Skip to content

Clip Studio Paint 2.0: So Many Bad Options for Long-Time Users

No Comments

I’ve been thinking about the changes in Clip Studio Paint’s business model, and it’s remarkable just how very shitty ALL of the options they offer are. It takes imagination to think of SEVERAL different ways to screw the people who bought perpetual licenses, and encourage them to NOT give you money. If you are someone who bought CSP 1.x, here are your options:

1) You can just stop upgrading when 2.0 comes out. Which means that when/if Celsys ever brings their lettering tools up to par… too bad.

2) You can buy 2.0 for full price. But when 2.1 comes out (not 3.0… but the very next any-new-features update)… you have to pay full price again. They typically release new features like this a couple times a year, which has been great… until now. Even if you only upgrade once a year, that’s $219 for the EX version. That’s EXPENSIVE for maybe a handful of features that are actually useful to you. It’s like they’re begging you to scrutinize upgrades judgmentally, and maybe wait until 2.8 or whatever when there are enough reasons to be worth $219. (Also, because I use CSP on multiple computers – a drawing tablet sucks for lettering, and a full-size tablet sucks for travel – multiply that out.)

3) You can buy annual “update passes” which (they promise) will be less expensive. These will allow you to install 2.0, then 2.1 when it comes out, and so on. But if you ever stop buying them: BAM! You have to go all the way back to VERSION 1 (assuming that still runs on your future OS). If any of your files depend on new features… Celsys says you’ll probably still be able to open them, but it’s hard to guess what will happen. Like, if they improve the lettering tools to allow distorted text… maybe it’ll go back to being straight? Who knows. This is, frankly, the most unethical option they’re offering: if you’ve paid for updates, you should be allowed to keep them.

4) You can switch to their software rental model (which is of course their preference). For example: one license of CSP EX is $72/year, and two is discounted a little at $99. This is effectively the same thing as option 3 (which has no multiple-seat discounts), so I’m not sure why they’re bothering with that one. If you stop subscribing, the software just stops working completely, but your version 1 license should still work, I assume.

There are also some details in this announcement about support periods and bug fixes. Those patches will still be free, and they’ve committed to fixing known bugs in version 1 until version 3 comes out, and version 2 will be supported until version 4. That’s all very reasonable. They can’t be expected to keep fixing old software indefinitely. Their policies about not supporting certain old versions of Windows and MacOS are also reasonable: they don’t promise it will work correctly, but they don’t stop you from trying.

Product update flowchart