The tune has certainly changed over at The Plant Factory’s blog. Whether it is a sensible distillation of the overwhelmingly blood curdling response from the blog’s angry mob, and the probable torrent of emails, or whether it was the more mild-tempered feedback from pre-release adopters (or some combination of the two), but E-on has relaxed a number of the harsh feature restrictions.
Changes for The Plant Factory Pre-Release II
TPF Studio users will now enjoy full node and graph capabilities that were previously restricted only to Producer. Essentially this means that users of Studio can now produce the same content they would be able to with the Producer version.
Plant Factory Designer replaces Plant Factory for Vue
With all the features of the previously announced PFfV, Designer users will now be able to export static objects as FPX, OBJ, and 3DS formats.
Pre-Release II will be available on Monday, 10th of June and the new price will be $595 for one week after release – still a discount of $400.
A move in the right direction
E-on have undoubtedly won many users with their alterations. Many will be happy that they no longer have to fork out almost $1500 for a product they spent months reading about with every teasing post. Being able to settle with a fully featured TPF, just without the fancy compositing/rendering capabilities, for $995 (or $396 if you grab it now) will settle a lot of bad blood. For some, the final price tag will still be much too high, which I tend to agree with, especially considering that objects created with any version of TPF cannot be distributed outside Cornucopia 3D. Given the price of the software one can still only ask, WTF?
In a post on the blog, one responder pointed out that free redistribution of TPF products would be commercial suicide for e-on. If people could just go out and buy plants from any old back alley brokerage, then why would anyone need to buy the software in the first place? How would e-on be compensated for their fabulous software development?
Umm… are we serious here? This sort of thinking plays right into the hands of e-on, and simply just doesn’t fly. Clients and content consumers are always hungry for new varieties and unique content. Artists always want/need to create new from scratch. If free distribution of content killed sales of content creation software then why is there so much software out there, and why are these suicidal developers constantly updating it?
E-on are certainly heading in the right direction here, but are they more concerned with creating tools (to sell at enormous cost – think upgrades here too people), or with establishing themselves as a content distribution service which? If the latter, it would be greatly appreciated if they dropped the price of such software.