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Affinity V2, updates, pricing and no subscription (moved)


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Thank you for this - it is very clear and I hope that those who are complaining all read it in order to understand the rationale. I think the vast majority understand the difficulties and that Serif is still a remarkably small outfit. I look forward to the V1 to V2 upgrade 'thank you' bundle. 😀

Ali 🙂

Hobby photographer.
Running Affinity Suite V2 on Windows 11 17" HP Envy i7 (8th Gen) & Windows 11 MS Surface Go 3 alongside MS365 (Insider Beta Channel).

 

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Above all, I would like to thank you for this reply to your user base.  I am sure not all would agree with me, but you presented these issues in a timely and honest comment and I agree with all of your explanations.  Having owned/operated a small business for 53 years dealing with the public I know for a fact you cannot please everyone.  But your team has done an extraordinary job.  You all should be pleased.  Thanks.

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The Affinity software is an integral part of my workflow for 4 years now. Keeping up with giants is not easy, but even with such a compact team, you're making big waves in the creative industry which is commendable. The suite of apps is moving in the right direction and I can't wait to see what's possible with the overhauled codebase moving forward. I happily upgraded to V2 on the day of release and it's been an overall great experience so far. Thank you for your continued user-focused approach!

Affinity Photo 2.0.0 for Windows  OS: Windows 10 Pro x64 ver. 22H2  CPU: AMD Threadripper 3970X 32-core 4.5 Ghz  RAM: 64 GB 3800 Mhz  GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Suprim X 24GB / driver 526.86  NVMe SSD Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB  Monitors: 2x Eizo ColorEdge CS2420 24"

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Thanks for this no subscription model..

And one major thing you guys are missing is the language support..please find a solution to bring Indic languages font support...it will open a big market for you.. imagine a country like india starts using affinity..it will boost your economy as well..

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I for one was happy to pay for the new Universal Licence, to me the 40% discounted price represents fantastic value for money considering what we are getting for it. Everyone gets the same offer price - personally, I am happy with that.

In my mind it looks like this:

3x macOS apps at £25 each

3x iOS apps at £5 each

BARGAIN!

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I think this is a clear explanation. I'd already thought the Apple relationship might be part of the reason why taking everyone to the store might cause more problems. After all you are receiving special recognition and it would be silly to think this doesn't help you with funding the program with sales.

I wish we could have received this more "in touch with customers" approach earlier on. I think most would really would benefit from more regular direct responses from Serif. Even if it's lighthearted, it's what some need to feel like the company has their back and is looking after them. That's the feeling I get from interacting with both supporters and critics (many are well-intentioned imv). This should become the norm. Many do want to see you succeed as a company, have good rapport with the staff. Even the more critical posters are just trying to be helpful. So please try to not to take it completely personally though I know easier said than done "social" media culture.

That said, I can only speak for myself. I appreciated the initial 40% offer. I never felt like I wasn't appreciated. I could see 100% why it was not feasible from the IT end, given the sheer size of the company being a postage stamp and the response here. I thought if there was a response, y'all would make it right somehow if you could. Also, the size of the response to V2 should also be telling of the important work you are doing.

Regardless, thank you for all that you do ❤️ We (our household) are grateful to this end because with every update, my job and other workflows gets easier to do. My husband does hobby-related editing. For us, every update is exciting and are rooting for a great alternative to succeed in this space.

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Thank you for your words Ash - Affinity is the basis of my project and I cannot work without Publisher - Despite some of the quirks the trio are one of the best software in their respective fields - I think it would be better when and where possible to have the BETA testing public to avoid any hiccups and making the software far more robust - Furthermore do a survey on the most frequently requested features once in a while would be great. I personally feel it is often ignored with a "currently no plans to introduce such feature..." is not helpful. A prime example would be RTL Support. 

The universal licence is good but not always useful as for example I don't use a mac or an iPad so - I don't benefit from it. (Even though I have bought V2). 

