A lot of people especially those who are new to the world of 3D modelling, animation or design want to know why there is a sort of universal hatred directed towards Autodesk the giant software company.
We will try to answer this question: ” why people hate Autodesk?” by giving you an overview of what Autodesk is and how through its behaviour and policies became one of the most hated software companies in the world.
We can break down the answer into 6 very important reasons why this has been the case. And you probably want to watch the next ten minutes if you want to avoid certain things that will prove to be very important for you if you want to have a career or create a business related to 3D modelling or design.
Autodesk is a Huge Business
In order to understand why people hate Autodesk, we need first to have a general idea of what it is first.
it is a company that was founded in 1982 by John Walker, who was a co-author of the first versions of AutoCAD which is the company’s flagship computer-aided design. Over the years Autodesk developed many pieces of software that helped it make a truckload of money but it bought and acquired many 3d computer-aided design and 3d animation software as well. People did not seem to have an issue with how Autodesk conducted business until the last fifteen years or so. when it started to become even bigger.
Autodesk is a publicly-traded company meaning it has to perform better every year to increase revenue for its shareholders and keep clients happy at the same time.
so in the attempt to do so it has to create a balance and keep everyone happy, but it seems like over the years many users started to express their concerns that Autodesk grew detached from serving the best interest of their clients especially single users and small business owners. one of the things they complained about is the rate at which new tools and features where added to let them do thier work faster and more efficiently and this takes us to the next point.
5. Lack of development
Over the years computer graphics technology has grown so fast but Autodesk customers did not feel like it was doing a great job at keeping them updated with better and new tools and features. and that led many of them to switch to other alternatives especially those who work as freelancers or have independent businesses.
But those who worked at studios had to use Autodesk’s software because it is industry standard and many studios did and still use it as an essential part of their pipelines.
We are not saying that the software is not good, on the contrary, it is great because it helped many artists and studios to finish a big portion of the projects in many industries but when you see only a few insignificant features added to the software you use you start asking questions.
for example in Autodesk’s media and entertainment division, users of software such as 3Ds Max did not really see that many changes that can be considered a good push forward untill the last few years where little by little we are seeing improvements that can be considered worthwhile.
4. Perpetual license VS subscriptions
in the past 3D software users used to pay perpetual licences to use software but all that changed when Autodesk decided to switch to selling their software as a service to their customers under the SAAS Model.
Under which users have to pay monthly or yearly subscriptions. this change was not welcomed by many users and affected Autodesk’s revenue negatively in the short term when they announced it back in 2016.
but from that point to this date Autodesk’s revenue went through the roof because clients had to keep paying consistently. but a good portion of those clients were not happy about it.
Check our detailed article about this, here: https://inspirationtuts.com/pirated-autodesk-software/
3. Understanding the Community
Many people say that The problem is that Autodesk does not understand the community. especially when it comes to media and entertainment, things are changing fast as the industry moves forward.
Autodesk hasn’t understood the community for a very long time at least for the last decade or so. Dozens of examples can show why that is the case but I think everyone has already noticed that themselves especially those who have been around long enough, and if you do not understand the community in which you derive part of your business revenue then there will be always complaints and people will feel like they are underserved which means less business and less profit.
I am not saying that making money or profiting is bad. I don’t think Autodesk is evil because they want to maximize theirs. That’s normal. Even the way they sometimes try to maximize it.
It’s part of the business world and they are not doing something illegal. The problem is that they don’t understand the business they are in from the point of view of the community.
They don’t understand their customer’s needs either to the extent that makes the majority happy. of course, you can’t make one hundred per cent of the people happy but at least if you make 80 or 90 per cent satisfied it means you are listening.
At no point in time has the 3D customers as a whole been in such turmoil with so many people upset, angry, and pissed off beyond words.
Some artists that have been using Autodesks software complained that the company created enough ill feelings and frustration and anxiety for its customers in this community.
2. They buy everything
In the last 20 years or so Autodesk has become famous in the computer graphics community for buying as many pieces of software as they can, not only that but they acquire the whole companies with their employees and the technologies they have been working on.
Many people seem to repeat the same saying about Autodesk which goes something like this: if you can’t compete with the competition just buy them.
Autodesk now has tremendous buying power and they have been demonstrating that throughout the years, But people don’t have a problem with that they have a problem with what happens to the software they use when it becomes a property of Autodesk.
Some of the terrible things that can happen to software when acquired by giant software corporations are, first, they can get stagnant in their development because the buyer wants to make a return on investment with little to no effort of development.
Second, they can be integrated into another piece of software after harvesting their technology which will force uses to use that Software or use another package completely.
Third which is the worst option, the acquired software can get discontinued which is the worst nightmare for many users who rely on it in their careers or their businesses which leads us to the next point.
1. Discontinued software
Over the 40 years so Autodesk has been in business, it acquired and discontinued many pieces of design and animation 3D software, some of them were a failure but others were on top of their game.
And this is the case for Softimage, one of the most intuitive 3D software for working on VFX for film and making video games. It was unfortunately discontinued in 2015 after it was bought from AVid technology in 2008.
Lots of Softimage users were looking elsewhere and vowing to not spend a single penny on Autodesk.
Some people began using other software and sometimes paying more elsewhere just to avoid going through the same sense of frustration again.
Some people went through a journey of switching the main 3D software they used for work in a way that made them feel trapped and out of control.
For example, some artists were using 3ds max or Maya but switched later to Softimage because they did not like the way that Autodesk managed its development, to find themselves again under the mercy of Autodesk when Softimage was bought in 2008.
This is not the worse part because a few years later in 2015 Softimage was discontinued which forced them to go back to using 3ds max or Maya.
We are not saying that Autodesk’s software is bad but the way things happen when Autodesk is in charge does not always make people feel like they are having the best experience they can get.
The problem is not in changing software itself but if you consider the many years they spent going from being competent in one product to becoming competent in another, and then another and then having that stomped out, you will understand how impactful this is on one’s career or business.
Again I am not saying that Autodesk is evil or something like that because this is part of a big game called business and making money but Countless Softimage proficient artists suddenly found themselves less employable and had a limited amount of time to start getting real competent and proficient using “other” tools, forced to make a decision that will impact their careers after they had already made a decision that positively impacted their careers before.
Countless small businesses/boutiques and “one-man shops” that relied on Softimage to put food on the table suddenly had to deal with the reality of how Autodesk decides to deal with their customers.
Many smaller businesses were looking at massive costs of overhauling their pipelines, retraining people, finding qualified artists, and so on. and this is just one of the most obvious examples that many Autodesk users know about.
This video was not created to damage the image of Autodesk or make it look bad because I don’t want it to lose its customers even though I am sure that some people want it to be burned to the ground.
We are just addressing the opinions of some users in the community backed up with some documented facts from recent history.
I did not want to create this video because this content is not the most positive or uplifting, but I think it can help some people get an idea about why generally speaking Autodesk is hated because this question is asked frequently.
I have nothing against Autodesk and am not a victim of the things that am talking about in this video because I do believes that as long as you are not violating the law or trying to hurt people intentionally without a reason you are free to do whatever you want but it does not mean that I agree on it or like it.
If you are an Autodesk software user and you are happy with the results you are getting, good for you, keep doing that and good luck in your career or business, and if you don’t like their software or you don’t agree with their policies you are welcome not to use their stuff because there are many alternatives even free ones both for 3D animation like Blender or other Design, and engineering CAD software.