How to help Blender pay off their bills.


(jer) #1

Seeing how Blender might go under(as it is hard to tell what is going to happen to them at this moment) that a lot of their problems are based on the fact that … they couldn’t earn enough profit. so…they went bellyup.

well I’ll try to make this short and sweet. Obviously all of us want blender for free. No one can argue that.

But now blender must make money to pay the bills so…publisher came into existance. OK…but … this really didn’t help them out. apparently…not enough people bought it…

Obviously Blender should have a price tag on it. So…people want it cheap(free) and blender needs to make money. Most don’t want to shell out $100 or more towards the purchase of the software. and by doing so they don’t make enough profit to pay the bills.

so why not make Blender a inexpensive 3D suite. So perhaps somewhere around $20-40 bucks(US)(50 can physologically discourage some people to buy certain products)

there are about 200,000 blender users?? so…they make about $8,000,000(us) if they can get them all to buy the software? Then you take into consideration new users. That’s a lot of !*@[email protected]# money. Plenty to keep them afloat.

So this may not be free, but so CHEAP that it seems like its free compared to other 3d packages(maya-$2000). And keep in mind, this may lure more towards blender. It’s cheap and provides very professional tools to do the job. I don’t think there is ONE single piece of software out there that could do 3D at Blender’s level, while at the same time costing only about $40(us) bucks! The first professional 3d suite at a dirt cheap price.

I never really buy shareware. But the quality and professional tools of this product is so increadibly high that paying about $40 bucks is like mana from heaven.

good stuff.

jer


(Goofster) #2

appreciate the idea, but that is NOT enough money to keep them afloat. It maybe a lot of money to get at once, but what would they do after that? everybody buys it, they get 8 million bucks, but…they need money after that! and new users wont bring in enough money.

why dont we let NaN sort out their own problems? we can all speculate here, but that doesnt help SH*T

keep dreaming

Roel


(jer) #3

appreciate the idea, but that is NOT enough money to keep them afloat. It maybe a lot of money to get at once, but what would they do after that? everybody buys it, they get 8 million bucks, but…they need money after that! and new users wont bring in enough money.

well then do tell. How did they even make money in the first place?

Blender was FREE way back when. They made money off of there commercial product for a while, then released the whole thing for free again. But do you seriously think that, back then, they even made close to even a million off of sales?

And even with the new commercial product “publisher” I am sure they didn’t make close to 50k. So, to me I think creating a very inexpensive 3d product is the way to go. besides…there is a HELL of a lot of competition up there in the 200 dollar bracket.

jer

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(SkyWriter) #4

the substantial portion of the money that NaN could claim as revenue should come from commercial deals with corporations interested in either licensing their technology or packaging the application as bundled software.

or put it another way… they didn’t make money.


(Cessen) #5

First of all, licenses do not need to be non-expiring. NaN could issue 1-year licenses for $30-$40. In fact, expiring licenses are common place in the 3d industry. Of course, that puts the big companies in an even worse light (it’s not just $2000… it’s $2000 a year as long as you continue using it. And it’s really fun to figure out what fraction of your annual income that is :slight_smile: ).

Anyway, aside from the above idea (which I think is very reasonable for both parties: NaN and the community), I would like to point out some problems with the $8,000,000 estimate. First of all, you are not taking into account pirating. As much as you might like to think that the community is entirely made up of people deticated to supporting NaN, that is most likely not the case.

For a more realistic estimate, you should consider:

  1. How many people are interested enough in 3d animation to pay $40 for it.

  2. Software piracey.

  3. Charging money can actually attract people (“Oh, so it’s actually worth something…”).

    I’m no business expert (in fact, I’m still in highschool), so I am probably a ways off; but I would estemate NaN’s yearly income (assuming the afore mentioned licensing strategey) to be around 2 to 2.5 million a year.

    That should still be a reasonable income for a company of their size. I just wanted to put things into a more realistic perspective.


(RipSting) #6

Me also being in the last year of highschool and have taken an AP Econ class, I think this makes sence.

Normally, the lower the price, the higher quantity demanded. Until a certain level when consumers begin to believe the product is of an inferior quality. A $20-40 price range would be great. I mean comeon! The everyday computer game costs that much! But Blender has this weird way of having the best replay value of any of them.

Companies that suceed listen to their customers’ level of demand, and we’re flat out telling them what we’re willing to pay.

So in recap… Charging too little would = little interest. Charging too much would lessen the quantity demanded (as we saw with publisher). But the price range of a computer game would have most people jumping for it.


(RipSting) #7

Just thought of a problem though. Most people who use blender are in high school or below. Which means no credit card. And I probably wouldn’t ask my parents to buy me software over the net. Paypal might work, but the target audience is hard to get to unless Blender is being sold on the shelves of stores…


(valarking) #8

Geez Goofster, you sound like he’s insulting someone. What pissed you off today? Lighten up.


(jer) #9

So I suppose if a product is free then that could come off as a very cheap(in terms of quality) or an underated product. And blender is neither of these.

