Thoughts on pricing and licencing

For the past couple of months we have been evaluating multiple licencing and pricing options and we have not come to a final conclusion yet. We do have some strategies that we can mark as “favorites”, but the final decision has not been done yet.

We know that many of our users (and competitors) do want to know our prices and licencing options, but the only thing we can share with you at the moment is that our aim is to release Corona as the software with the best value for your money. Not only pricewise, but also licencewise (+1UP –  new word invented 😉 )

It means, that we want to sell Corona Renderer for a fair price, which will make it affordable, but also allow us to raise enough money necessary for even more agile development. Our intention IS NOT to release Corona as another overpriced SW on the market (which will make it unaffordable for most users in the Eastern Europe.)

We also have to  consider the fact that Corona Renderer is evolving really quickly and we are able to release new functions in really short time frames. (example: Daily builds). That puts the traditional “big paid update every few years” at a disadvantage.

The goals which we would like to achieve are following:

  1. Making Corona Renderer affordable software for everyone (from West to East, both professionals and hobbyists)
  2. Offer multiple licencing options (we consider: regular “unlimited time” licence, monthly “licence renting” option – SaaS,  subscription model)
  3. You will be allowed to install your workstation licence on your “Work PC” and on your “Home PC”
  4. Corona Renderer will always come with some free render nodes included in the regular workstation licence
  5. Student licence prices will be close to zero and students will be able to use it for commercial work (we want to benefit students, as we know how hard it is sometimes to land a job experience or first job).
  6. Commercial and big “personal” renderfarms will have separate pricing policy which will again be aimed at making Corona Renderer great value.

Regarding software delivery

We certainly plan to cut out any unnecessary expenses. That rules out delivering any kind of physical dongles or DVD’s. These methods are old school – slow and impractical. Corona is so small that it can be downloaded in just a few seconds after the payment, anywhere in the world.

That means we will distribute our SW only and solely as a digital download, with internet activation. We do know, that some companies have a policy which will not allow to connect the computers to the internet, so there will be solution for that as well. Our daily builds are protected at the moment with a basic activation string, and your computer does not have to be connected to the internet. I can imagine that we will come up with something like that for the users without access to the internet.

Daily Builds

After BETA version release – all daily builds users will be terminated. (Sounds so Schwarzeneggerish ) And we will completely restart Beta Dailies.

Regarding Beta

We plan Beta versions to be fee-free. So again, nice ZERO price tag. However with the latest Alpha 6 release and popularity which Corona Renderer gained we are under pretty heavy pressure with support requests, and answering questions which were answered multiple times before. So we are considering making two BETAs:

1) Corona Render BETA – FREE

Comes without “premium” support. It means that you will still have access to forums and all official communication channels so users can ask questions there, but there is no guarantee that we will answer them as soon as we will get these. Premium users will be always in the front of the queue.

2) Corona Render BETA – PREMIUM

Premium version will guarantee that we will answer & help you with your technical issues in the next 48 hours (We usually react much much faster). That covers problem with installation of the software, technical difficulties, rendering issues, etc.
Also all Premium users will  have access to Beta Daily builds regardless if they were active on forums or if they have created some stunning visuals.

Another benefit will be that BETA premium users will get discount once final version is released. This discount will be higher than what they paid for the BETA PREMIUM. So it is also a kind of pre-sale option.

Discussion is Open

The purpose of this article was not to provide definitive answers (as we do not have them yet), but to show our motivation behind the licencing and pricing process. As it was said many times before, Corona is developed by the artists for the artists. We are listening to you and we welcome anyone to join the discussion here about the future development.
It is after all a software designed by you…

Adam

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Checked by AVG – www.avg.com
Version: 2014.0.4355 / Bullshit Database: 3882/7320 – Release Date: 09/04/14

30 thoughts on “Thoughts on pricing and licencing

  1. thank you god!

    At last someone talks reasonably!
    Vray +3dsmax prices in east Europe are extremly high -.-

    Thank you so much!

  2. Great to see a software company that thinks logically and puts it’s users first. Progressive rendering software, backed by a progressive team.

    Big thumbs up!

  3. It’s great that you are thinking of your audience when considering price. Please consider that student pricing should only be for non-commercial work. Otherwise what is the point? Pricing should be fair across the board, regardless of what country you are from. Subscription or “renting” software monthly may sound nice, but it is a headache for all involved and to keep track of. A one time fee with a small cost for updates makes sense to me. Would love to see Corona for C4D or Sketchup soon!!!

