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Intenditore

An open letter to MAXON CEO McGavran

Do you feel Maxon is taking an Adobe route?  

69 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you feel Maxon is taking an Adobe route?

    • Yes
      58
    • No
      11


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3 hours ago, Cairyn said:

Let's compare with 2017:

My MSA was about 550€, including 19% VAT 595,- if I recall it correctly. This included one year of Cineversity and all updates during that year, implicitly covering the next C4D version.

Currently, the price I hear around here for a regular MSA-less upgrade is $999 or so (the old price page is gone so I do not know what the local € price used to be). Since that is a US price it's without VAT. As of today's exchange rate, this is 905,01€ w/o VAT or 1076,96€ including 19% VAT. Now Cineversity used to cost a hundred bucks per year when it was still possible to buy access (not to mention a 300$ fee for the first year just to enter the esteemed halls of learning). As Cineversity is no longer part of my yearly package, I need to add this cost as a hypothetical sum: 100$ = 90,60€ + VAT --> 107,81€.

The total sum I would need to spend to get the same stuff I used to get through the MSA is therefore 1076,96+107,81 = 1184,77.

Twice the MSA would have been 1190€. That is close enough for me to justify "double the cost".

 

Now, MAXON raised the price for an MSA in 2018 (by roughly 10%!) so if you compare the hypothetical upgrade cost with the 2018 MSA cost, it looks a bit worse for the MSA. And if the Euro price for the standard upgrade was indeed lower, this too works against the "double" cost phrase. But no matter the exact numbers, it is still a significant difference.

 

But lo! don't despair fellow wayfarers, because surely MAXON will see the light and announce a fair price for the perpetual upgrades - which will certainly be the cost of the corresponding timeframe's subscription, won't it? - and also add a voucher for one year of Cineversity. Then, only the grumpiest users will keep complaining (because of the price increase of 20% on top of the 10% from last year, but who's counting?), and celebrations will happen all over the lands.

 

This I can agree with.. because like I said... in the end of the day... cost is the main issue for me. And until they make things clear... Autodesk looms on the horizon. Because from where I currently sit.. the other side simply have more bang for the buck. That being said... I still think perpetual ownership after a full year is a much better route. Especially if they want to make things more accessible. In the grand scheme of things.. it'll cost them nothing.. and most users would be using the current version anyway. Only backwards fools like me who worry about older projects.

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2 hours ago, Cairyn said:

But lo! don't despair fellow wayfarers, because surely MAXON will see the light and announce a fair price for the perpetual upgrades - which will certainly be the cost of the corresponding timeframe's subscription, won't it? - and also add a voucher for one year of Cineversity. Then, only the grumpiest users will keep complaining (because of the price increase of 20% on top of the 10% from last year, but who's counting?), and celebrations will happen all over the lands.

That would be a very happy day for me if they just rolled the MSA cost as a perpetual upgrade cost and gave us the same benefits.  But when you read the FAQ, there is not much there to indicate that hope:

 

Quote

If you own a perpetual license of Cinema 4D, you’re eligible for discounted Cinema 4D subscription pricing. You’re also able to upgrade to an R21 perpetual license. Some future Cinema 4D upgrades may be available only to subscription customers, while others may be available as perpetual licenses at upgrade pricing. Specific timing and pricing of each upgrade is not yet defined.

Doesn't the last 2 sentences indicate that there will be some variability from release to release on upgrade pricing?  The use of the word "each" in the last sentence leaves that question completely open.  I would have felt better if they had said "our upgrade pricing policy has yet to be defined".

 

So, well I tend to think the worst now (eg. upgrade costs on perpetual licenses go up each year), I would also like to think that MAXON is going to base their pricing decisions on future subscriptions and future perpetual upgrade costs on current R21 sales.  Our complaints and hopes will not sway anyone's thinking so what happens in the future will only be determined by sales.  I personally think it will be $999 simply because that was the upgrade cost if you did not have an active MSA.  So considering the MSA program is gone, then that is the only option left.

 

But remember, with the loss of the MSA program also means that the time fence for upgrading is gone too.  You will save no money by upgrading as soon as R22 becomes available.  If you really don't like the officially announced perpetual upgrade cost, then wait.  Maybe when MAXON is not getting the revenue they need from R22, they will have a sale.  So wait for the sale.  What have you got to lose.

 

Dve

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3 hours ago, prowl said:

Hi,  Why doesn't MAXON have an official forum? 

Because it would end up being a forum just for people to complain and wouldn't be a good look. Then they would have to employ someone to moderate it / manage it. They already have a bug reporting / support system. There would be some double handling of bug reporting.

 

That said they do have a Facebook page. One could argue that FB pages have replaced forums.

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I can only respond again 🙂  The pricing is announced.   We offer a side grade price of 850 Euros to go from C4D Studio/Prime/etc r20 -> to Cinema 4D Perpetual r21.  This will look different in different countries and currencies based on tax inclusive/exclusive norms.  This is generally the price you can expect when we release additional perpetual releases.     The webstore currently says:

 

For floating licenses or volume license purchases please contact your local MAXON representative.  

 

We will change this to:

 

For upgrades, floating licenses or volume license purchases please contact your local MAXON representative.  

 

To try and make this clearer.  We don't plan on selling upgrades on our online store because it requires us to do serial number checking etc and that we do that on the phone or with our sales partners.

