Confusion and anti-delight with the new pricing/licensing model

First let me state that I have 16+ licenses for Dopus 12 (2x5 pro, 6x1lite) plus the ones I have purchased for others... I've upgraded twice from 10 to 12, so I've been around the block a few times. I do not like the new licensing model, but I like even less how you've proposed the update to 13 as it seems like you're mixing your metaphors.

I guess I first need to state an assumption, which is once you get people on version 13 you never intend to do a major update charge again. So basically, although you've not explicitly called it out, you expect to start charging $25/license/year and along the way you'll eventually decide to renumber to 14 and then 15, etc, and these versions will all be included in the $25. It begs the question what will happen if people stop paying, and then want to come back into the fold later, but in order to keep that in line with what went before, one presumes they just start paying again and can rejoin the stream at the then current version.

I think the issue boils down to you're selling the past development, but people are buying the future support. You want to recoup your last 5+ years of making version 13, but I want to buy access to version 13 for another 4 or so years. This is probably an inherent discord between developers and users/purchasers.

Let me try to explain what I don't like. I'm going to use round numbers. If I pay $100 for a new license today, I would expect that to be worth about 4 years of updates... so that's $25 year. That feels roughly what you've be making in the past, based on the expense of updates and the years between them. So really, you should just sell licenses for $25/year starting now, and skip any upgrade fees... I suspect you don't like this though because it doesn't feel like you'll recoup your past development costs, but the users don't care about that... they care about what it costs today for future access.

If you never onboarded another new customer ever, then eventually you'd end up at $25/license as long as people considered the ongoing updates to the product valuable. I suppose the risk is someone would pay $25 for a license for one year, stop paying recurring fees, and you would be out the other $75 if they paid $100 up front. So the fix for that is either to require them to stay on board for 4 years to "earn" a permanent license, or to charge the $100 up front, but for 4 years of updates. The idea of pay $100 up front and then start paying $25 after one year, feels greedy and to someone who has tried in the past to promote the product, it makes an already difficult to justify purchase even more difficult to justify.

I think what I will probably do is just skip updating for long stretches, and then save up my $25/year until it amounted to purchasing a new license, and then do that. It won't cost me any more, but I will miss updates, but on the other hand I will technically end up with more and more licenses over time.

Let's look at the next ten years. My alternative is to pay 2x$146+6x$50=$592 now for one, or possibly two years (for a limited time), and then 2x$75+6x$25=$300 a year there-after. So in 10 years, I'd have paid almost $3000. Or I could spend $250 for five new licenses every 2.5 years and in that same 10 years have 20 licenses (more than the 16 I have now) for 1/3 the cost. I'm pretty sure I know what feels more affordable.

I suggest you either cancel this idea of yearly fees OR switch exclusively to yearly fees and cancel the idea of an acquisition fee. Either make every $100 of upgrade money get you 4 years of upgrades or make the upgrade $100 for 4 years or $50 for 2 years or whatever... but don't double charge. Your licenses might be worth $25/year or $100 for 4 years, but they're not worth the extra near term upgrade cost such that it will amount to $50/year over the next four or so years.


This has already been discussed in great detail in two other huge threads.

The change is because Opus 13 took seven years to come out, meaning finished changes people were asking for were locked away on three developers’ computers for years while no one else could use them.

We don’t want to do that anymore. We want to get away from doing monolithic releases and feature creep, and instead put out new features as soon as they are ready, without them being held back because some other feature isn’t ready yet. The new model means there’s never any reason to hold back a change which is ready to use.

We also don’t want new users saying “it’s been a few years and the next version must be out soon so I’ll wait” which meant several people waited multiple years for that new version they assumed was only a couple of months away.

Pricing hasn’t increased in years and years, despite inflation, and the new model is designed to be about the same total cost while making pricing and what you get for your money more transparent, and allowing us to put out changes sooner.

You can still buy a version and use it forever without paying another dime. Discounts for upgrades work similarly to before. All that’s changed is a smaller amount is charged more often, if you want to always be on the latest version. And “more often” still means annually at most.

Nothing in the new model is abnormal or would surprise anyone looking at a new tool rather than comparing it to how things were and assuming change is always bad or intended to fleece users rather than improve the way we do releases.

Most comments have been supportive and understand why we are changing to the new model, but it feels like we’re being held to a different standard to every other software company by some.


That is actually a very good point !

Question about that: Let's take the fix regarding the slow copy over 10Gbit links that was fixed with v13. As far as I remember from the thread, the reason why it took so long was the overhaul of the whole copy process. Will a fix like this then really come out faster, given the dependencies? Meaning, you probably change your development model internally to make this possible?

The file copy changes were completed in 2019...


I think it's a bargain for what users get. Opus enables me to work very efficiently and save so much time. Developers need to earn a living!


And this customer supported that development by purchasing the product initially. That earlier version allowed you to develop DO 13. If it's truly a new product, change it's name. But this stance that 'it took a long time so we have to charge everyone for it' is a shallow view and ignores key themes for business <> customer relationships.

What does that mean? Because you bought DO 12, you are entitled to any development based on DO 12 forever?

So, because you bought Win 3.1 in the early 90s, you're entitled to a free copy of Win 11 because it's based on your erstwhile contribution?