Perpetual license of OLDER 3DS Max version


We are all familiar with the unfortunate (to say the least) decision of Autodesk to abandon perpetual licenses of individual products and sell only monthly or annual subscriptions.

I was wondering if there is any chance of getting my hands on a OLDER version of 3DS Max with a perpetual license. Let’s say I can do without the LATEST version of the program, but I could work with 3DS Max 2014 for example. Do I have any luck on finding a copy on a local or online reseller or something?

I mean, I don’t really know exactly how this licensing thing works. Is there any chance of me walking into an old computer shop and finding a (dusty) box on a shelf with a DVD of 3DS Max 2014 and a serial number that I could use to activate it and it would work? Forever? Or any copy receives a new serial number on-the-fly thus automatically receiving a NEW ‘rental’ license?

Apart from that scenario, the only way to find a perpetual license of a previous version is finding someone who has bought it in the past, for some reason changed profession and doesn’t need it anymore and convince him to transfer the license to you? Is that possible?


I have heard of cases where people/companies sold their perpetual license to other people/companies.
But the seller has to talk with Autodesk about the selling and they have to approve it and perform the license transfer. I’ve read that they may take $100 for even this. In any case your are completely depending on Autodesk. So never ever buy a Max DVD + serial thinking that a license activation ( which talks to Autodesk servers) will work without getting a clear-to-go from Autodesk. Doing so is most certainly loss of the money…


There are these options, albeit the most expensive, but they wont be older versions, just current.

Entertainment Creation Suite (Ultimate)
Entertainment Creation Suite (3DS Max)

It is the most expensive route, but is most likely the most secure. I would get the Ultimate Suite for just a bit more than the Standard, but you only have a couple of more months to do this. This is a way to get Perpetual Licenses…if you want future updates then you can add the Maintenance Plan. This will keep you getting the latest software while staying perpetual and not having to rent.


I’m aware of that, but unfortunately that’s not an option. I can not in any way afford right now the cost of these suites on my own, I’m going after some funding that would allow me to buy some software, but it’s highly unlikely that I would have any final results by 31th July…


Well that’s what I thought, and what some official Autodesk Value Added Resellers told me. That I could only get the latest version, and only for rental, except for the suites mentioned above.

But searching online shops in my country, I came across some Autodesk Value Added Resellers claiming that they are selling some previous AutoCAD versions (same Autodesk policy) with perperual licenses, and that got me thinkng. So I decided to ask at Autodesk official forum if that’s possible, and they answered:

In the EU it’s possible to purchase a pre-owned AutoCAD lincense: you get to thank Brussels for that treat.

you can check the thread here:

So now I’m even more confused… :banghead:
But it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack looking for a local shop that may have a copy of a previous 3DS Max version, since I can’t find anything online.

Go figure…


You might want to check with Autodesk, but I believe in the past, they had payment plans to alleviate the initial shock of paying it all at once. However, I do not remember what the minimum purchase amount is for this to take effect. It doesn’t hurt to check though, as they might be able to do something seeing you are looking to get on board before their deadline.


Wait. I believe you might have something there. For a moment I thought you were talking about some other suites I was looking at, that included 3DS Max and AutoCAD. But now I noticed that you are referring to a different suite.

To be honest at first I was looking at purchasing both 3DS Max and AutoCAD, but afterwards I came to realize that for my own workflow I could get away with some freeware AutoCAD substitutes like nanoCAD or Draftsight, since I only use it for 2D blueprints.

So the 3DS Max entertainment Standard Suite might actually be an option (not the Ultimate which includes both 3DS Max and Maya, that’s way too expensive). Unfortunately there seems to be some kind of problem with the Autodesk EU store, it says that “The details for this product are currently unavailable”. I suppose it’s valued the same as the Maya Standard Entertainment Creaion Suite around 8000 euro?


The Max and Maya Standard Suites should be the same price. In the past, Autodesk used to have a better breakdown of what software was included on their website, for some reason, I cannot find it anymore. For the Ultimate Suite - about $1,000 more - you get Max, Maya, Softimage, MotionBuilder and Mudbox. I think this is with the 2016 Suite. Come 2017, I have no idea if Softimage will make one last appearance…here is to hoping :slight_smile:

For CAD, I think Autodesk Fusion 360 has a free option if you are just looking for something none work related. Autodesk Fusion 360


In theory if you’re based in the EU yes you can buy a second hand copy and I believe Autodesk would be bound by EU law to transfer the license to you - but that’s provided the license is 100% legitimate of course.

I’m guessing a big reason for the lack of second hand perpetual licenses is because many people who bought a perpetual in recent years will be on maintenance subscription… so they might have invested a tidy sum in staying current over the years and would be reluctant to let it go - especially given the situation with rental subs. And those (like me) who decided not to go on subs might have invested in a few plugins - so either way I would need a good reason to sell my license.

Also the right to sell a software license only applies to the EU so far as I’m aware - elsewhere license transfers are at Autodesk’s discretion. So I’m guessing this knobbled the development of any kind of second hand market for Max licenses in large markets like US/Canada. The situation might be slightly different for AutoCAD simply because there are so many more licenses out there than there are for Max… and there might be more small companies who invested in CAD, like architects etc, who might have more volatile cashflow situation - and so be willing to dump surplus licenses every so often. Its also arguably less important to stay current with CAD, so there might be more old licenses kicking around.

Anyway, best of luck… its not an ideal situation.


note Autodesk have putout a press release saying the sale of perpetual suites will end in june 2016


Well actually they will end in the end of JULY, not that it makes any big dfference in my case. :slight_smile:


Also, if you read the details of the perpetual licensing… if you are under a maintenance subscription… I believe you can request a license for, and run, back to four previous versions. So if you had 2016 on maintenance, you could request a license and USB install stick for 2013.


I can sell You one Creation Suite 2016 with V Ray.
Let me know if You’re interested.
Marcin Nowak


Hi, your offer to sell Creation Suite 2016 is probably gone for a long time, but I am looking for mainly Maya, but Max and Motion builder are on my list too. Creation suite looks great if I can afford it. I want to work on my PhD project, but I cant use educational version, because this project will be used comercially too. Is this offer still actual by any chance? Thanks.


Perpetual or Permanent license is the best way to go. Annually it is much less than subscription and you can use the last version and the 3 previous forever. I’m ready to retire and plan to sell my permanent license. I’ve had it since DOS version 1 and over the years have probably spent 10K+ on the updates. I currently have 2019 and the update is due in October. If I don’t sell it before then I will pay the 750.00 for the update to MAX 2020. One of the posts here questioned the availability of a previous (permanent) version. As far as I know, to transfer a permanent/perpetual license through Autodesk, it must be current.


Garydoe, I sent you a direct message. Let me know if you received it. Thanks!