Thursday, 05 December 2013

New Pricing & Subscription System

I always practiced an open information policy and today I want to inform you in advance about the upcoming changes regarding pricing and the new subscription system.

If you read the blog regularly you will know that a new big CPT version is around the corner. Instead of calling it CPT 4.2 I decided to call it CPT 5.0 as it introduces some significant new features (not all yet communicated).

I promised to all CPT 4 Pro users that tactic / endgame training will be available in a future update, which will be a free update. In fact, there were only free updates since the original release two years ago although the last one is already more than a year ago. I will keep my promise and you get the next update with support of tactic training etc. for free!

At some point I had to think about the upgrade policy after this release. There are many approaches, but the one which ensures I can really focus on developing new features instead of a worrying about revenues is a fair subscription system. That's what I want to introduce with the next release.

What does that mean? With the release of the next version the following prices will be introduced:

  • $39,90 ($35 at the moment) / 39,90 EUR (29,90 EUR) for CPT 5.0 including a 12 month subscription which gives you free updates and support.
  • If you continue the subscription after 12 month it cost you $14,90 / 14,90 EUR for another 12 months and again you get all updates and support.

Once you cancelled your subscription you are still able to run all CPT versions with a release date prior the end date of your last subscription. However, if you want to get a new version you will have to pay $39,90 again.

I believe this is a very flexible and fair approach as you are not forced to keep a subscription to run CPT. At the same time I don't have to worry, which features I keep for a major or minor version or when I should ask for an upgrade fee. Instead I can just focus on developing new features and release them.

What happens to customers, which purchased a CPT license in the past or in the future prior the release of CPT 5?

Any purchaser of a CPT Pro license after 1st of October 2013 will get CPT 5 for free including 12 months of free updates and support. The subscription will start only after you upgrade.

Any purchaser of a CPT Pro license prior 1st of October 2013 will get CPT 5 for free and a chance to purchase a subscription for about the same price as it regularly costs for CPT 5 Pro license owners ($14,90).

So, if you don't already have a CPT 4 Pro license it makes sense to purchase one today before the new pricing is active to save money. Once CPT 5 is released you are guaranteed to get it for free and additionally a free subscription for 12 months, which begins just after the upgrade. This is even truer for everybody paying in Euros as the Euro price increases is higher.

I know that some will complain that the Euro is much stronger than the Dollar at the moment. That's true. I never understood when international companies used the same Dollar price for Euros. Now I know why: the Euro includes tax and the dollar price not (being a consumer I never cared before). This actually just compensates the strong Euro and that's why I have adjusted the price.

To increase prices and a using a subscription system are sensible topics. I hope you agree that the moderately increased price is justified by the many new features (just the tactic and endgame training alone opens a new dimension) and the subscription system is not that scary as you can keep running your current CPT version after cancellation. Obviously, it is important to update CPT more often than I did in the past instead of holding back so many new features and bug fixes as I did for the upcoming release. I will definitely change my release strategy, which is also possible due to the new subscription system.

As usual I appreciate any feedback and comment – thanks!

P.S.: I'm still working hard on the next version to release it before x-mas.

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Comments (44)

  • Colm Ó Muireagáin
    05 December 2013 at 21:52 |
    Colm Ó Muireagáin

    The most important thing is that you keep working hard on the latest version to have it out before Christmas! :)
    The subscription rates look very reasonable provided of course you continue churning out the updates and fixes.
    BTW, The accented characters in my name appear as gobbledeegook at the top of the program.

    • Alvaro Frota
      06 December 2013 at 21:56 |
      Alvaro Frota


  • Andy Holznagel
    06 December 2013 at 01:04 |
    Andy Holznagel

    You keep your word and give us the update for free, that's good. To call it CPT5 makes sense. Thanks and go on developing! Merry X-mass and happy new year.

  • Steve Farmer
    06 December 2013 at 03:51 |
    Steve Farmer

    Actually, I like your new subscription model. I would prefer some Nordic Goddess deliver it to me, but... oh well.

    I've been a long time user of CPT and am looking forward to CPT 5 to some out. I've not been this excited about Christmas since I was a child!

    I like the subscription idea as someone might come up with a killer idea and it won't take that long to get an update, just download the patch when it comes along.

    I'm very proud of you and what you have done. Keep up the good work.