And I don’t believe the individual would believe it to be cheap(in terms of quality). Some may view it as that, but by simply viewing the type of quality in which the software is able to produce in terms of modeling, animation, rendering, and so forth. they can be convinced that this is not an inferior product.

In my opinion this is very different then say comparing one type of luggage to another.

this is a competely different field and audience. Not to say that that makes all the difference in the world. But …it is an important factor that is worth looking into.

Besides, users can test out the program to see wheather they like it our not(shareware(fully functional)-time based trial version??? not my favorite type of shareware, but…) before paying the $40. That way they know wheather it is inferior to begin with. Do you understand? I don’t mean to be derogative or anything, but I guess another way of looking at this is this.

If you have a product like Maya or Cinema 4D and Blender shares the same set of features of this product…but is faster, more effecient, and cheaper. Then which software are you going to buy? The name of Maya or Cinema 4D may sell the buyer, but so will the features. If I can get a 3d suite that offers the SAME features as does these highend applications then why the hell would I shell out the money for these hundred/thousand dollar applications when I can buy blender for $40.

There are many other factors as one user put it…pirating…drawing new users and the likes. but I would tend to think that if the quality and set of features mirror those of other highend packages, but is cheaper. Then what choice is there but to purchase the cheaper priced product. And with the price being so cheap…why the hell would you want to get a warez copy of the product when it sells for practically nothing.

Just my opinion.

jer


(Sprite) #10

I agree… for example, Sun’s StarOffice Suite (which is basically a competing product with Microsoft Office) is now selling for ~$60 instead of free. Sun is charging for the product now because commercial companies weren’t willing to “risk” switching from the proven Microsoft Office to StarOffice; I think it’s because they were worried Sun wouldn’t fully support a free product.

At such a price, NaN probably should market it to hobbyists, home users, and freckled teenage nerds who have a modest amount of cash to spend; whereas Maya and 3DS can stay in their realm of professional studios. This is analogous to Paint Shop Pro and Photoshop.

Of course, Paint Shop Pro has an easier GUI…


(Briggs) #11

The name of Maya or Cinema 4D may sell the buyer, but so will the features. If I can get a 3d suite that offers the SAME features as does these highend applications then why the hell would I shell out the money for these hundred/thousand dollar applications when I can buy blender for $40.

Because blender dosnt have the same features as maya or Cinema 4d. It’s not even in the same league.


(jer) #12

Please read my statement carefully. I said “IF” I can get a 3d suite that offers the same features. I didn’t say blender “did” offer the same features.

jer


(Cessen) #13

> Just thought of a problem though. Most people who use blender are in high school or
> below. Which means no credit card. And I probably wouldn’t ask my parents to buy me
> software over the net. Paypal might work, but the target audience is hard to get to unless
> Blender is being sold on the shelves of stores…

That is, actually, a very goof point (and one that I hadn’t considered). Although I don’t think that my parents would have any problem with buying software over the net for me (assuming, obviously, that I payed them back the money), I can imagine that there are many parents who wouldn’t.

However, there is something called snail-mail :slight_smile: It would be relatively simple to put an ordering form on their website that could be printed out and mailed to them via “snail-mail”, along with a check made out to NaN. Perhaps some parents would be less squirmish about that.

Obviously, that wouldn’t entirely solve the problem, but it might, at least, alieviate it somewhat.


(overextrude) #14

Obviously all of us want blender for free.

No, not all of us do. Speaking for myself, what I want is for NaN to produce something in which I find sufficient value to justify the expenditure of what it is NaN is asking. Blender has too many rough edges that have been ignored in favor of pursuing this game engine. I think the game engine may have value at some point, but not at the expense of fundamental tools used to build 3D models, scenes, and even games. I’m tired of trying to pretend, for example, that the absence of a decent UNDO function doesn’t make any difference- it DOES, and I refuse to pay $300 for a product that can’t support one of the most commonly found functions in almost ANY modern software application. If NaN wants to play the commercial software game, it needs to produce commercial-grade software, pure and simple. Until then, I’ll pay a reasonable fee (maybe an annual subscription), but NOT $300, and NOT for a license I don’t need. I can get A:M for that price, and while it may be missing some of Blender’s functionality, what it does have, it does very well.

Let’s talk about the ‘free’ thing. Certainly it’s advantageous if younger people can participate, but the hard reality is that it COSTS MONEY to produce software that is anything more than someone’s hobby. If parents are willing to shell out for summer camp, video games, cub scouts, or any number of other interests in their kids’ lives, there’s no reason they can’t consider all of $40 - $100 for software that offers immense potential in helping to develop both technical and creative skills. The same holds true for those in college. I know that money can be tight, but it’s matter of setting priorities. Quite frankly, I don’t understand where this “I don’t have the money, so I should be exempt from the rules that drive the market,” mentality comes from. If you don’t have it, earn it. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect anyone to bend over and give you what you want just because you don’t have the money to pay for it.

