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David Davis

S22 Thoughts on Subscription Only

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3 hours ago, 3D-Pangel said:

Bjorn,

 

Thank you for this.  In light of the email that I received from MAXON USA (reference email from MAXON USA provided in previous post found here), I hope you understand that my views were based on first hand evidence.  Very hard to misinterpret the "deal created exclusively for [me]" as anything but a bad deal.  That deal left me with only two conclusions:  1) it was designed purely to move me from perpetual to subscription and 2) It offered me nothing in return other than converting the perpetual R21 license that I just paid $720 for 3 months earlier to a 2 year subscription deal at a savings of $624.  I lose my R21 perpetual license and I lose ($720 -$624) $96.  

 

So that is pretty hard evidence for my "perception" on how MAXON "intends" to treat perpetual license holders.  I appreciate your request for us to have empathy for MAXON as they try to work through their internal confusion with all the changes they are making with their licensing schemes.  But at the same, in light of the evidence I have provided, MAXON needs to have empathy for the user as well.  What other conclusions could I draw from that email?  I know you suggested that we call the sales team in situations like these, but that email was pretty clearly written and straight forward.  So why is it incumbent on the customer to call MAXON and say "Hey....you just sent me an email outlining a really crappy deal.  Was that a mistake or was it really your intent to trick me out of my perpetual license while making more money for yourself in the process?"  Even if it was sent to me by mistake, MAXON needs to take ownership of the perceptions they create with deals like that.  MAXON needs to change the customer's perception of MAXON - that is not the customers job as you suggest.

 

Therefore, I really do appreciate the explanation you provided but I also caution that MAXON really should develop and publish a defined strategy on how they want to proceed with perpetual license upgrades and/or conversions to "and from" subscriptions.  If they are going to offer both then they need to clearly define a path for the user on how to live with both.  Peddling "exclusive deals" that really are not deals does not preserve the trust we have in MAXON.  Silence on this whole issue  does not preserve the trust we have with MAXON.  In all honesty, the explanation that license management is a complex issue for MAXON to work out begins to lose its validity with each passing day....and it has been 8 months.  

 

I know you do a tremendous job in maintaining the quality of the program (one of the unsung heroes at MAXON) but considering that you are also out here in the Cafe and asking for evidence relative to our perceptions on pricing and licenses, then I have to conclude that you are also here to listen as well.  Therefore, my hope is that you take the evidence that I have provided and bring it back to MAXON with this simple message:  "Users are upset.  They have a right to be as we have created confusion.  MAXON needs to fix this as soon as possible in a way that preserves everyone's interests and to everyone's mutual benefit"

 

Dave


This is extremely well worded and precisely my thoughts as well. 

David Davis 

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1 hour ago, David Davis said:

EXACTLY! This has had me scratching my head as well. For those who just paid retail for, say R21, the retail price could be roughly 3500.00 USD. This is serious money obviously. So just a couple of years after their purchase one has to get on a subscription path which translates into always paying, never achieving a flat rate price upgrade. Let me be clear that I fully support MAXON and Cinema 4D and appreciate the small market they serve and realize they need revenue to continue to develop and evolve their product, but I am left questioning what exactly is happening here. I absolutely welcome someone to set me straight here, what am I missing? From my POV all I see is my recent purchase of several thousand bucks just translating now into an endless subscription fee. I hope we get more feedback from C4D users, the community, I want to know what people think of this. 

Hi Dave,

 

Of course, perpetual license owners lose a lot of money by adding a subscription alternative. simply because the resale value of the license decreases. Unfortunately, this is inevitably the case when subscription is offered as well. But this effect is intensified by the new updateprice for former MSA customers, which is announced here in the forum. This means that old, loyal MSA customers will lose even more with this conversion. If you ignore the fact that new subscrition customers not only save the money for the entry and get one update per year more, only the update price changes for you. The rest is basically the same as before.

 

The offers for conversion of the R21 perpetual are of course a joke.

 

best regards

Jops

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54 minutes ago, Jops said:

Hi Dave,

 

Of course, perpetual license owners lose a lot of money by adding a subscription alternative. simply because the resale value of the license decreases. Unfortunately, this is inevitably the case when subscription is offered as well. But this effect is intensified by the new updateprice for former MSA customers, which is announced here in the forum. This means that old, loyal MSA customers will lose even more with this conversion. If you ignore the fact that new subscrition customers not only save the money for the entry and get one update per year more, only the update price changes for you. The rest is basically the same as before.

 

The offers for conversion of the R21 perpetual are of course a joke.