 

Hope this clarifies things.

Cheers

Dave

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Dave I know the main point is keep us happy while this marketing plan goes through. Offer beers, friendly responses, etc. I’ve been in the meetings before where suckering the user base is a typical strategy, so nothing new to see here. It may not be obvious to some people, but this is the friendly face of corporate, while they herd you into a little box,  and pick your pockets.

 

The truth is, unless MAXON/Nemechek (sp?) get hurt on the balance sheets, there will be no good path for longtime Studio owners.

 

But, I think you do have a way to hedge your bets to quiet the backlash and grumbling. Just offer the studio users who paid full price a yearly perpetual on every version going forward (we paid at least 3,500 to get in that club). You can even offer it to those who are willing pay the entry cost of 3,500 going forward - hell, raise it to 4,000 as an entry fee to this special club. This is actually a win-win for you. Anyone doing subscription will balk at the 4k - and those of us who have done it, well, you will buy a ton good will - not a cheap commodity nowadays- and it give you 2 streams of constant cashflow. Also you barely need to do much coding in the database, just one additional entry to cover this - a few days work at best. Then you'll have some good will back. That’s just good management. And a good contingency.

 

Anyway, a ‘beer’ ain’t gonna buy most of us pros off, it’s good PR ploy for the hobbyists, but not for anyone in actual business. It reminds me of Lawyers being nice to their clients while they drain them of cash. Hilarious manipulation tactics. I knew a lawyer who bought a client and Hermes scarf (after they billed them over 400k) - she literally thought they were her friends (not the cutthroat sharks that they are). Hilarious.

 

To cut right to it, we have a bottom line too, as well as planning for the future. Just was looking at Maya Bifrost (quite amazing - and actually useful!) You are going to have to put super serious effort into features really fast - need to see this by December 2019, make some that are actually useful in the ‘real world.’ For what we do, we make blood and tissue, and real mechanical objects. We need smoke and jet exhausts. We need water, and lighting effects - (sidenote: an oddball case, but the lens effects can be very useful (we're doing a job showing fiber optics)). Don’t want to have to do that in AE when you actually have lens effects built into C4D -but it’s just a million years old now. And we need better meshes throughout - we need them now - I know it’s possible because almost ever other pro 3D app makes better meshes.

 

And features like dancing ‘gloop’ and stupid fractal patterns may intrigue the hobbyist - but no one will pay money for that garbage. Not in the real world.

 

Final note: If you really wanted to sucker us, r21 should have had a bunch of killer features. It was a bad strategic move to throw this subscription initiative at us with a ‘meh’ release. Not smart at all. And Bifrost looks really good - and useful!

 

Anyway, good luck, you know the deal I am sure. Make your users happy with good product, killer features this year, and the money will follow. Years of experience show that flash in the pan nonsense may work for a while, but it always fails in the end. And Adobe had a stranglehold on the various industries - with no competition - that's why they were able to pull it off. Not the same paradigm here.

 

I may be a bit rough, but I’m telling you the truth.

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29 minutes ago, renegade said:

Just offer the studio users who paid full price a yearly perpetual on every version going forward (we paid at least 3,500 to get in that club).

 

They already do. I have my perpetual version for R21 right now.

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2 hours ago, kbar said:

 

They already do. I have my perpetual version for R21 right now.

On their web page they don't mention if you can upgrade to the next perpetual version if you already have one. In sweden they have a "sidegrade" from a previous version on a local store. But I have no idea if this is something they'll keep doing. So the point really is, how about next release (R22) will you get a perpetual then for a price similar as today? Or will it be full price every time from now on? Is sidergrades only available on local stores? If that's the case.. why? In short.. this needs clarification. Because I won't pay full price every year.. that's for d**n sure. 

 

I (like you) currently have R21 but that's only because of my MSA.

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8 hours ago, Mithril said:

On their web page they don't mention if you can upgrade to the next perpetual version if you already have one. In sweden they have a "sidegrade" from a previous version on a local store. But I have no idea if this is something they'll keep doing. So the point really is, how about next release (R22) will you get a perpetual then for a price similar as today? Or will it be full price every time from now on? Is sidergrades only available on local stores? If that's the case.. why? In short.. this needs clarification. Because I won't pay full price every year.. that's for d**n sure. 

 

I (like you) currently have R21 but that's only because of my MSA.

Please see my post above.  Yes MAXON offers side grade as well via calling us or any partners.  Going forward we plan to have an upgrade price that is similar to today for each perpetual release.   

Cheers

Dave

 

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23 minutes ago, DMcGavran said:

Please see my post above.  Yes MAXON offers side grade as well via calling us or any partners.  Going forward we plan to have an upgrade price that is similar to today for each perpetual release.   

Cheers

Dave

 

 

Yes this is great news. Thanks very much!

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2 hours ago, hobbyist said:

 

Yes this is great news. Thanks very much!

He is talking about today's upgrade price without MSA.

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So if someone wants to upgrade from perpetual R21 to perpetual R22, and so on, the upgrade price will be around EU 850?

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18 minutes ago, Frokito said:

So if someone wants to upgrade from perpetual R21 to perpetual R22, and so on, the upgrade price will be around EU 850?

850€ is the price without VAT I would guess.

incl. VAT that would be 1011,50€ in Germany for example.

please correct me If I am mistaken.

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