Like many here I started my design with Serif Page Plus in the 90s - so as far as loyalty is concerned you have mine because your software is actually very good and intuitive, coupled with the videos - So you have 3 GEMS which I used EVERYDAY. 

Let's move forward and thank you once again.

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If you had posted this message a month before the release of v2, you would not have had so many negative reactions. Communication with customers is very important.

I'm sure everyone likes cheap software, but I'd rather pay more (even a subscription) if it meant better, faster development and more features for pro users.

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13 minutes ago, Sam Neil said:

Thank you for your words Ash - Affinity is the basis of my project and I cannot work without Publisher - Despite some of the quirks the trio are one of the best software in their respective fields - I think it would be better when and where possible to have the BETA testing public to avoid any hiccups and making the software far more robust - Furthermore do a survey on the most frequently requested features once in a while would be great. I personally feel it is often ignored with a "currently no plans to introduce such feature..." is not helpful. A prime example would be RTL Support. 

The universal licence is good but not always useful as for example I don't use a mac or an iPad so - I don't benefit from it. (Even though I have bought V2). 

Like many here I started my design with Serif Page Plus in the 90s - so as far as loyalty is concerned you have mine because your software is actually very good and intuitive, coupled with the videos - So you have 3 GEMS which I used EVERYDAY. 

Let's move forward and thank you once again.

+1 these suggestions

Edit: We do technically do get betas, but they're fairly finalized by time we could have input on implementation. Serif could benefit from a closed beta program for features being tested very early on if they couldn't cope with the response of a public version. That might help also give confidence for tackling more difficult/long-standing bugs and missing features.

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7 hours ago, Ash said:

Hi All,

Well, it’s been a pretty crazy week since the launch of V2!

This has been a real labour of love for us over the last year or so, and I can’t even begin to describe how hard the development team have worked on it. Not only getting the V2 apps launched, but also of course finally bringing Publisher to iPad. 

With this being our first paid-for upgrade there has understandably been a lot of feedback / questions around future updates and our pricing policies. I thought it was worth addressing / clarifying our position on some of these personally...

Updates to V2 moving forward

Buying V2 not only gets you all the new features you have seen, but we have various updates planned – including many more new features and improvements – which you will get for free. This will continue until such a time that V3 is released. We’re not sure exactly when V3 will be, but I can confirm we are not going to move to anything as regular as an annual upgrade cycle as has been speculated.

It’s worth saying too that V2 does include many under-the-hood changes to our underlying technology, and we have also been investing in several new areas of research recently. Some of these haven’t manifested themselves into new features yet, but overall V2 does give us a better platform to develop on moving forward and I’m sure you will be pleased with the updates V2 will receive.

Updates to V1 moving forward

While we did say on the FAQ that V1 would no longer receive any updates, I want to clarify that was about new feature updates. We will be updating V1 to fix any critical problems caused by operating system updates in the future. So if the next version of macOS breaks V1 we will endeavour to fix it. There will be a point in time when continuing to maintain V1 in this way will not be tenable, but certainly for the foreseeable future we will continue to patch. In fact, we have an update to V1 queued up for release very shortly with some fixes for Ventura and issues caused by a recent Windows security / quality update. 

We will update our FAQ shortly to make that clearer for everyone.

Offer period

In case you didn’t see, I’m pleased to confirm we have decided to run this initial launch offer until 14th December to give everyone the best chance possible to get it if they wish / have a decent amount of time to trial it. 

Upgrade pricing

It’s been really hard to see some of the comments about us not looking after our existing customers – we’re pretty devasted that anyone feels like that to be honest. But the fact is we felt our hands were tied somewhat with being able to offer upgrade pricing in a fair way. The main reason for this was App Store customers (which make up around 35% of our userbase). The problems with that are two-fold: firstly, we didn’t have a way from within V1 to validate an App Store purchase receipt to reliably ensure customers who were entitled to an upgrade could get one; and secondly, we could not find a good way for people to get that discount via the App Store. Us pushing upgrade customers to go exclusively via our own site (including customers who were previously acquired via the app stores) may also have put us in violation of App Store Ts & Cs which we were obviously concerned about.

