After overwhelming feedback, Waves has announced they’re reversing course and bringing back their perpetual licenses as before, alongside the new subscription options. The actual infrastructure change appears to be in progress, but Waves’ announcement suggests this will fully restore the options available before.

Here’s the critical part of the announcement, credited to CTO and co-founder Meir Shashoua:

… we are bringing back the perpetual plugin license model, side-by-side with the new subscriptions. You will again be able to get plugins as perpetual licenses, just as before.

In addition, those of you who already own perpetual licenses will once again be able to update your plugins and receive a second license via the Waves Update Plan—again, just as before. This option, too, will be available alongside and independently of the subscription program.

(Emphasis mine.) Note that this addresses several concerns all at once:

  • It doesn’t lock users into buying a subscription if they just need a handful of plug-ins.
  • It lets you choose when to invest in licenses.
  • It brings back the option of renewing the Waves Update Plan for those who already invested in it.
  • You can work with two licenses at once (though only via the Update Plan).

Some of the feedback we heard from readers went beyond just complaining about being locked into subscriptions or the way the Waves subscription was designed. There was a significant amount of unhappiness around the Waves Update Plan and its cost. And there were larger questions about the value offering of Waves versus its competitors. Those issues all remain.

But now, at least, you the customer gets to make the decision – and one plug-in at a time, if you so choose, when you choose. Whatever the response to Waves’ quick about-face, the uproar and their immediate reversal should send a very, very loud message to the rest of the industry. (If someone wants to put “You’re not Adobe” into song, I’ll be glad to feature it. I’m not sure how to rhyme Adobe, though. Nairobi? Obi-Wan Kenobi?)