  • Elia Allen
    06 December 2013 at 03:54 |
    Elia Allen

    So If I have CPT Pro 4.2 Licience which cost is I need to pay to get CPT5 and next upgrade?

    # $39,90 ($35 at the moment)
    # $14,90

    • Elia Allen
      06 December 2013 at 03:58 |
      Elia Allen

      I have CPT4.1.1 Sorry

      • Stefan Renzewitz
        06 December 2013 at 06:21 |
        Stefan Renzewitz

        To get CPT 5 you don't have to pay anything. If you want to get all updates for 12 months after the release of CPT 5 you would need to pay $14,90.

        • Ivan
          06 December 2013 at 22:38 |

          Danke Stefan! $14,90 are a very reasonable price for support and upgrades. After testing a bit CPT 5, I will gladly pay. I support your efforts. By the way, what about "timed" updates, like every x months?

          • Stefan Renzewitz
            06 December 2013 at 22:58 |
            Stefan Renzewitz

            Thanks Ivan! I don't want to make any promises yet as I was not so good with my predictions in the past, but at about 3 updates per year should be my goal. Of course, not each update will include such major big features like tactic training.

  • Ramf
    06 December 2013 at 17:23 |

    If I don't avail the subscription, and if it happens that cpt 5.0 has a bug, am I entitled to an update that will fixed the bug?

    • Ivan
      06 December 2013 at 22:43 |

      Hopefully Stefan will fix a lot of bugs, the updates are not only made to introduce new features ;)

      "Any purchaser of a CPT Pro license after 1st of October 2013 will get CPT 5 for free including 12 months of free updates and support. The subscription will start only after you upgrade.

      Any purchaser of a CPT Pro license prior 1st of October 2013 will get CPT 5 for free and a chance to purchase a subscription for about the same price as it regularly costs for CPT 5 Pro license owners ($14,90)."

      So if you already own (you have a CPT Pro license) CPT already but you don't want to pay for the subscription, you will receive CPT5 but you won't be able to update your copy of CPT 5.

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      06 December 2013 at 22:56 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      I would feel obliged to fix show stopper / serious bugs even for an older version, but this will depend on some factors and I can't guarantee it. Ideally, such serious issues will show up soon after the release and not months later.

      General bug fixes (and improvements/features) will be only avaiable in the latest version.

      • Ramf
        08 December 2013 at 12:50 |

        I don't really need aditional features at this time, v5.0 features is already enourmous. What I want to see, is that those advertised features should be tested first and should have no bugs.

        • Ivan
          08 December 2013 at 14:55 |

          In my humble opinion, no "bugs" is a bit utopic. The updates will correct the bugs discovered. Yes, I agree that 5.0 should be a better, improved CPT (faster and with no bugs in "old" features, for example).
          It will be a big challenge to meet, so I will support the programmer since he (and his team? Who knows) invested a lot of time and effort in the software.

          • Ramf
            08 December 2013 at 23:12 |

            It is not a good practice for a developer to charge additional cost to customers by subscription fixing the bugs (if there is any, minor or major) to the features that are advertized. That is only my point. Incoming improvements, new features etc. etc. are totally different story.

  • Brian Smith
    07 December 2013 at 04:41 |
    Brian Smith

    "Any purchaser of a CPT Pro license prior 1st of October 2013 will get CPT 5 for free and a chance to purchase a subscription for about the same price as it regularly costs for CPT 5 Pro license owners ($14,90)."

    This does sound fair. I'm in.

  • Paul Bishop
    08 December 2013 at 05:32 |
    Paul Bishop

    Good idea! Keep it up. I will upgrade.

  • Gabriel Mathieu
    08 December 2013 at 17:27 |
    Gabriel Mathieu

    Hi Stefan,

    I would like to know if in the next update of CP4 pro, there will be the possibility to use today's features but from any starting position we'd like? I mean for exemple from a pgn database of endgame studies, you load the database, launch the training and you see the position, the solution (winning line(s)) is played and then it's your turn, exactly like the opening training of CPT 4 pro.
    thank you,

  • Jeremy Bernstein
    09 December 2013 at 08:46 |
    Jeremy Bernstein

    This all sounds pretty good (I appreciate that you are doing right by your customers by making the CPT5 release free for CPT4 licencees), and I'm pretty sure that I would subscribe.

