Autdesk Changes to Maintenance Plans...


So I just received this email detailing Autodesk’s decision moving to a fully subscription-based company.

We want to take a moment to share the direction Autodesk is heading—some upcoming changes that will affect your maintenance plan—and a special offer to move to subscription that you may want to consider.

We believe that subscribing is the best way for you to get the greatest value from our tools and technologies—and will fundamentally change how we deliver extended capabilities and new functionalities through connected services. That’s why we’re on a path toward becoming a subscription-only company. We will continue to invest heavily in our subscription offerings, to provide you with greater value through the following benefits:
[ul]Latest and greatest product capabilities – Get access to Autodesk’s ongoing stream of innovation, updates to core products, cloud services for desktop products, and additional capabilities as soon as they are available, at no additional cost.[/ul]
[ul]Access to new industry collections – Available only through subscription, you’ll realize significant savings when you need two or more Autodesk software products.[/ul]
[ul]New and improved support – Enjoy faster response times and the option to receive help by scheduling a call with Autodesk technical support specialists.[/ul]
[ul]Simplified administration – Access tools that streamline deployment and software management when you standardize all of your Autodesk products on subscription.[/ul]

With our move to subscription, one thing has become clear to us—managing two business models (subscriptions and maintenance plans) is quite costly. To continue supporting maintenance, beginning May 7, 2017, renewal prices will increase by 5% in 2017, 10% in 2018, and 20% in 2019. Also, you should be aware that maintenance plans can now only be renewed for one year at a time.

Now that we’ve shared the direction we’re heading, we’d like to talk to you about a special offer to help you join us on the path toward subscription—one that recognizes your loyalty and the value of your previous investments. Beginning June 2017, you’ll be able to move your products on a maintenance plan to a subscription for up to 60% less than the cost of a new subscription. This discount will decrease by 5% in 2018 and another 5% in 2019, so the earlier you switch to a subscription, the less it will cost—and the more you’ll save compared to those who wait to move, or choose to stay on maintenance. When you make the switch, you’ll also be able to lock in your discounted price for up to three years and continue to receive discounted pricing for as long as you renew.

We know you’ll probably have questions. These are big changes that we’re prepared to walk you through. Please see the FAQ for additional details and contact your Autodesk Sales Representative or Autodesk Reseller to discuss the options that best suit your technical and business needs.

Whether you choose to switch to a subscription or renew your maintenance plan, our promise is to continue to provide you best-in-class software, services, and support.

Personally, I think it is a bad idea… especially trying to strong-arm maintenance plan holders onto subscriptions. “…one that recognizes your loyalty and the value of your previous investments” – Hah, previous investments… they should offer to switch current maintenance plan holders over to a FREE one year subscription after their current maintenance plan expires. So do your perpetual licenses get their perpetuity neutered if you move that license to subscription? Looks like I will have to seriously consider “freezing” my perpetual 3ds Max after 2018/2019 and/or learn Blender. :hmm:


A road to irrelevance.


In section 3.1 and 3.2 of Autodesk’s Maintenance Plan FAQ , it states the following:

In many cases if you choose to move to a subscription in 2017, the price of your subscription will be equal to that of your maintenance price renewal. …

… When you make the switch, you’ll also be able to secure your discounted price for up to three years and continue to receive discounted pricing for as long as you renew.

I have reached out to my sales rep to find out if Autodesk is saying that moving from maintenance to subscription will cost the same as the annual maintenance for as long you continue to renew.

The sales rep does not yet have the details. When I find out I will post.


It’s all about keeping hold of a perpetual licence if I stop paying.

I’m never going to give up a perpetual seat, they either get my money at a reasonable maintenance sub level, or they don’t get it at all.

Sadly, I don’t think they’ll understand it until it’s too late.


I hear you.

I, on the other hand, continue to upgrade every year. I currently pay about $1,000 per year for the Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate. The equivalent subscription is over $2,000 per year. I would consider moving to subscription if I could keep my current cost structure.

When you stop paying for subscription, the software is no longer be useable. I understand that this is your point, and I agree with you. However, if I am going to be forced to subscription, I would prefer it be at no additional cost. If there is additional cost, I will leave. There are many options available now.


Insult to injury…


I guess it’s their way to say “it would be a shame if your maintenance becomes more expensive than renting because you refuse to switch (and your perpetual license expires, but we’ll announce this later)”.

The FAQ:

And their so called community to ask questions, raise concerns and get answers by people who don’t care and are trained to point you to a reseller while saying “we’re so sorry to hear that you feel that way”:


I honestly think they’re do their next step in 6 months by announcing that maintenance/perpetual licenses need to switch to sub/rental or will expire within 1 or 2 years. Their intentions are very clear at this point already.

