The rumor is… AvaStar pricing is going up. Gaia is having a problem supporting development and customer support. Something has to give. Development slows considerably or the price goes up. Various ideas have been voiced for how to price the tool with accompanying screams from the user base. But, that is to be expected whenever a merchant has to raise prices.
Gaia Clary says she is now working on Avatar and SL products full time. She has to make her living selling these products.
Gaia does not seem to be a fan of subscription pricing. So, I expect the initial purchase price on AvaStar 2.0 to jump up, but that has not been decided. The current US$27± price is not providing Gaia a living. So, will we see $100? May be. The final price is yet to be decided.
There is nothing that AvaStar does that cannot be done without it. AvaStar does cut the learning curve considerably. Plus frequent tasks that SL developers have to repeat have been scripted and several steps placed into a single button click. So, AvaStar provides significant time savings. Also, some scaling issues from the viewer’s XML shape export have been handled by AvaStar.
I suspect many of the gotchas in clothing design with Blender I’ve covered over the last couple of years are unknown by AvaStar users. The problems disappear as AvaStar handles them. I used to do tutorials on how to work around AvaStar and accomplish what it does (Example). Then I decided that paying $27 was a far more efficient solution for most. Especially for me as I consider myself a novice Blender user.
There are those in group discussion claiming poverty. If they had to pay $100 for AvaStar 2 then they would have to stop developing and their children would go hungry (someone actually said that). I don’t even know where to start on that one. I hate the entitlement mentality that breeds the idea some business person has to live in poverty too because another can’t figure out how to get out of poverty.
We don’t know what Gaia is going to decide about how she will handle pricing for AvaStar, JASS, and other products she makes. We are pretty certain from what she is saying the price is going to go up. Nor do we know what she is going to do about customer support. She doesn’t know either. But, there will likely be a user provided free support channel and a premium paid support channel.
I didn’t know about it, but there is a paid support channel now. Did you know that? Gaia says no one uses it… well… if no one knows about it…
So, recently she decided to talk pricing and support issues over with users in the Blender-Avastar SL group. I think she was pretty much disappointed in the result and regretting opening that discussion up by the time I left that discussion.
As the entitlement-me-first folks scream about how a business person making a decent living is hurting them, they fail to realize that at some point, if there is insufficient profit, the business closes and products stop coming – the basic Ayn Rand story in Atlas Shrugged. Gaia either spends all her time on SL products and makes a living or stops spending time on them and gets another job, which means we’re screwed.
Would I pay $100 for AvaStar 2? May be. I have been using it more and more. I plan and am in the process of building more things for the Market Place. I expect the Market place is going to serve both SL1 and SL2 or there will be a similar Market Place for SL2. I think many people will be buying content for SL2. I expect a boom time for merchants. So, AvaStar will be a tool that saves me time and allows me to do more.
I expect Gaia to create tools for SL2 development. But, only if she can make a living at it. She has to either be able to devote all her time to the SL products she makes or get her time commitment to where she can have another job and create SL tools as a hobby.
If I profit from Gaia’s work and my life is better, shouldn’t she too gain from her efforts and have a better life too? That is the idea behind a free society and free market. Each of us has to decide what is in our personal best interest and whether we will support Gaia’s efforts. I’ll be supporting Gaia… But, whether I buy AvaStar 2 is a matter of whether it makes economic sense for me and whether I have the money or not or can figure out how to get it.
The price change and cost for support will likely happen sometime in the next 12 months. So, don’t panic. Plus, your current versions of AvaStar, JASS, and whatever are NOT going to stop working. So, future purchases are your choice.