I use 3DSMax. My heart goes out to you, and I’m aware we’re next in line for the guillotine.
It’s worth looking at. For example, false statements made for the purpose of a financial advantage is fraud which is basis for a civil suit as well as criminal charges.
Many customers’ businesses are going to take a bit financial hit because of Autodesk’s actions, and individually their professional skills have been taken to a market value of zero overnight. People who have built businesses on plug ins suddenly find they are worthless. Because of the amount of the damage, and the number of users, it’s worth seeing if there is a cause for action: deceptive conduct, fraud, breach of implied contract, anti-trust, racketeering, etc.
It would be interesting to discover how long Autodesk has had this on the cards. The argument that they bought a product which duplicated their existing product range for any purpose other than ultimately destroying it just doesn’t stack up. While they have some leeway in doing that, deceiving their customers and developers about their intentions it is another matter. I’ll bet Autodesk discussed it before they even bought it.
Suggest you hunt around for a class action attorney who has handled similar cases. Realistically they will walk away with a big chunk of the settlement, but you may at least get something and they’ll do the work and bear the risk. This is a better approach than asking them to open source or sell Softimage to someone else. Why would they? They have you where they want you. aw suits are very punishing for companies like Autodesk. If they’re smart, they might be persuaded to do the right thing.