Most of the updates we release are free for users that have purchased the most recent version of the plugin. However, because we are not subscription based (we still do that old fashioned perpetual license thing), if you don’t own the latest version of the plugin… you have to upgrade to it.
It requires a TON of work to keep software working with all the changes Apple, Adobe, Nvidia and everyone else keeps making. Most of this work we do for free because they’re small incremental changes. Every time you see Beauty Box v4.0.1 or 4.0.7 or 4.2.4 (the current one)… you can assume a lot of work went into that and you don’t have to pay anything. However, eventually the changes add up or Apple (most of the time it’s Apple) does some crazy thing that means we need to rewrite large portions of the plug-in. In either case, we rev the version number (i.e. 4.x to 5.0) and an upgrade is required.
We do not go back and ‘fix’ older versions of the software. We only update the most recent one. Such is the downside of Perpetual licenses. You can use that license forever, but if your host app or OS changes and that change breaks the version of the plugin you have… you need to upgrade to get a fix.
If one of your clients comes to you with a video you did for them in HD, and says ‘hey, I need this in 4K’. Would you redo the video for free? Probably not. They have a perpetual license for the HD version. It doesn’t entitle them to new versions of the video forever.
We want to support our customers. The reason we develop this stuff is because it’s awesome to see the cool things you all do with what we throw out there. If we didn’t have to do any work to maintain the software, we wouldn’t charge upgrade fees. Unfortunately, it is a lot of work. We want to support you, but if we go out of business, that’s probably not going to benefit either of us.
Apple may say it only takes two hours to recompile for Silicon and that may be true. But to go from that to a stable plugin that can be used in a professional environment and support different host apps and graphics cards and all that… it’s more like two months or more.
So, that’s why we charge upgrade fees. You’re paying for all the coding, design, and testing that goes into creating a professional product that you can rely on. Not too mention the San Francisco based support team to help you out with all of it. We’re here to help you be successful. The flipside is we need to do what’s necessary to make sure we’re successful ourselves.