Friday, February 28th, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk to end maintenance plans and multi-user subs

Autodesk is to discontinue maintenance plans for perpetual licences of its software, including 3ds Max and Maya, in May 2021, along with multi-user subscriptions to its products.

The company is also officially retiring its old Design & Creation Suites.

Users with existing maintenance plans or subscriptions with multi-user access can trade them for individual subscriptions, with users with network maintenance being able to trade for two new subs for a limited period.

The changes are being made as part of the company’s transition from subscriptions based on product serial numbers to subscriptions based on individual users.

Maintenance plans for old perpetual licences of Autodesk software end on 7 May 2021
Autodesk hasn’t sold new maintenance plans for its software since it ended perpetual licences in 2016.

Although users with existing plans could extend them in order to keep getting updates to perpetual licences, Autodesk has hiked up the prices steadily ever since, with a further 20% increase now due in May 2020.

This week’s announcement marks the official end of the line for maintenance – and therefore also for updates to legacy perpetual licences – with all existing plans being discontinued on 7 May 2021.

Autodesk previously announced that it plans to stop issuing new activation codes for any version of its software not covered by its product lifecycle policy.

For most Autodesk products, including 3ds Max and Maya, that means anything more than three versions old, which would mean that it would become impossible to reinstall old perpetual licences around 2025.

Old Design & Creation Suites discontinued in April 2020
As a corollary, the Design & Creation Suites, Autodesk’s old product bundles – replaced by the newer Industry Collections – are also being discontinued.

The final date to renew existing suites is 16 April 2020, with the final versions released to users that month.

Final date to buy multi-user subscriptions is 7 May 2020
Perhaps more surprisingly, Autodesk is also discontinuing product subscriptions with multi-user access.

The firm raised the cost of new multi-user subscriptions last month, but left the cost of renewing existing multi-user subs unchanged.

That now becomes something of a moot point, since no new two or three-year multi-user subscriptions will be sold after 29 February 2020, and no new annual multi-user subscriptions will be sold after 7 May 2020.

Updated 19 March 2020: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Autodesk has extended the sale of new multi-user subscriptions until 7 August 2020, and the last date to renew them to 7 August 2021.

Existing multi-user subscriptions will be discontinued entirely on 7 May August 2021.

Existing maintenance plans or multi-user subs can be switched to single-user subscriptions
Users with existing maintenance plans or multi-user subscriptions for Autodesk software are now being offered the chance to trade them in for individual-user subscriptions.

Anyone with a multi-user subscription or network maintenance seat can trade it for two new single-user subscriptions at a “similar SRP” to their existing payments.

That doubles the maximum number of people who can use the software simultaneously: currently, only one person can check out a seat of software at a time, although three people can use Autodesk cloud services.

The subscription renewal rate from the trade-in offer “will increase by no more than 5%” every other year until 2028, with no increase in SRP in even-numbered years.

However, that’s only if you make the trade on your first renewal after 7 May 2020: second time around, multi-user subscriptions and network maintenance plans can only be traded for one single-user subscription.

Read Autodesk’s official announcement of its move to subscriptions based on named users

Read Autodesk’s online FAQs about the end of maintenance plans and multi-user subscriptions