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Autodesk discontinues Stingray

Friday, December 15th, 2017 | Posted by Jim Thacker

 
Autodesk is to stop sales and development of its Stingray game engine from January 7 2018.

The software will continue to be bundled with Maya LT, and users will still receive tech support, but no new features will be added, and product functionality “cannot be guaranteed after January 7”.

Dropped in favour of greater collaboration with Unity and Unreal Engine
The news that Autodesk is to discontinue Stingray comes just two and a half years after its launch.

While the the engine survived the company’s cull of its other games middleware earlier this year, that proved to be a temporary stay of execution, given Autodesk’s recent round of job cuts.

From the start, Stingray faced tough competition from more established free game engines: something Autodesk acknowledges in its FAQs document about the decision.

“Our customers are increasingly standardizing on two game engines, Unity and Unreal Engine, for both games and VR/AR authoring,” it states. “Both engines have built extensive content and resource ecosystems for developers to leverage. We feel we can better serve our customers by working more closely with Unity and Unreal Engine rather than trying to develop our own alternative.”

The last release of the engine, Stingray 1.9, will continue to be bundled with Maya LT, Autodesk’s game-dev-focused edition of Maya – “for now”, at least – but there will be no further updates.

Implications for 3ds Max Interactive
When Autodesk first acquired the technology that would become Stingray from game developer Bitsquid, back in 2014, it also pitched the technology at architectural visualisation, not just game development.

Accordingly, 3ds Max 2018.1, released earlier this year, introduced 3ds Max Interactive, a new “VR engine” with Stingray “at its core”.

Although 3ds Max Interactive got an update last week to accompany the release of 3ds Max 2018.4, the new features were largely those from Stingray 1.9.

Autodesk’s FAQs don’t state explicitly state whether 3ds Max Interactive will itself see any future updates, but we’ve contacted the company and will update when we hear back.

Updated: Autodesk told us: “Like any feature, [3ds Max Interactive] will be developed based on usage and user feedback. As a public company, we can’t reference roadmap specifics.”

Read Autodesk’s FAQs document about its descision to discontinue Stingray

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14 responses to “Autodesk discontinues Stingray”

  1. EBR said:

    Please Autodesk, do the graphics industry a favor. Sell your content creation assets to companies that will take good care of them (Maya, Max, Motionbuilder…)
    Then die.

    4:16 pm on Friday, December 15, 2017

  2. Kabelo Rammidi said:

    Why should anyone be shocked? Autodesk is just doing what it does best. From the onset I had reservations about learning Stingray, and rightlyfully so. I just knew Autodesk would pull a “Softimage” on its customers. I mean how did they even think they could compete against Unreal, a game engine that’s for all intents and purposes practically free???

    4:54 pm on Friday, December 15, 2017

  3. alias survivor said:

    The Autodesk strategy to acquire promising product and to kill them shortly afterwards continues. Do you remember Discreet Combustion, Realviz (Imagemodeler, Matchmover Pro), Softimage (!!!), Mudbox (?), Turtle (?),…..The list is remarkable and so many programmers and artists are left behind with nothing but frustration.

    4:51 am on Saturday, December 16, 2017

  4. tom said:

    Great move. Time to focus on the core products.

    7:52 am on Saturday, December 16, 2017

  5. small houdini said:

    Why does AD wonder about their revenues decay ? They proved unreliable in every way. One needs to invest a lot of time to properly learn something like Softimage. But then it suddenly disappears. One spends a lot of money to build an infrastructure around some software pipeline, but then it is suddenly switched from permanent to rent. Many people cannot afford the rent in the future. AD promissed so many things that never happend and did something completely different. If AD were a human being, I would call this a “narcissistic personality disorder”,

    7:26 am on Monday, December 18, 2017

  6. Maverick said:

    Autodesk. Destroyers of acquisitions. They were seriously better off never buying this game engine. Which is what I said the very day they broke news that they had bought this engine. They think all they have to do to compete with another product on the market, is simply by a product. They know nothing about caring and fostering their acquisitions. And then they wonder why people are increasingly caring lot less about Autodesk anymore these days. But I shouldn’t just blame Autodesk of this buy-and-kill behavior. Adobe, Microsoft, and sometimes even Google all do it, too.

    8:30 am on Monday, December 18, 2017

  7. Maverick said:

    Oh, and Autodesk should just release this game engine as free and open-source. Don’t just kill a usable product. At the least, release it if you’re not going to be using it anymore. The least they could do, for all that hard work poured into creating the engine.

    8:31 am on Monday, December 18, 2017

  8. EBR said:

    The lesson AD seems to be trying to teach every professional out there: stay away from our products.
    You don’t want to be spending time and money in learning our apps and building your pipelines around some software that we will kill any day on a whim.
    Is there any other company out there that is hated as much by its own users? Is that something that worries the AD suits? Probably not.

    4:19 pm on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

  9. satno said:

    for sure autodesk is the worst cg company ever..never forget softimage

    6:05 am on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  10. Tim Catalano said:

    here lies the danger of autodesks horrible subscription model. you have a few weeks before you can’t even use the software anymore. boy, is it even safe to make any investments into other data generated by any autodesk software? because where’s the limits that prevent autodesk from pulling the plug on any software it holds now? you used to be able to keep that old version on an old workstation for times you needed to access it in the future, but with what the faq’s say, seems like all is permanently lost unless you’ve actually shipped your product by then…

    3:32 pm on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  11. EBR said:

    Good point Catalano.
    Companies like AD and Adobe impose these subscription models because they’re currently the artificial “standard” borne of their omnipotent monopoly in the industry. So they are literally bullying their own customers.
    Users are not powerless to change this, we can vote with our wallets.
    They’re other options out there, many of them open source, some even free.
    Make your voices be heard.

    8:40 pm on Wednesday, December 20, 2017

  12. Daluz said:

    Next 3D MAX!

    11:54 am on Thursday, December 21, 2017

  13. Sound said:

    I agree with Daluz. One more indication is that AD cut a lot of their expenses in R&D, a truly stupid idea. This will only accelerate their suizid process. My guess is that after 3 more years 3D Max will abruptly be killed very much like Softimage before…..if not earlier.

    7:53 am on Friday, December 22, 2017

  14. J-Dog said:

    Wow, so much hostility from people who probably only understand about 5% of what was behind this decision. If you are a Max user, which most former Stingray users are, you haven’t lost anything at all. You actually can be confident that AD is investing more focus into Stingray as an integrated part of Max and will continue to develop it as a VR and visualization platform for those users specifically. I understand the frustration of losing access to products you may have invested time and money on… but that’s life! Stingray was not sustainable as a standalone and let’s face it, AD is a business and sometimes businesses have to make unpopular decisions in order to be profitable! That’s right… you are free to use Unity or Unreal, so go do it already. Sheesh, you’d have thought they killed the family pet the way you all whine about it.

    5:28 pm on Friday, December 29, 2017

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