer to pay a monthly subscription tbh like I do with Adobe.   I know some people dont like the idea but maybe it would be more affordable for ordinary folk?

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    The thing that keeps me with MAXON and the MSA is the perpetual license and the hope that with R21 we finally get the things I've waited for a long time (SDK for node based material, improved Bodypaint, better asset management, improved import/export options). If MAXON no longer provides a perpetual kicense, I will probably change to Maya, as I'm focused on characters lately.

     

    I am not a professional, but did some work for friends, which they used in their companies. If I cannot afford the MSA any longer, I can still stay with my perpetual license. A real problem in the past have been the plugins that have to be updated with every MAXON release. I'd love to get a more stable SDK or at least some backward compatibility, by providing a backward compatibility layer. I'm still using R18 today because of some plugins that are more important than the new features. R21 may be the next version, I go for.

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    The pricing of the program closest to C4D that I like better than C4D is Houdini.  Houdini seems to have pretty much the perfect pricing system.  With their system if you are making money and have money they take more money and if you don't have money they take very little money.  If I have money I don't mind spending it on the tools I use to make that money.  If you really are a hobbiest with C4D making no money with it you will pirate it.  This is something they are forced to do because they have little money.  With Houdini's system the software is free to learn,  $75 to rent per year for schools, inexpensive for the hobbiest at $279 per year when making under $100k, can also be bought by a single artist to own, and has the studio price when making over $100k.  This way they get a little money from hobbyists instead of zero money.  It's smart.  Yet another tier could be added for those making less than $50k per year for like $139 per year.  Sidefx is doing everything right from their pricing structure to the direction their software is moving.  Sidefx improves on their tools every year making small improvements to a lot of things while adding huge new features.  In contrast it seems C4D works on something then stops for years sometimes being just short of something that could have been really cool.  Some places where some smaller things could make tools way better are steady stroke in Bodypaint, stamp previews in bodypaint, ability to make overlapping UVs for things larger than 1 poly, mirroring UVs, better retopo tools, sculpting with dynamic meshes.  Not huge overhauls to tools, but just enough on things that would be used a lot.  The bevel tool is good, but could be improved to make it so it always makes good geometry even in tough situations.  For example when text is beveled with constrain on or when using the edge selection for bevel from a bool.   A fully rigged character in C4D is really slow.  The whole character animation system needs huge improvements with smaller improvements for years to come.  I could list so many more things that seem to be ignored and way more I could think of that would be amazing making C4D the best program.  There is so much good stuff in there, but it could be sooo much better.  It also seems silly Cineversity a subsidiary of MAXON Computer GmbH is not completely free.  I've never personally given them any money and only used it when it was free with my MSA.  If people know your program they will use it and pay for it.  This means more overall money for MAXON.  By throwing all those videos up on youtube the hosting fees could be cut down to zero saving money.  By streamlining Cineversity a bit in other ways it could be way more affordable to fund directly from software sales.  The overall result would be free C4D tutorials for all, increased software sales to fund the tutorials, and low cost of making and hosting the tutorials.  I'm getting side tracked from pricing here, but felt it was my chance to voice some things I've seen year after year that bugs me a lot directly to the CEO.  David if you read this thank you for reading.  I wish you the best in the huge amount of work in front of you.  Feel free to PM me to hear more.

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