Having said that, ‘Free’ is not an issue for me…what is, is whether the company is asking a price that is comensurate with the value provided by its software. This, at least for me, is where NaN faltered.


(Cessen) #15

> So I suppose if a product is free then that could come off as a very cheap(in terms of
> quality) or an underated product. And blender is neither of these.

However, Blender doesn’t have a demo reel that even comes close to touching the reels of many other 3d packes, such as Maya, Lightwave, 3DS MAX, etc.
In todays society (for a good chunk of the world) people tend (key-word “tend”)to think like this:

  • If its free: crap until proven otherwise.

  • If it costs money: good until proven otherwise, though it might not be good enough for how much it costs.

    A notable exception to above tendancies would be how people react to infomercial products :slight_smile:

    The point is that hobbiests tend not to take Blender seriously, especially since they haven’t used the commercial 3d packages (and thus assume that no matter what Blender is like, the commercial 3d packages must be tons better). And, of course, to some degree they would be correct (the commercial packages do have a lot more features, and are just gennerally capable of doing more). But they would tend to invalidate Blender as a result, which is not correct (Blender is a very good 3D package).
    Charging money for Blender will at least make people see it as a commercial product, which thus has the possibility of being as good as the other 3d packages.

    Of course, I could be entirely wrong about all this. I am, after all, merely speculating.


(Cessen) #16

> I’m tired of trying to pretend, for example, that the absence of a decent UNDO function
> doesn’t make any difference- it DOES, and I refuse to pay $300 for a product that can’t
> support one of the most commonly found functions in almost ANY modern software
> application.

As someone who does computer programming as both a hobbie and as a job, I must say that I actually apreciate Blenders lack of an undo function.
Now, that may sound rediculous. After all, why wouldn’t I want an undo function? Well, I’ll tell you why: memory footprint. To support an undo function, information about scene changes need to be stored. That can eat up free RAM space quite quickly. In fact, that is one of the main reasons that commercial 3d packages require so much RAM. And that is why Blender requires so little, comparitively.
I much preffer Blenders automatic back-up system (it saves a back-up file every so often, automatically), because it doesn’t occupy RAM space, only HardDrive space (of which most people have an abundance). Of course, as a side note, I do think that Blender’s auto-backup feature could be improved a lot (i.e. base when it saves off of how many changes have been made, rather than how much time has gone by).

However, despite my views on undo functions, I do see your point. Blender is not basic-feature-rich enough to charge $300 for it. For instance:

  • it does not support more than 4-sided polygons (i.e. polygons with an arbitrary number of vertices, which is what people actually want when they ask for a knife tool, though they don’t know it).

  • it lacks a view-based vertex ordering solution (i.e. when you make a face out of 4 vertices, the order is not based on the 3d window view of the vertices, which can lead to the creation of unwanted “hour-glass” polygons).

  • it lacks good patch-based modelling support.

    The list goes on, but those are a few key examples.
    Also, I would like to clarify that, as much as it may sound like I am complaining, that is not my intent. I am simply trying to show why I agree, to some extent, with overextruded.

    As far as “the ‘free’ thing” goes, I agree with you, overextruded, that people should pay for the software that they use. I feel very strongly about not pirating software. Really, if you think that something is over-priced, then simply don’t use it. Instead, use a different product which you do not think is over priced, even if it is of lower quality. Thiat way, you do not support the company that is charging too much, and you do support the company that is charging a reasonable price.

    A rather key concept of economics is that the market is influenced by the displacement of money, not just the withholding of it.
    Let’s say that “Badd inc.” sells a superior software product, but which is over priced. And “Ggood inc.” sells a somewhat inferior software product, but at a very reasonable price for its level of quality. Now, let’s say that you pirate Badd’s software. What happens? Both companies die off, which doesn’t do anybody any good.
    Now, let’s say that instead, you buy Ggood’s software. What happens? Ggood inc. stays in business, while Badd inc. dies off. In fact, Ggood inc. will grow stronger, and be able to improve their product, while still maintaining low prices. Of course, Ggood inc. might rename to “Evvil Inc.” because of thier new power in the market. But then you could always switch over to buying from “Even-Nicer Inc.”

    Anyway, the point is that not buying from anyone will harm the entire market, not just the “bad” companies. To change things, and make the market better, you need to buy from the “good” companies.
    Unluckily, this is not a concept that many people understand. Please feel free to explain this concept to all of your friends. And remember, this applies to all markets (music, movies, etc.), not just software.


(overextrude) #17

Cessen wrote:
>> However, Blender doesn’t have a demo reel that even comes close to touching the reels of many other 3d packes, such as Maya, Lightwave, 3DS MAX, etc.

Very good point - to this day, I’ve never seen any serious salesmanship by NaN. Yeah, there are some pretty decent user galleries, but that only covers a part of Blender. I know that for a while, NaN was working with some outside parties to produce some (good) demo games and such, but nothing came of it. THere were no sites that demonstrated the value of the interactive engine. Everything went on as though this aspect of Blender was just a footnote to something more important (which was also ambiguous).