I’m not saying that these issues were completely insurmountable, but any solutions we came up with would be messy, and most importantly could have resulted in some bona fide V1 customers struggling to get validated and claim their discount. We certainly don’t have the support resource here if we ended up needing to manually validate tens of thousands of receipts for example.

The only option we felt was safe to move forward with was a general launch offer, which would guarantee that every V1 customer could get the discount, whether they purchased directly through us or the App Stores. We knew a side effect of that would mean some new customers would end up receiving that same discount – but we felt that was a better option than V1 customers missing out. It’s also worth saying that while there has been some good press about V2, all our main marketing has been via email and through social media to our followers. In other words, we felt ok about it because we knew the vast majority of people who would find out about it or take advantage of the offer would be existing customers. I would be surprised if over the offer period customers upgrading from V1 didn’t make up more than 90% of our sales.

Overall I do believe us giving a 40% discount, along with the addition of the new Universal Licence of course, is offering fantastic value for money for those who want to upgrade. 

However, taking on board some of the feedback there is something extra we can do – we will offer a new free bundle of content exclusively for V1 customers upgrading to V2 as an extra thank you for your support. I’ve seen this suggested by a number of customers and it’s a great idea as it does remove the App Store conflict entirely. 

We’ll need a little time to put something together, but all customers who previously registered or purchased V1 and have since upgraded to V2 will receive a voucher code for this via email as soon as we can.

A comment on no subscription

I do want to say that some of the points above are exactly the reason why software companies move to subscription. Whatever you do with upgrade pricing, you still have the issue of customers who bought the previous version 3 months ago vs. those who have had it 2+ years. Offering perpetual licences also gives the additional overhead of needing to maintain the previous version longer than you would if everyone was on subscription / generally always on the latest version.

We are a small team so some of these complications are not ideal — all we really want to do is focus on developing our latest codebase, push out regular updates and continue with our mission to make great creative software accessible to everyone. 

But it does need to be funded somehow. We know you love our no-subscription model, but there also needs to be a level of appreciation that the alternative is having paid-for upgrades from time to time. That unfortunately comes with its own problems.

All of that said, I have to say we have been blown away with the response to V2 - around 3 times as many people have upgraded in the last week than we expected - and we really can't thank you enough for the support you have shown. More than anything the success of this upgrade puts us in a great place to continue investing heavily in development which is ultimately what it's all about, and we’re super excited to crack on with some great updates coming next year!

All the best,

Ash

Thanks Ash,

V2 upgrade it’s truly great and makes me have certainty in the future of the apps. But there are still a few missing features which are basic and I hope Serif is generous enough to release them before v3. I’m mainly talking about Mesh or Freeform gradients, they’re absolutely necessary. Variable fonts and image trace are also greatly missed in V2. I have hope that V2 would still bring us these highly requested features that would make affinity apps even more awesome.

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43 minutes ago, Ash said:

 

Hi All,

Well, it’s been a pretty crazy week since the launch of V2!

This has been a real labour of love for us over the last year or so, and I can’t even begin to describe how hard the development team have worked on it. Not only getting the V2 apps launched, but also of course finally bringing Publisher to iPad. 

With this being our first paid-for upgrade there has understandably been a lot of feedback / questions around future updates and our pricing policies. I thought it was worth addressing / clarifying our position on some of these personally...

Updates to V2 moving forward

Buying V2 not only gets you all the new features you have seen, but we have various updates planned – including many more new features and improvements – which you will get for free. This will continue until such a time that V3 is released. We’re not sure exactly when V3 will be, but I can confirm we are not going to move to anything as regular as an annual upgrade cycle as has been speculated.

It’s worth saying too that V2 does include many under-the-hood changes to our underlying technology, and we have also been investing in several new areas of research recently. Some of these haven’t manifested themselves into new features yet, but overall V2 does give us a better platform to develop on moving forward and I’m sure you will be pleased with the updates V2 will receive.