I see no point in supporting this company anymore.


It will be interesting to see what happens.

I can’t see them having perpetuals expire otherwise they would have done it already - I would guess some kind of action would be brought against them.

A ‘last chance to switch your perpetuals to a rental’ is my expectation.


They’ve already tried to get people with perpetuals to switch with their offer of 50%-off for the first 3 years of rent if you trade-in your perpetual-licence. I don’t care what version of max you have, you’d never trade-in a perpetual-licence unless you were clinically insane.


"perpetual licenses’ expiring?
What does this mean?! I’m afraid to understand…


That’s something they can’t do without your consent. But I’ll sure take my time to read future EULAs.


Of course they can’t expire your existing licenses, but at some point in time they simply can remove the option to renew your existing maintenance plan, so you can’t upgrade to the next Max version any longer when you don’t switch over to rental/cloud subscription. The interesting point here, and i did not check or verify this, it just comes to my mind right now: rental/cloud subscription certainly has it’s own load of bullshit EULA about past licenses ( like say 3 versions back etc ). Don’t know whether they have something in there which says that you can’t have rental/cloud subscription and mainentance subscription at the same time. If that’s true, jumping on the rental/cloud subscription thingy for the NEW Max versions only, MIGHT render your legacy perpetual licenses invalid at the same time. So i really would recommend to everbody to double- and triple check and read every small and tiny textpiece from Autodesk or your local reseller before buying into rental/cloud subscription while you still have valid perpetual licenses…

How such an action of active product license invalidation would hold in european courts remains to be seen …


I guess it could be a bit more complex - I don’t think there’s any way to force a licence to expire, but since the switch from the PLU, all the licences are held on Autodesk’s servers.

So they could technically refuse to issue a new licence in the event of a PC loss/HD failure, or if you wanted to transfer a licence to a new PC.

Whether that’s legal or not, I don’t know - that seems to be the bigger question.

My opinion of Autodesk and their attempts to bludgeon their userbase is at an all-time low, so I’m not putting anything past them, if they think they can get away with it.


Yes - this license server expirational thing is a general sword of damocles above all online licensing schemes, not only from Autodesk. But you are right - Autodesk as a company is at an absolut low end in terms of integrity and trustworthiness, even in their own history. And they underbeat their own set world-records in those negative aspects themself at a breathtaking pace …


Some high profile 3ds Max user reaction by Bertrand Benoit -


good post from Bertrand… he said (quoting the FAQ), [I]"2.6 Can I continue to use my perpetual license software after switching my maintenance plan to a subscription?.

Upon the commencement of your subscription date, you will no longer be able to continue using your perpetual license as the option to switch to subscription at this significant discount is conditional upon trading in your perpetual license/s on a maintenance plan for a new subscription."[/I]

That will probably catch many users who fail to read all the EULAs. I for one will never move my perpetual licenses to a rental subscription-- as that is insanity. When they announced they were ending perpetual licenses a couple of years ago… that’s when I added a Max standard suite-- just to get MotionBuilder (as a standalone Motionbuilder license was just as expensive!)… and at the same time I bought the maximum 3 year maintenance plan… due to expire in ~2018.

At that time I will have to decide either to renew my maintenance plans for one year (they will no longer offer multiple years as in the past) or freeze my perpetual licenses at that point. I will NEVER give money for renting software-- especially so, if that means I kill my perpetual licenses!

They cannot kill your perpetual license (if they tried they would face a class action lawsuit)… instead they give you the knife (the rental EULA) and ask you to do it.


I doubt it will ever happen, but what I’d like to see (and it should have happened with Adobe) are the well-known people in the community giving AD a wide berth with regards to promoting AD.

Enough is enough.


Autodesk was never a company you’d want to promote for free, but contractually, according to EULA, may have to.

All Autodesk has to do is create a competition with a cash-prize for the winner and applicants will participate. Only the winner will be paid, but they’ll use everyone else’s work at their discretion too.


It did not happen to Adobe because Adobe was somewhat sane with prices. I pay just ridiculously low 12EUR a month for both Photoshop and Lightroom. If PS was still sold at the price PS CS6 was, it would take me 7.5 years to add subscription money up to the cost of perpetual license.

I know most people are not as lucky as me, because they need to use more than one software from Creative Suite, so photography plan does not apply to them, but even then, prices are somewhat reasonable, whereas Autodesk is going crazy with subscription pricing.

EDITED: My old ranting does not add much of a constructive value to the discussion