Dear Blender users,
Since the closing of the company, we’ve been working on finding solutions for continuation of the Blender projects. Although there’s still no final decision to mention, I realize there’s an urgent need for news on what’s going on!
Last month, the NaN Technologies company was closed down. This has resulted in a tragic lost of jobs for our employees, and caused a major disruption of our website services.
Blender, and all its related IP (Intellectual Property) and copyrights, is still owned by the NaN Holding company, from which a few people - including myself - are working on scenarios for continuation.
An analysis of the current and past situation has learnt us a few things;
This project has proven to be far too large and ambitious to continue with a small team. Reactions from our customers and from the media markets in general were positive, but it looks like it needs more years of development and marketing to become profitable.
This is in fact the ‘old’ Blender, with 3D stills and animation as output. The majority of the Blender user community is interested in that part of Blender, preferably as freeware or accessible for a very low price.
It is possible to disconnect Creator from Publisher completely, by removing interactive 3D and the game-engine from it, and market it as separate products.
Blender website, e-shop and community
The website and community is one of NaN’s biggest assets, but unfortunately it is hard to make substantial revenues with it.
Supporting the community is essential for the total Blender picture to survive. It could be a preference to organize the community as a self-supporting (self-financing) entity.
The community demands an active ongoing support of the Creator product as a matter of course.
The Blender Mobile initiative, based on server-side generation of 3D content, is still viable and worth pursuing. This project is entirely aimed at mobile content companies, and hasn’t been communicated to the outside world yet. We are establishing a separate company which will continue with it.
The scenarios for continuation of Blender are numerous; from splitting in pieces to selling everything to another company. Preference is, especially when a mobile company can be set up, to keep the IP within the Holding.
A small team of 4-5 people potentially could manage the Creator and website projects. There is interest from some companies to look at this, we also need more insight if and how we could establish this ourselves.
As an alternative and/or backup, I am working on a new community plan:
- independently organized in a Dutch ‘foundation’ (US: nonprofit public benefit corporation ).
- includes all content, demos, tutorials, knowledge base, etc from the old blender.nl site
- an hierarchical ‘operator’ based system, where users can add new groups, articles and discussion forums.
- aim to become financially independent, by introducing a small membership fee which gives access to specific areas.
- Blender sources will be opened for members.
- New ‘official’ Creator versions will be developed within this system, with a virtual team. I will personally manage this, for at least during the startup phase.
I am in close contact with several Blender users on this topic, if (when?) it becomes realistic, more information will be available immediately.
We expect that decisions on Blenders future will be made soon, hopefully in weeks.
Whatever the outcome will be, it will include continuation of Blender and the user community.
Thanks everyone for the positive feedback the past month, hopefully you can practice some more patience…