@ stuart - really we just need to change our own perceptions on what an upgrade is.
but really, whether you count updates in integers, floats, or with a suffix based on the year, the effect is the same. New features are added and the suffix increases.
I also can totally forsee some backlash from the community when AE 13 is a "mediocre" release as most features that would have been saved for that release were trickled out over time...this decreases the over all value of a full point update. Again...this means users will have to adjust the perception of what the value is.
Next, just because a release doesn't cover the things you want does not make it lackluster overall, or that there wasn't any work put into the release. (Like there was a tonne of work put in under the hood for R15, but that doesn't equate to sexy bullet points...and then people don't see the immediate value)
Next, MAXON is not going the way of AD...first and foremost MAXON is actively recruiting new developers rather than laying staff off.
They are also showing continued development in some areas where they have managed to allocate dedicate development (see modeling, sculpting, rendering, etc)
They have also managed to hit a few key areas that had been thorns in the sides of users for years, and they will continue to do so.
They also don't just buy plugins and wrap them into the app and then sell that as an upgrade. (save for the texture manager...)
@dann - In short, if a publicly traded company (which MAXON's parent company is) adds a new feature mid-cycle they have to withhold a portion of their earnings from that release, while some companies (APPL) have deep enough pockets to handle the loss, I doubt this is something MAXON is willing to go through.
That said, yes, they could charge a nominal fee to side-step this (remember the first iOS upgrade
Also, Rick has mentioned that technically MSA could cover this, but currently there is no way to track this directly within C4D.
Adobe has worked around this by ONLY having subscribers.
Either way, I would totally applaud MAXON if they released a TR / NET update at a nominal fee mid cycle. I am rarely disappointed with releases, even when they change things I used to love...but this is one area where I feel some action should be taken.
Especially given the benefits that R15 offers as a whole in the field of rendering.
I only wish I had some say in things like that.