Cinema 4D R21 Subscription Model -- Is LightWave last man standing?
In case you hadn't heard the news, Maxon is streamlining Cinema 4D in R21 (due in September). No more fragmented, confusing versions (Studio, Broadcast, etc.) to choose from--everyone gets the same full suite of features, for the low, low price of $3,495 for a perpetual license. But wait, there's more! Maxon is also introducing a subscription model with R21, for $720/year or $95/month (which works out to $1,140/year). Adding on Redshift increases the rent to $984/year or $117/month (which works out to $1,404/year).
With this move, LightWave is now one of the few remaining DCC platforms that doesn't have a subscription-based licensing model either as an option or as its sole model. Any predictions on how long that state of affairs will perpetuate? Frankly, I don't see how LightWave can hang on, much less continue to invest in desperately-needed improvements, if NewTek doesn't have a more steady source of revenue. It will also be interesting to see how long Maxon allows perpetual licenses to continue being a thing with Cinema 4D.
Yes it is difficult, but LW is in the position it's in because of NewTek. Many people how moved on now, some to Blender, some to Modo others to C4D.
I will also be waiting to see how long perpetual works for C4D. If we break the numbers down to monthly costs, C4D is $95/117 per month. I believe Modo is about $50 per month, LW comes in at around $40 USD per month if you are upgrading and they stick to a yearly major release cycle.
Now Blender is free and its catching up with the big boys now in terms of features and such, i believe that this is in no small part why AD announced their price changes for subscription and why others will as well.
A lot is going to depend on what vizRT/NewTek do next, do they want to invest the sort of money to bring LW back up to where the likes of C4D and Modo are. If they are just going to rely on the user base for that then they are going nowhere, the user base is getting smaller and smaller and more price changes and such will just reduce that without some major new features.
LW Layout is pretty good actually, yes some things really need sorting out but its as good as Modo is. LW modeler on the other hand is a destructive dinosaur compared to say Modo and this is where the major money and time is needed.
I suspect, but dont know, that LW will just chug along on the fringes and the user base will dictate how much time and money is spent on developement.
Blender is the software that is creating all the waves now and the big guns see this. Recently AD put out an open questionaire on the Blender forums to ask what people like about Blender, bet you cant guess what the answer was.
I do hope LW survives and gets some much needed money injected into it but to be honest i cant see it with a dwindling user base.
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