Autodesk Announces Monthly Mudbox 2015 Subscription Plan Aimed at Indie Game Market

Clearly experimenting with different ways to target different markets, Autodesk is offering a standalone desktop subscription to its painting and sculpting software Mudbox 2015.

Autodesk is addressing indie game developers with this offer, noting that Mudbox is the beginning of a workflow that can see models created in Mudbox imported into Maya LT 2015 for additional work, and then exported to a game engine such as Unity where the project is completed.

A perpetual license of Mudbox is $495, meaning it'll take a little more than four years of continuous use for the desktop subscription to cost as much as buying the software outright. For artists who need extra licenses of Mudbox to work on a project for just a few months — or even a couple of years — at a time, it looks like a pretty good deal.

The move is reminiscent of Adobe's decision last September to bundle Photoshop with Lightroom for just $9.99 month, an easier pill to swallow than the $49.99 monthly charge for the entire Creative Cloud suite. However, Adobe still bills that as a "limited time" offer. 

Some customers have complained bitterly about the industry's move to a subscription model, but investors seem happy with the results so far. Both Autodesk and Adobe stock hit all-time highs earlier in 2014, as the companies shared revenue forecasts from their subscription initiatives with shareholders.

And the pay-as-you-go model is definitely gaining traction. You can see it in the offerings of vendors like Assimilate, which offers annual subscriptions as well as rental licenses by the month, week, or even the day, and Red Giant, whose recently launched Red Giant Universe community has some free benefits but also includes a paid subscription tier for full access to all plug-ins included in the offering.