C4D Licensing fears - a deal-breaker?


I believe Dave McGarvan was hired by Nemetschek from Adobe to do exactly what he is doing now. I would probably surmise that the three original founders resisted Nemetschek’s push to follow the Adobe licensing model for many years and were forced out…they call it a retirement but NOT all three founders would collectively decide for their own personal reasons to retire at the same time. That is highly unlikely. So they were forced out.

I mean during the Siggraph role out, McGarvan could not even clearly articulate the new features (let alone work the slide ware) for more than 3 minutes…he just went right to the licensing. So what does that tell you?

I know the employees still cling to the belief that Maxon has not changed, but I believe the soul of MAXON is lost because leadership sets the moral tone and we now know what McGarvan is all about.


I have to renew my MSA right now… this will be cheaper than going subs (and I don’t like subs, I’m still on Adobe CS6!), and I get to keep my perpetual licence, so that’s fine for now…

But my question is why should I pay 600€ if the guy next door with Prime gets everything for 250€? Shouldn’t I be able to pay the lowest amount too or get more perks ?

At least for everyone with Prime, NOW is the time to pay for the MSA. That’s the deal of the decade, even if that’s the last time you ever upgrade.

I contacted my reseller but havn’t heard from them since. I think it’s probably confusing for them too.


Just one more aspect of this whole mess that royally sucks.


I still wouldn´t believe them. Also Adobe flat out lied, when they announced, that CS6 was the last possibility to Upgrade to the next Version. And then? No Upgrade followed. Only the possibility to change into to that so called “creative cloud”. Thankls. I think it´s clear, that the days of Perpetual are counted at Maxon too. But right - the communictaion of Maxon is a desaster. The Philosophy has changed. I liked this company that much from the beginning. They where that helpfull in the past (By the way, helpfull: If Maxon will be Adobe labeled one day - will we become that same glorious “Help”-System that accompanishes Photoshop & Co? instead of the phantastic Cinema Help?) Seems it takes only one Person of Adobe to spoil…


Wellp - if Maxon cancels perpetuals and goes rental only, I’d rather pay a cracking group money to permanently unlock my version.


A common perspective on all this is, “Yeah, but if you do this for a living, it’s the cost of doing business and not really that expensive. So only hobbyists are really concerned about this, not the pros.”

With respect, I disagree and think it’s the pros who are at the greatest risk.

You have tons of time and money invested in the tools of your trade, and lots of client projects. By converting to subscription, you’re locked into paying Maxon for the rest of your career. That’s fine if you never move to a different platform.

But what if you do?

If you move to brand X, you still have to keep paying Maxon, forever, or all the work you’ve done in C4D from the the first subscription version forward goes into the bit bucket. Not being able to use features that come out in versions after you left is one thing. Not being able to access all your old C4D projects is data loss, pure and simple. That’s about the most cardinal sin you can make as a software developer.

I’m just hobbyist. If I lose all my old work, it doesn’t affect my client relationships, income or monthly overhead. For pros, not so much.

“But Maxon would never make things so bad that I’d have to move to Brand X!”

Of course. And Maxon would never eliminate MSAs or force a new “Maxon Tax” subscription model.


Here’s the link to the FAQ.



I think advertising it as $60/month is crappy when it’s really a $720 lump sum plus tax.

I would be OK with signup up for one year if the benefit was spreading the payments out over 12 months.

Edit: Just checked out Maya Indie pricing. $250/year. Wow. With their new announcements at Siggraph that is impressive.


Houdini indie is $400 for two years.


Yup. And Maya (remarkably) now has an affordable Indie offering. Maxon is now just about the priciest game in town.

Houdini has siphoned off some customers (though in fairness some artists integrate the two). Blender is charging hard. Many users are shifting focus to UnReal and Unity. Hey, what a great time to piss off the user base and increase pricing for existing customers!


As I had the chance to learn surprisingly at SIGGRAPH, Blender is probably the path one has to take as a long-time Cinema 4D user.

Just like 8 years before, when I changed from 3dsmax to Cinema 4D after more than 20 years. It’s better to switch as long as you still have a perpetual licensing for the current projects.