 

best regards

Jops

Well said.  My arguments were restricted to only perpetual vs. subscription today and your arguments point to the still painful complaint from Studio License owners who paid full price (and have supported MAXON over the years via the MSA program): now that everyone gets Studio, the value of my perpetual license has dropped significantly.   This was discussed to some length in the very long thread that was first created when subscriptions were announced back in August, 2019.  I don't wish to repeat those arguments here, but MAXON's way to cut a break to the Studio customer was a 2 year subscription at a reduced price.  They offered it when everyone still had R20.   Now R20 is pre-license server so they can't turn it off on you.  As you could still keep R20 then  the 2 year discount for a subscription as opposed to purchasing R21 perpetual at least had some financial merit.

 

But to offer it again to those who just purchased R21 perpetual via the last MSA program and tell them that they loose their R21 perpetual license in the process  just shows how tone deaf MAXON is to their user base.   Honestly, they need to step out of their echo chamber and put themselves in our shoes. 

 

To help get you MAXON folks to exercise your "empathy" muscles a bit, allow me to offer the following analogy. 

 

Imagined some years ago you purchased a Porsche....a pretty expensive car (like C4D is a pretty expensive piece of software).  As a loyal Porsche owner, every year you brought that car in for a full maintenance program at a pretty good cost where the dealer brings it up to "better than new condition".  You love that program as it really protects your investment in that very expensive German car.  Three months after the last upgrade, the dealer called you up and said "We have a deal especially designed for you.  We will give you a big discount on a 2 year lease program.  For $816 more we will convert your purchased car into our lease program.  Just send us the car's title with the check so we can tear it up"   

 

Now that is not "quite" the same as MAXON's offer to me, but it is not too different either.  If a car dealer made that offer to you, what would you think?  Would you trust any other deals that they may offer you in the future?  Probably not.  In fact, you would be suspicious of every word that came out of that dealers mouth.  You would you be reading the fine print on everything (like we did with the MSA agreements for R21 when S22 came out...but let's not go there because that is yet another sore subject).  

 

I want all MAXON employees who troll through this thread to think about that car example.  Hopefully it helps put you into our shoes. 

 

Dave

 

 

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I own my own personal perpetual copies of C4D from R17 to R21. When R22 comes out I will buy a perpetual license to that as well. I still haven't decided if I will move to subscription after that or not. But I personally don't see any big deal with any of this stuff going on in these threads. For me I happily throw $1000 at MAXON every year for my perpetual. It is the tool I use earn a living. I have to stay updated with the latest version (and keep all older versions) to do my job, it's just an expense, just like making sure I have good tires on my car. I spend way more money on computer equipment than I ever have on my C4D licenses. If you are a hobbyist it seems even better now since you don't have to pay $7000 to get into C4D. If you are a long time loyal customer are you not happy that your favourite company is doing well and won't go under or have to sell out to someone else? It's strange since it feels like it's only me who looks at MAXON and just says "good job guys, keep it up". 

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To all MAXON people,

I have a simple request: let me upgrade my perpetual R21 license to R2X at the former MSA cost. Just do that, keep pushing your subscription model if you want to,  and I think 90% of customers’ complaints will be gone. 

I no longer care about cineversity (which has been  pretty idle for the last 6 months). 
 

Oh and watch out for Maya/3Ds max indie licenses at 250$/year. If AD extends its pilot and makes these offers permanent and global, I will switch immediately to Maya. 

cheers 

Adrien
 

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8 hours ago, kbar said:

I own my own personal perpetual copies of C4D from R17 to R21. When R22 comes out I will buy a perpetual license to that as well. I still haven't decided if I will move to subscription after that or not. But I personally don't see any big deal with any of this stuff going on in these threads. For me I happily throw $1000 at MAXON every year for my perpetual. It is the tool I use earn a living. I have to stay updated with the latest version (and keep all older versions) to do my job, it's just an expense, just like making sure I have good tires on my car. I spend way more money on computer equipment than I ever have on my C4D licenses. If you are a hobbyist it seems even better now since you don't have to pay $7000 to get into C4D. If you are a long time loyal customer are you not happy that your favourite company is doing well and won't go under or have to sell out to someone else? It's strange since it feels like it's only me who looks at MAXON and just says "good job guys, keep it up". 

I admit, for me it's a purely principled question, not one about absolute numbers. I believe in cooperation and less in a take it or leave it mentality.  I have a strong understanding of fairness, but I have the feeling that many users don't think it is appropriate in this place. The reason for my emotional approach is probably also based on the fact that I've been around since version 6. Back then, many people said to me: "learn 3D Studio, nobody uses Cinema 4D". There weren't many jobs for c4d, but I grew up together with MAXON I learned in forums and taught other people. I provided some setups and scripts for free. my pictures were used by MAXON for advertising (that was a long time ago 🙂 ) Right now I am teching c4d at a university . Today the market is penetrated by cinema 4D. This is due to the forward-looking architecture of MAXON's technology and UIs, but also to users like me who have a whole cabinet full of c4d versions. Those who have been waiting for a faster Object manager for almost 10 years and have supported MAXON in good faith. Now, it feels like other users are more important to MAXON than we are, namely the users who have never paid to MAXON before, who have never shared any knowledge or created beautiful images with C4D. Among other things, I make my money with C4d.So it's not a financial question, it's an emotional one. maybe it's stupid or naive, but this software and I share a long history (almost half my life) and it just became dear to my heart.

