Well, IMO you got to differentiate between “exporter” and “integration” and not just call it plugin.
There are two exporters, an ancient one from RS which mildly put is spartanic, and the community developed one by Yoyoz which is in V1.14 for 2.62 IIRC and also is bmesh ready, currently having problems with normals, but Yoyoz is working with Campbell to see what’s up. And for what I read that’s history too, there’s V1.16 working with the SVN builds, so cudos to Yoyoz for all his initiative, work and dedication.
Still, as long as Octane is able to import .obj, the exporter is merely luxury. It’ll always work.
Yoyoz plugin is GPL3 licensed but I know of no mirrors besides the commercial customer Octane forum. I have the exporters on my host to have access to them from anywhere, feel free to use my mirror if you want to try the Octane Demo with Yoyoz’ Blender exporter, it’ll stay there unless Yoyoz asks me to remove it for any good reason.
You’re on your own though finding out what version works with your Blender Version and Octane Demo Version, but all the exporter versions work.
As for an Octane integration, it was asked months ago in the Octane forum if there was an intrested developer, he’d get the Octane API and help, but there was simply no one intrested in the task. It was asked in this forum as well.
AFAIK it was never RS plan to make all the exporters themselves, but to get a developer from the various communities to create all the integrations. Besides the ongoing issue with Blender having a “too restrictive license” you’d need some versatile skilled coder, knowing about licenses able to link libraries properly and working most likely for free.
Let’s face it, I don’t see many blenderheads shelling out 100 Euro to get the integration plugin, many don’t even have Octane as 99 Euro is something to seriously think about as there are plenty free “alternatives”.
Personally I think free community driven plugins are “usually better”. Blender is pretty much a perpetual beta as it gets new features with every release.
If you offer any commercial thing for Blender you’d have to maintain it at least for all the official releases which is cumbersome. You’ll have only a few choises:
Say that the purchase only includes updates for the next 10 Blender releases, or a Year - people will think twice buying it.
Say that the purchase only includes updates for the major stable relases - people will ask themselfes: “What’s that?” The last major stable release was what? 2.49b? I’d say the next big stable release will be 2.7? No updates till then for a plugin? Nah, not buying that one.
You could also support the plugin to a Blender version of your choosing and then say, here’s a new version of the plugin, the old one will not be supported any longer… Customers will jump your throat, but that’s the only way to somehow cover your development costs.
Or the developer is stuck forever maintaining a plugin for each and every Blender release, sometimes it might only be one function to change, sometimes it might be days of work to fix it.
I bought BSurfaces and SuicidatorCityEngine, both great plugins and well maintained, but I am sure with each new Blender version their profit becomes few and less.
Suicidator purchase is up to excluding (which I find rather odd) V1.0. The question is if I just don’t get a new version anymore, of if the old version I own is abandoned as well and not maintained to work with newer Blender versions as well.
BSurfaces I am not sure how it works or will be working.
In both cases they offer a great price to performance ratio and will always work with the right Blender version so I don’t care too much.
I think you get my point and I stop before drifting further off course