    1. Hello Lyle, thanks for your valuable response.
      Let me present my point of view.
      Ad Students: I have worked in a few production studios and we were taking college students or fresh graduates from time to time. Many of my colleagues were against it as they have said that only benefit which students bring to the studio is “a cheap labour”. Other said, that students actually cost more, as they do not have skills, or that they producing more mistakes and errors than creating benefits. I see it slightly different. I see them as people usually full of enthusiasm for work and with very limited income. I want a software which will not only be affordable to them, but it will also allow them to create extra income. Also these students looking for work experience during their studies will be seen as benefit for the employers as they will bring top notch software to that company. Every time some student came to our company he brought something new to the existing workflow. This could also be the Corona Renderer.
      We do like rhinoceros licencing policy on educational licences, and we stand on the same side of a river as them.

      Ad) Fair pricing across the globe.
      Yes we do plan same prices across the globe (and we know that 1 dollar is NOT 1 euro). I am thinking that we can come with couple of payment options. I mean you can buy corona for one time fee and then pay for extra upgrades (most of the SW nowadays work like that) or you will have an option to rent a software on monthly/ quaterly or even a year plan? This way we can offer our product legally to a users who will not even think about buying a SW with price tag which could be higher than his month salary.
      Also subscribers will get always access to the latest versions which will be released very often.
      I have to say I came across a few “cloud services” and I hated most of them as they were bringing stupid & useless extra functions just to justify their price. I do not want any of that. I want to give a chance to people to get their software legally, and also I want to give them option to leave us immediately if they are not happy with the product they get. I am talking about real pay-as-you go model. No extra charge for leaving us, no to signing 12month contract minimum, etc. No strings attached.
      What do you think?
      PS: Sorry for typos, it is really late:)

  4. Good luck.. With such simple interface no complicated things and great speed.. I am very much positive that you gonna rule all render engines in near future.. Though I dont know why nun of the render engines allow to contribute GPU power while rendering along with CPU.. 🙂

  5. Why don’t you use a crowd funding alternative?
    At least at the Beta version.

    Thanks for everything!

    Ronald

  6. My only question is if there will be separate licences for 3dsmax/blender/etc. and standalone version of Corona?

  7. Flexibility, yes. If you guys are planning support for other apps, I’d think about 1-app, 2-app, 3-app or so license packs with the option to dump those you will not be using in your final workflow. (e.g. dump Sketchup and Rhino and keep just Max).

    1. Each app will have separate licence. Corona Renderer plugins are in different stage of development. But we can add discounts if you will decide to buy Corona Renderer for more than one 3d application. But that is really in distant future

  8. I just want script “vray to corona material ” to continue..

    if I don’t have it.

    I will not use corona render to do work.

  9. Great ideas!
    Rent licenses:
    In larger productions, at least at companies that cannot run several large scale projects at the same time, you always have a license problem. e.g. in our last movie we needed several hundred licenses for mayatomr rendering. We needed it for a few months only and had to buy full maya licenes – bad idea. Of course we do not buy maintenance for these licenes because we don’t need them any more now. Other renderers offer rentals that are so expensive that it is cheeper to buy the licenes if you need it more than a few weeks.

    Cupling renderer with 3d software:
    I like the Arnold approach. You buy the standalone renderer and you get the plugins, the sources as well as the compiled ones. This is great for a bit larger studios. But I agree that it takes time (and time is money) to implement a renderer into a 3d application seamlessly.

  10. Many thanks for your Great work. Corona – tthe most beautiful program that I have seen over the past few years.
    Every day I am happy from Corona Render!
    It is waiting to join the BETA premium 🙂

  11. Unfortunately I didn’t have the opportunity to try Corona other than the benchmark scene, because I’m a C4D user. I’m happy to know that a C4D version is being developed (too slowly) and can’t wait to try it!
    About the price policy, I really think you’re thinking it right, although I have no idea about the price tag you’ll be practicing on the several plans. Personally a fair price tag means a lot because I live in a country with the lowest wages in the west Europe. I had to sell my Modo license in order to buy a 2nd hand C4D Studio license, so I really appreciate your price policy. Besides, if a software is cheap or fairly priced, the piracy level will be lower, I’m sure!
    Keep up the good work and please, speed up the C4D development 😉

  12. Hi,

    I am currently a student and I would like to use the software for freelance work at the same time I complete my studies. It would be great if it will be free for comercial use for blender.

    Also free 3ds max for learning purposes would be good.

    As a student it´s very difficult to find software to work with. Unless you spend a lot of many to buy something like Vray and also some 3d platform, only to work for some years until you get some permanent job, but no one’s do that. This is a reality a very few companies think.

    Thanks.

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