Kent Clark wrote in post #15905187
What incentive do they have for doing this? Before they had to make improvements to entice people to buy or upgrade. But if you're paying a monthly fee, no matter what, they have you hooked, whether they make improvements or not. They have no incentive at all.
To secure and hold onto market position. If they don't continue to push out new quality content, then users are going to lose faith and look at other options. We see this exact same thing in the video game industry with subscription based services.
Despite what many would tell you, Adobe isn't the only player in the industry, especially when it comes to the lighter edge of image editing that the majority of users are actually looking for. (I know far more people looking to adjust, crop, and do minor cloning work than I know who are creating major projects from scratch and really diving deep into all the tools Photoshop offers)
If Adobe sits on its hands, cuts development costs, and tries to simply milk things, then that just means that they will drive their customers into competitor's arms.
I work in software development, and honestly this subscription basis is a far better method of self funded projects. In a single payment licensing scheme it means that you lock your funding in and tie your hands. Your revenue stream becomes heavily focused on waves. Sure, you can make mad millions for the few months after a major release as everyone is upgrading, but then your revenue trickles off to nothing. Feast or famine, and those famines are what strangle your budget and design process. You don't know for sure how long a new feature, tool, or other part of your code base is going to take to actually develop, so you have to make educated guesses. You have to put down potentially good ideas that you can't be confident in being able to develop by a set milestone. After all, is this last income wave from the latest release going to fund 90% of the company till you can make your next big release? Will that next release be ready to ship in 12 months? Or will it be 16?
This subscription basis makes a stable and reliable income. If they're making X this month, odds are they're making X next month, and the months after. Probably more if the marketing department is doing its job right. With this reliable income you no longer have to worry as much about how you are going to pay expensive developers if multiple key features have major overruns in time requirements, because your income is steady. Development isn't paid for up front, it is paid for as it is being done. If things go sour, then you scale back your fringe projects and focus on the key money makers to bring your subscriptions back up to par.
This in turn means that you are more free to be creative and assign parts of the budget to projects that are traditionally "risky". In the last two years I have seen half a dozen game development companies do just this. They move from jumping from wave to wave of income, often on the razor's edge for finishing projects to try and get their next bit of major income to keep their business afloat, and they have switched to a far more quality centered approach. Gone are the "We have to ship this by the first of next month or we're likely going to go bankrupt", and instead I see them being far more open to delaying their next launch title for additional polishing and enhancement.
Canon EOS 7D | EF 28 f/1.8 | EF 85 f/1.8 | EF 70-200 f/4L | EF-S 17-55 | Sigma 150-500