    I'm only a little hesitant because your rate of update releases has, to date, been somewhat less than "agile", where we've been waiting for a long-promised and -hyped update to 4.1.1 as you said for over a year now. That was essentially fine because you weren't asking for more money, and I knew that, if an update ever materializes, it was promised to be free.

    But if I give you money for a year of updates, I expect a year of regular updates. This past year hasn't done much to bolster my confidence that you're able to do that, to be honest. Sorry, I know that's a little harsh, but it's not meant to be -- I just want some assurance that the new arrangement involves changes on your side, as well as on ours.

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      09 December 2013 at 10:53 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      Absolutely understandable. At the moment I can only say that I'm aware of it and I will need to update more frequently in the future. The next release has so many new features, which would have been sufficient for a whole year, if I had not hold them back for a big release. As this also puts more pressure on my side I definately want to switch to smaller updates. The subscription model makes it easier too.
      Having said that I can only proof it over time. Thanks for your feedback!

  • Alvaro Frota
    09 December 2013 at 17:39 |
    Alvaro Frota

    I am eagerly waiting the new version of Chess Position Trainer and I consider the Subscription System more than fair. And, as CPT has a very good cost per benefit, I am willing to do the Portuguese translation of the new version in a voluntary basis, just to aid my countrymen to develop their Chess.

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      10 December 2013 at 22:51 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      Thank you for your offer again! I will contact you soon.

      • Alvaro Frota
        11 December 2013 at 12:42 |
        Alvaro Frota


  • Göran Gudichsen
    10 December 2013 at 17:39 |
    Göran Gudichsen

    Hello Stefan,

    I have run CPT for a very long time and CPT Pro since it was released. I am extremely satisfied and have no problem at all concerning the pricing. On the contrary I am eagerly awaiting 5 and the future updates.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS Wish you a Merry Christmas

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      10 December 2013 at 22:55 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      Hi Göran,
      nothing more satisfying when hearing about happy CPT users!

  • Alvaro Frota
    11 December 2013 at 12:56 |
    Alvaro Frota

    Olá Stefan!

    In my opinion, the velocity of animation of the moves must be fully controlled by the user.

    The control of the velocity of the moves is essential in all operations but especially in training mode this control is very important. One needs to think while training and because of this, needs to control the velocity of the answer of his moves.

    I do not know if this feature will be in the 5.0 version by I think it should have some kind of priority.

    The 4.1.1 version only allow control of the "demonstration moves" velocity of animation. The 5.1 version needs to allow the user to also control the "training moves" velocity of animation.

    Aquele abraço!


  • Alex McNeilly
    19 December 2013 at 17:30 |
    Alex McNeilly

    I've just started using CPT Pro recently and I'm impressed with it. I purchased another opening trainer software package but find this one more to my liking. I won't have any issue with CPT switching to a subscription basis as I find that the software is so very useful to me. I've been out of tournament chess for 20+ years and I'm using your product almost every night to prepare to play again.
    I'm looking forward to see what improvements have been made to an already excellent program.
    Thanks Stefan.

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      20 December 2013 at 14:24 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      Thanks a lot for sharing this, appreciated! Very soon you and everybody else will finally get their hands on the next version.

  • Brian Smith
    21 December 2013 at 04:24 |
    Brian Smith

    "Soon" in before Christmas!??
    Just curious as I have several days off from work starting Monday and sure would like to spend some of that time on CPT 5. Happy to pay the for the full year of upgrades the moment it is released.

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      21 December 2013 at 07:17 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      That's still my goal!

  • Dave
    21 December 2013 at 12:48 |

    Hi Stefan
    The subscription pricing does not seem overly high although it is a high percentage of the base price which might put some potential subscribers off. I presume that as a pre- Oct 2013 license holder I need to pay the subscription when I upgrade to v5.0?
    In a commercial environment the critical test is what the users get for their money. The subscription percentage is too high for support alone so the new features will be the key issue. Personally the training mode is why I want CPT! It is second to none. It is perhaps difficult to seriously improve on this, so it is just the added features that could be improved upon.
    Users would probably want to know the upcoming features of the new releases prior to subscribing. There would of course be the pressure to deliver.
    Personally I would like to see an APP version (limited to training module, without keeping score would suit me fine!); ability to import a database/pgn file filtered by statistics e.g. a line that occurs more than a defined number of times); DGT Board re-enabled and a square recognition game/concept (e.g. CPT calls f6 – you select square as quickly as possible).
    As always happy to support and thanks for a great piece of software.
    Just a few days to go now (-;