Updates to V1 moving forward

While we did say on the FAQ that V1 would no longer receive any updates, I want to clarify that was about new feature updates. We will be updating V1 to fix any critical problems caused by operating system updates in the future. So if the next version of macOS breaks V1 we will endeavour to fix it. There will be a point in time when continuing to maintain V1 in this way will not be tenable, but certainly for the foreseeable future we will continue to patch. In fact, we have an update to V1 queued up for release very shortly with some fixes for Ventura and issues caused by a recent Windows security / quality update. 

We will update our FAQ shortly to make that clearer for everyone.

Offer period

In case you didn’t see, I’m pleased to confirm we have decided to run this initial launch offer until 14th December to give everyone the best chance possible to get it if they wish / have a decent amount of time to trial it. 

Upgrade pricing

It’s been really hard to see some of the comments about us not looking after our existing customers – we’re pretty devasted that anyone feels like that to be honest. But the fact is we felt our hands were tied somewhat with being able to offer upgrade pricing in a fair way. The main reason for this was App Store customers (which make up around 35% of our userbase). The problems with that are two-fold: firstly, we didn’t have a way from within V1 to validate an App Store purchase receipt to reliably ensure customers who were entitled to an upgrade could get one; and secondly, we could not find a good way for people to get that discount via the App Store. Us pushing upgrade customers to go exclusively via our own site (including customers who were previously acquired via the app stores) may also have put us in violation of App Store Ts & Cs which we were obviously concerned about.

I’m not saying that these issues were completely insurmountable, but any solutions we came up with would be messy, and most importantly could have resulted in some bona fide V1 customers struggling to get validated and claim their discount. We certainly don’t have the support resource here if we ended up needing to manually validate tens of thousands of receipts for example.

The only option we felt was safe to move forward with was a general launch offer, which would guarantee that every V1 customer could get the discount, whether they purchased directly through us or the App Stores. We knew a side effect of that would mean some new customers would end up receiving that same discount – but we felt that was a better option than V1 customers missing out. It’s also worth saying that while there has been some good press about V2, all our main marketing has been via email and through social media to our followers. In other words, we felt ok about it because we knew the vast majority of people who would find out about it or take advantage of the offer would be existing customers. I would be surprised if over the offer period customers upgrading from V1 didn’t make up more than 90% of our sales.

Overall I do believe us giving a 40% discount, along with the addition of the new Universal Licence of course, is offering fantastic value for money for those who want to upgrade. 

However, taking on board some of the feedback there is something extra we can do – we will offer a new free bundle of content exclusively for V1 customers upgrading to V2 as an extra thank you for your support. I’ve seen this suggested by a number of customers and it’s a great idea as it does remove the App Store conflict entirely. 

We’ll need a little time to put something together, but all customers who previously registered or purchased V1 and have since upgraded to V2 will receive a voucher code for this via email as soon as we can.

A comment on no subscription

I do want to say that some of the points above are exactly the reason why software companies move to subscription. Whatever you do with upgrade pricing, you still have the issue of customers who bought the previous version 3 months ago vs. those who have had it 2+ years. Offering perpetual licences also gives the additional overhead of needing to maintain the previous version longer than you would if everyone was on subscription / generally always on the latest version.

We are a small team so some of these complications are not ideal — all we really want to do is focus on developing our latest codebase, push out regular updates and continue with our mission to make great creative software accessible to everyone. 

But it does need to be funded somehow. We know you love our no-subscription model, but there also needs to be a level of appreciation that the alternative is having paid-for upgrades from time to time. That unfortunately comes with its own problems.

All of that said, I have to say we have been blown away with the response to V2 - around 3 times as many people have upgraded in the last week than we expected - and we really can't thank you enough for the support you have shown. More than anything the success of this upgrade puts us in a great place to continue investing heavily in development which is ultimately what it's all about, and we’re super excited to crack on with some great updates coming next year!

