As you know, Allegorithmic, the developers of Substance Painter and Substance Designer (as well as other Substance-related services) was acquired by Adobe in January this year.
Seeing how Adobe has moved all of their applications to a subscription-based distribution model, users of Substance could only guess it was a matter of time before Adobe turned Substance products into a subscription service.
Last week, during Adobe Max, Adobe made the switch, and now Substance products are part of a subscription service. There is, however, a couple of things worth mentioning.
If you visit the new Substance website you can find the subscribe button in the top right corner.
There are three different subscription tiers (one being a subscription specific for big companies), and the subscriptions allow you to get the software for a month or an entire year. If you are a small studio, or an independent artist, making less than $100K a year, you can get Substance for $19.90 a month or $219 a year (getting the full year over paying 12 consecutive months results in roughly 8% of savings, or $19.8, which is almost saying “pay 11 months and get one month free”).
The Substance subscription includes Painter, Designer, Alchemist, and access to the Substance Source material library (the Plug-ins and Substance Player are free). One thing to note is that you are only awarded 30 material downloads a month.
If you already have an Adobe CC subscription, you still need to get your Substance subscription, as the Adobe CC subscription doesn’t cover Substance products.
I understand that regular Adobe users (such as graphic designers or video editors) may not have the need for Substance, but I still find this move weird, considering the Adobe CC subscription model are either “pay X amount per app” or “get all apps for Y” meaning that some users paying full subscription already get applications they don’t use.
Another thing to note is that, while Substance is now a subscription, you can still get the Substance bundle on Steam, that includes Painter 2019, Designer 2019 and B2M (which would be the predecessor to Substance Alchemist), for $300.
The Steam store page states that you will get updates until the end of 2019, and this is very important because you know right off the bat that your software won’t be updated anymore.
This is pretty much the entire landscape.
You can opt to simply buy Substance on Steam if you are OK with not getting any more updates (this comes from someone who’s still working on Substance Designer 6, AKA Substance Designer 2018), or you can pay around $80 less to get for a one-year subscription of the new Substance suite.
Of course, subscription models could also be used to your advantage: you can maybe leave all texturing of your project for last (if your kind of work allows for it), and then simply get Substance for one month to work on all your texturing work during that month.
Subscribe to Substance: https://www.substance3d.com/
Get Substance on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/9349/Substance_Painter__Designer__B2M_Bundle/