 

best regards

Jops

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8 hours ago, kbar said:

I own my own personal perpetual copies of C4D from R17 to R21. When R22 comes out I will buy a perpetual license to that as well. I still haven't decided if I will move to subscription after that or not. But I personally don't see any big deal with any of this stuff going on in these threads. For me I happily throw $1000 at MAXON every year for my perpetual. It is the tool I use earn a living. I have to stay updated with the latest version (and keep all older versions) to do my job, it's just an expense, just like making sure I have good tires on my car. I spend way more money on computer equipment than I ever have on my C4D licenses. If you are a hobbyist it seems even better now since you don't have to pay $7000 to get into C4D. If you are a long time loyal customer are you not happy that your favourite company is doing well and won't go under or have to sell out to someone else? It's strange since it feels like it's only me who looks at MAXON and just says "good job guys, keep it up". 

 

I think the biggest issue is that many long time customers just feel betrayed and undervalued. Some people spent thousands upon thousands of dollars over the years on their software (which is fair enough). Then subscriptions come around, just as suspected, and everybody that has been a long time customers gets a measly 20% off their subscription for two years, and they lose their R21 perpetual in the process. Doesn't matter if you've been customer for ten years or two. You have R21? You get 20% off for two years.

 

It does not affect me personally since all I ever use are licenses that are provided by my workplace but I can see how people are disappointed by that. While I ultimately think having the choice (important) between subscriptions and perpetuals is a good thing, the way the transition was done was just not great at all.

To add to that, apart from being a student you have no way to get cheap access to C4D. As much as I'd like to say yeah, subscriptions make it easier to get into the software, it is still ~700€ a year (if you take the yearly subscription upfront that is). Otherwise, if you take the real monthly subscription, you end up with 1200€. That is almost double of what they ask for if you pay "monthly". For a hobbyist that is a lot of money.

 

I think many companies, like MAXON, severely underestimate the threat that is Blender. They might make more money in the short term, but many many up and coming 3D artists will just grow up with Blender and never switch to anything else unless they absolutely have to due to company requirements or something similiar. MAXON is gimping themselves hard by not offering a more affordable option for people to learn and bind themselves to C4D. I'm not a businessman, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around how this is supposed to be worth it.

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16 minutes ago, DasFrodo said:

 

I think many companies, like MAXON, severely underestimate the threat that is Blender. They might make more money in the short term, but many many up and coming 3D artists will just grow up with Blender and never switch to anything else unless they absolutely have to due to company requirements or something similiar. MAXON is gimping themselves hard by not offering a more affordable option for people to learn and bind themselves to C4D. I'm not a businessman, but I have a hard time wrapping my head around how this is supposed to be worth it.

absolutely, my students all know blender before I teach them cinema. The university asked me to teach Blender, but I am not the right one for that. As I will quit this year they will most propably switch to blender afterwards. also because MAXON wants some thousand € for the university to install c4d on the pc pools (thats the deel, as the university does not know if this course will be long term or not).

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3 minutes ago, Jops said:

absolutely, my students all know blender before I teach them cinema. The university asked me to teach Blender, but I am not the right one for that. As I will quit this year they will most propably switch to blender afterwards. also because MAXON wants some thousand € for the university to install c4d on the pc pools (thats the deel, as the university does not know if this course will be long term or not).

Yeah that is exactly what I meant. You can just download Blender. If you don't know anything else you just assume that's how 3D-Software works. Why try anything else?

We'll see how this turns out in the coming years but I bet companies will feel the pressure even more in a couple of years, especially now that many big studios and companies are starting to support Blender with support packages in the hundreds of thousands.

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2 minutes ago, DasFrodo said:

Yeah that is exactly what I meant. You can just download Blender. If you don't know anything else you just assume that's how 3D-Software works. Why try anything else?

We'll see how this turns out in the coming years but I bet companies will feel the pressure even more in a couple of years, especially now that many big studios and companies are starting to support Blender with support packages in the hundreds of thousands.

when I started there everyone asked for 3d Max users. I havend had that request for the last 5 Years. So I guess it taks 15 years. Maxons situation is better than the one of 3d max back then, but the direction is clear. One teacher at university, that I work with said to me, after a first time glimpse at cinema " wow, that looks so oldschool compared to the new blender" that is not my oppinion by the way, but it illustrates how wide spread blender allready is. I really hated Blender for a long time, and I still prefere MAXON by far, but as you said. If everyone is socialized with blender c4d will get problems in 10 to 15 years. 

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