All the best,

Ash

Thanks for the V1 OS updates, but it’s a shame this wasn’t announced at the start - finding £90 for a time-limited offer to stop my existing purchases from becoming obsolete during a time of economic crisis has been stressful, and I’m afraid it’s dented my faith in the company, as has the harsh response to voicing my concerns on here. I no longer feel comfortable cheerleading your products to others, as I have done over the years.

Best of luck with V2, but unfortunately you’ve lost a loyal customer here. 

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Thank you for remaining subscription-free — seeing that you folks sold several times better than expected is awesome news. I hope many people are already leaving the dark side to join Affinity, with many more to join us still. All of us will not hesitate to purchase again to keep this beautiful software alive and independent. You’re the best!

StudioLink 256gb 11’ M1 iPad Pro 

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@AshI have enjoyed using Affinity Photo for several years and appreciate your more than generous pricing, the fantastic learning opportunities provided through the past years, the friendly and prompt in answering questions and solving problems over the years.  For me the Affinity team has always delivered a great product, lets me doing editing I would not be able to do otherwise, and enjoy improving my skills.  Thank you to your whole team.

Peace

Marvin

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31 minutes ago, monzo said:

Thanks for the V1 OS updates, but it’s a shame this wasn’t announced at the start - finding £90 for a time-limited offer to stop my existing purchases from becoming obsolete during a time of economic crisis has been stressful, and I’m afraid it’s dented my faith in the company, as has the harsh response to voicing my concerns on here. I no longer feel comfortable cheerleading your products to others, as I have done over the years.

Best of luck with V2, but unfortunately you’ve lost a loyal customer here. 

Would you have been happier if the update was announced a month earlier? And/ or if the termination date for the upgrade offering was announced in advance?

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For professionals, affinty is the best deal ever seen.
I pay 600€ per year for concurrent softwares... Since 2017, I have paid 3000€.
With Affinity, since July 2017, I have only paid €268.96. V2 included. In 5 years! V2 cost me less than V1. 🤣
I think Serif has an extremely respectable pricing policy and the best value for money.
Only one thing to say: Thank you! 🤘

Windows 10 21H2 -  Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-10750H CPU @ 2.60GHz   2.59 GHz - 16,0 Go - NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti

 

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20 minutes ago, Intuos5 said:

Would you have been happier if the update was announced a month earlier? And/ or if the termination date for the upgrade offering was announced in advance?

When the new products were launched, it was stated that updates for existing purchases were no longer going to be available (it was still being stated in the FAQ's up until yesterday). No updates to keep them secure and working for at least a transition period. So for the last week I've been faced with a £90 bill to stop my existing purchases from becoming obsolete. With everything else soaring in costs here, that has caused a certain amount of stress, added to by the limited discount offer timescale.

Ideally a transition period for keeping V1 purchases bug-fixed would have been announced and provided (no, I'm not expecting 'lifetime' updates) when the new products were released. Even better, some sort of upgrade/bundle/discount path (it can be done via the App Store, and certainly via Serif's own store) for existing customers, so there's at least a token acknowledgement that our previous support and cheerleading for the company (an understatement would be to say I've encouraged at least a hundred others to purchase their products over the years) is recognised and rewarded.

Neither of these things were provided.

Yes, £90 is a good deal, particularly for those that haven't already bought everything, but last week's policy of abandoning existing products overnight hardly gives me confidence in buying them all over again.

So yeah, it's not been a great experience for me this one - including the responses on this forum, and I'm guessing the people I've recommended their products to (including an organisation that were going to buy a number of desktop products a few months back) are feeling the same. I daren't ask them!

 

 

 

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Great text, great V2, Great Britain!

Thank you, Ash! Never seen such a transparent and customer-oriented approach in sofware industry (ok, industry does not really fit but perhaps in one year Serif is bigger than Adobe ~ almost in mind). 😻🤘👏

But: It was not fair to kill or hide the cat in the AD update! 🙀

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Appreciate the honest and open response. Much better than the silence during the V2 development period. I hope this sets the tone moving forward. 😊

Not that I disliked existing customer support (staff always responded kindly), but some openness helps to create a trustworthy and predictable relation towards customers. Thanks!

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