    • Stefan Renzewitz
      21 December 2013 at 18:31 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      Hi Dave,
      thank you for your feedback. You actually don't have to pay to use all features of version 5 as I made the promise with the release of version 4 that a free update with tactic training will be included. So, it is free for you. Future updates would be not free and you have the chance to switch to the subscription model for $14,90.
      CPT 5 will have many improvements just for training and there is still alot of potential. Besides many minor improvements I have two bigger improvements in mind of which one is to train a complete folder instead of a single opening. And this combined with all different training modes like recall. There is another one, which will be a really big improvement, but I can't talk about yet. What I can share is that a CPT App will be my focus next and there will be some kind of sync of training scores between the App and the Windows version.
      You are right, without updates the subscription fee would be too high although it is IMO compared to the base price "normal" (I've checked several other software vendors). If you look at all updates for CPT 5 (and some not yet revelead) I believe it would have justified the price. If I would not have a subscription model in place I most likely would ask in the future for more than $14,90 for an upgrade when a major new release is available. Of course, I should release all these new features not after one year, but shortly after implementing it. I will change my release strategy. I already did it and decided not to finish the "train a folder" feature, but instead release CPT 5 now.

      • Ivan
        21 December 2013 at 20:23 |

        You are right!
        Releasing a new improved version of CPT, the training part, is what i could call a priority.
        Adding features is something I will gladly pay for.


  • Hans Nepomuk
    25 December 2013 at 09:07 |
    Hans Nepomuk

    No version 5 of CPT to xmas?

    • Stefan Renzewitz
      25 December 2013 at 09:23 |
      Stefan Renzewitz

      CPT 5 is ready from a programming point of view. I'm just finishing a few last translation and documentation parts. Unfortunately I was sick for a day, but doing better now. I hope to announce the official release in about 2 days. Thanks for your patience.

      • Ivan
        26 December 2013 at 20:36 |

        Nice! Translations and/or documentation are very time-consuming tasks. If you need some help, maybe I will able to help you. Just let me know.

      • Jeremy Bernstein
        29 December 2013 at 09:57 |
        Jeremy Bernstein

        Any news? I hate to state the obvious, but the success or failure of your subscription model depends on your ability to meet self-imposed deadlines for releases. Of course, a week here, a week there isn't a big deal, but the symbolism is important, particularly for the first few releases.

        And I want to play before I have to go back to work! ;-)

        Best wishes, I hope today's the day. Jeremy

        • Ivan
          29 December 2013 at 13:48 |

          I agree, I even tried the beta ages ago.
          That's the main reason why I trust him. It was an impressive improvement.
          I think that the beta is still in the download section, somewhere ;)

        • Brian Smith
          29 December 2013 at 16:36 |
          Brian Smith

          If you really "hate to state the obvious"... then don't. And in any case, he is not very late and it's not the end of the world. It's just a chess program. You don't have a clue what is going on in his life. Lighten up. I am sure if something was released with poor documentation, people would be complaining there as well. I keep checking multiple times a day myself...but again, it is just a chess program.

          • Stefan Renzewitz
            29 December 2013 at 16:46 |
            Stefan Renzewitz

            Thanks to everybody for his understanding and patiences. The last two days I fighted with Windows. It does not mean that things look on other PCs like they do on yours. Sometimes it is even not close to it. Amazing, but I believe I got control over it now.
            CPT is ready for download now:

          • Jeremy Bernstein
            29 December 2013 at 16:50 |
            Jeremy Bernstein

            Hmm, I was about to write a snide response to your grouchy reply to my gruff observation, but Stefan just released CPT5 and, well, woohoo! Let's all be friends again, ok?

  • Stefan Renzewitz
    08 December 2013 at 23:19 |
    Stefan Renzewitz

    After the release of CPT 5 I'm sure some issues will be reported (in particular after an update with so many changes) and I plan to spend some time to fine-tune it before I continue to add other features.

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