Why are software companies nickel-and-diming us so hard lately?


So, uhh… AAS apparently just released what would normally be a routine update to their software, jumping straight from 1.1 up to 2.0 (seriously, and mostly just adding a few modules and finally adding an FX VST instance, things I’ve emailed them about when I bought V1 and got no response on) and it’s just so weird.

(Mind you, I’d totally pay a reasonable price for DLC like this if the bug fixes and other stuff were just baked into the system. VM has done this time and time again, upgrading the main software and simply releasing cooler modules and thus earning the trust of their core supporters)

First, the Bitwig DLC debacle happened, then Waves, and now the tickle effect of watery diarrhea has seeped all the way down to AAS. At this rate, I’m not really sure what’s next but I’m a little scared to find out – the former two were technically backpedaled in response to everyone rightfully throwing a fit, but it’s just a matter of time before they steal home plate or whatever analogy you want to use. And not enough people use CV-1/2 for this to become an issue, so they’re just going to keep on truckin’ most likely.

Companies have every right to charge whatever they want for their services, licenses, revocation of services and licensees, etc, but is the problem getting much worse lately or is it just my imagination? I feel like companies used to be kind of cool about stuff (and some still are, admittedly, like UVI releasing a massive update for Falcon, and others I can’t think of right now), but the future kind of looks bleak on that front.

It seems like they’re not really concerned with losing old supporters because they’re banking on new ones to get sucked into the scheme, and unfortunately that might actually be the most profitable business model.


I think it depends on the company, really.

Waves is a total shitshow with their BS pay-for-updates-every-year crap and the reason I avoid them as much as possible. I mean, when version whatever, say 13, was marketed as “now you can resize the GUI!” and you have to pay for that, I lost any little respect I had for them.

Others are great. For example, I just received emails for free updates to Tone2 Saurus 4 and (yet another) Cableguys Shaperbox update (if anything, they update it too often haha but at least they don’t charge you for it). Rob Papen also has pricing offers from one major version to the next and their Explorer 8 makes it all a no-brainer in terms of value.

Melda updates are also always free, etc.

Not sure what happened with Bitwig since I don’t use it. I think it was “free” to use a light version of it, I’m guessing they are now charging for it? That wouldn’t be a surprise. They build their user base and then eventually charge to make a profit and the company sustainable. That’s why I usually steer clear of “free stuff” that looks too good to be true, which you know is not going to stay “free” very long.


Ill hand it to Image Line, years ago I paid for lifetime free updates to FL Studio and they have yet to weasel out of it. But it is getting silly out there.


I think right now there’s a lot of belt tightening going on in business, a lot of companies are under pressure to show profits, cut losses, etc. And, where possible, part of the recipe to get your numbers looking good is to bump sales. How sales get bumped isn’t a concern as far as accounting goes. “Goodwill” as an asset isn’t something you can normally keep on your books (yes there actually is a niche case in which you can value your brand’s goodwill and carry it as an asset but that’s waaaaaayyyy off topic), so who gives a shit if you burn your company’s goodwill to the ground to bump sales 10% this quarter and get that bonus management promised you? Management won’t care unless they can see the fire from their offices (a la waves).

Kinda OT

Seriously can we talk about what shitshow this latest waves debacle has been? Seems like about every 3rd video in my youtube feed is someone’s recommendations for waves plugin replacements. Ouch. Not only are we not buying waves anymore, here’s the informed recommendations for replacing their tools in your workflow. Even once this blows over, those comparisons have been made. Suddenly, I’m going to be looking a lot more at Leapwing RootOne instead of Maxbass, and I didn’t even know RootOne existed a few days ago. How many people were content using the waves plugins and are now shopping for new plugins from waves’ competitors? About the only way this could have gone worse is if Taylor Swift had tweeted about it and Elon had backed her up.