My MSA will also give me the R21 as perpetual licensing, but my trust in Maxon is completely gone. And the update to the R21 is so thin, that the thought comes to my mind that features will be held back in order to release them later as “subscription-only”. Do they think they are so smart or their users so stupid?

Well done, Maxon! :face_vomiting:


I’m done.

This is just too much. From the FAQ:

“Please note, Maxon may retire releases which are 3 years old. Once retired, a release will no longer be available for download from the Maxon User Portal and will not be eligible for support.”

I measure software longevity in periods of 5 years or more. C4D has always traditionally had excellent backwards and forwards compatibility and that is one of the reasons why I’ve stuck with it over the years. If MAXON is seriously trying to shove us on the same idiotic “upgrade treadmill” as Adobe CC, then I’m out. Autodesk just announced some very attractive indie pricing and at least I can still download and archive their installers for offline use. I was looking forward to R21 (specifically opening up the node shader editor to third party renderers), but if this is the path MAXON wishes to take then I suppose it’s time C4D joins Adobe CC as something I’ve migrated away from.

I am truly disappointed in the direction MAXON has taken here. I have no problems with offering subscriptions for those who cannot afford a perpetual license, but this has gone several steps too far. I honestly thought I’d be continuing to use C4D for the foreseeable future, but this has forced me to re-evaluate my priorities and stance when recommending C4D to other artists.



“Please note, Maxon may retire releases which are 3 years old. Once retired, a release will no longer be available for download from the Maxon User Portal and will not be eligible for support”

Could a disclaimer like that also be used as a justification to disable perpetual installations after 3 years? This ist really my only concern anymore. Obviously, as a hobby user I am out concerning any further financial investment into that software. But the question is if I can go from R20 Prime to R21 Studio without sleepless nights. But I guess we won’t get any answers to that here anymore. Björn and Rick are most probably on vacation now.


If you go this route I would read the fine print carefully. Indie licenses auto renew to full license if you dont cancel. You also need to connect to the internet every 30 days to ensure your license is valid. Every 3 years your software is also retired and you must upgrade to the next version - with no older version available for download . Also note that if you plan on keeping your old version you cannot install this on new hardware as that license will expire (and you cannot re-active that license - even perpetual ones). Its not much different to MAXON’s policy to be honest (actually probably a little less forgiving) - the pricing is a bit more attractive however.


Sounds like Maxon is ready to go to war against it’s customers to make them submit, and hand over their wallet. Perpetually.

That’s what an imposed subscription model is…a “perpetual license” for some corporation to raid your wallet…or leave you and your work forever lost.

Good luck Maxon with what you have unleashed with your greed. Good luck…living with yourself and all that shame. I’d rather die …here …now …tonight…than be you.


Yes, they went to the dark Side, but maybe it is time to cool down a bit and overthink the language (also in that Infamous other thread). I am also pi**ed, but no need to give a moderator a reason to close these threads.


These threads are like the hydra’s heads: cut one down and two more will spring up in its place. We need to keep up this pressure: Maxon needs to understand what a terrible mistake it’s making here.

Is it worth setting up a petition on Change.org – at least so we can voice our concerns directly to Maxon, not through a third-party forum?


I am very sure Maxon did the numbers in advance and already calculated in that users like us would leave.

Let’s face it, we’re not the intended audience for this software any more. Time to move on.


Yea, I suppose so. That just makes the situation even more depressing. So despite having helped pay for the development of the app – and its staff’s wages – for many years, we’re now just cast adrift. Nice.


This thread sounds exactly like all the threads sounded when autodesk did their thing. I’m not a cinema user, just a bit of Redshift, so this doesn’t affect me as much… however, IF Maxon is planning to get rid of perpetual licenses (and making subscriptions more attractive than upgrades is basically a promise on that), then it’s already too late and there’s nothing you guys can do to change their mind. Did we rant back then? We sure did. Did autodesk care? nope. Did Adobe care? Nope. As far as I know, the rental-only thing works for them.

You can either get out and use something else or get used to it. The amount of max users probably hasn’t changed dramatically, despite all the rants. I’m using Houdini now but that’s probably the exception.