Note: Graphics 2.0 is now in public beta for all Corona SDK Pro and Enterprise subscribers. Please see Walter’s recent blog piece on the news.


Today, I have some very exciting news.

Before I dive in, let me talk about the new public release we just made available for download. We’ve been fixing a lot of plumbing this time around. Lots of infrastructure and feature improvements like a rewritten async http network library, a re-architected widget library, remote push notifications on Android, iAds, to name a few. We also have a new build server that’s much more scalable.

There’s tons more listed on the release notes. All in all, there’s been an incredible amount of work to make cross-platform development as painless as possible. By the way, if you’re curious about Apple’s May 1 deadline on UDIDs, we’ve got you covered. Read more about it in the release notes.

big-news

Introducing Corona SDK Starter

Okay, so here’s where it gets really exciting. From very early on, we have focused on democratizing app development. We felt (and still do) that anyone could create the next great app with Corona. Since then, Corona has been embraced by indies and your apps have hit the top of the charts.

Indies are a key part of our community, so today, we are taking that vision a step further. We are announcing Corona SDK Starter – a completely FREE version of Corona that lets you publish to all the platforms we support without paying us a single cent.

With Corona SDK Starter and the Starter tier of Corona Cloud, you can publish amazing, connected apps faster and more affordably (free!) than ever before. We are the only platform that lets developers do this. A lot of other products have hidden fees or force some sort of watermark/splash screen. There is no such restriction with Starter. That’s the difference between “fake free” and a true free option.

Now, of course, not everything is free — we’ve got a business to run after all!

If you want to access certain specific features like in-app purchase and analytics, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan. You can still build with those features on your own device, but you can’t publish apps to the store if they use those premium features. Daily builds are also only available to paying subscribers.

Re-imagining Pro

From the beginning, Corona SDK has been about packaging up industry-standard technologies that big game studios use and making them available to you. The same underlying architecture that powered all the original top apps (Angry Birds, Tap Tap Revenge, Diner Dash) was the inspiration for Corona — only we made it 10x faster and easier.

That’s why nothing beats Corona when it comes to its combination of power and speed of development.

Today, we are ready for the next growth spurt of innovation. We think Corona is the best platform in the universe, but the true measure is if we can make our latest innovations available to Pro subscribers.

So that’s what we’re going to do. We are going to make some amazing technologies available to all paying subscribers, but especially Pro. Here’s a glimpse at some of the exciting things that we’ll be making available:

imagine

Graphics

As I talked about last week, our bleeding-edge OpenGL-ES 2.0/shader-based graphics engine is in the works. You are going to be blown away with what you can do. I’ll talk about that more later but I did want to give you a teaser.

If you watch this week’s CoronaGeek episode, you’ll be able to see 5,000 fish running at 60 fps! It may be hard to tell from the video, but this is what I showed to a lucky few at GDC. I recommend watching the whole show, but if you’re pressed for time, you can skip to roughly the 35:00 mark.

Plugins

Second, there’s Project Gluon, a.k.a plugins. We’ve done a ton of plumbing work so that you’ll be able to integrate 3rd party services and functionality into your app, and do so painlessly from the comfort of the Corona Simulator.

Now there’s good news and bad news here. There are a lot of moving parts, so plugins didn’t quite make it to the public release — and yes, I’m disappointed too.

But the good news is that plugins are coming very soon! We’re getting ready to seed this to beta testers this month. We are actively building a library of plugins that will be hosted on our servers. We’re working with folks like Amazon to get you more monetization options. We are acutely aware that this is a big issue for a lot of you.

Device Access

Lastly (for now), we have found a way for you to access certain Java and Objective-C APIs from Lua! On the Android side, we already have the foundation there thanks to Enterprise, and we’re looking at how we can accelerate bringing those Enterprise innovations down to Pro developers. In parallel, we also have a proof-of-concept on the iOS side, so I’ll have more news once we’re past the research phase.

New Pro Pricing and Subscriber Promotions

As you can see, we are re-imagining Pro as a much more sophisticated product. By May, we anticipate that the daily builds available to Pro will offer significantly more value than they do today. Because of that, we will be changing the price of Pro to $599/year starting May 1. Even after this change, we think Pro still remains a great bargain – it’s less than $50 per month and saves you hours of development work each and every day. And more importantly, you’ll be able to do more and more!

In the mean time, we want to thank our current subscribers and do the following:

  • All current Indie subscribers are now upgraded to Pro (the Indie subscription has ceased to exist).
  • All current Pro subscribers now have an extra 2 months added on to their subscription.

In addition, we are offering a special promotion:

  • Between now and April 30, anyone can buy a Pro subscription (or add to their existing subscription) for $349 before the new price takes effect.
  • But wait there’s more. As long as you have an active subscription on May 1, you will be able to renew at the $349/year price for 2 more years — just don’t let your subscription lapse!

For more info, please refer to our Corona SDK Pricing FAQs.

* * *

Before I wrap up, there is one more item worth mentioning: we’ve finally gotten around to putting Corona Enterprise on our store page. If you are a small outfit, you qualify for the $999/year tier. Larger organizations can get Enterprise at $2499/year which comes with extra goodies and volume discounts. Check out our entire pricing lineup to see which one makes the most sense for you.

There’s a lot of game changing stuff here, but Corona SDK Starter brings me back to how we all got started — to change people’s lives in real ways. We think more people will have the opportunity to be a part of the mobile revolution and take advantage of the mobile revolution. We can’t wait to get all of our innovations into your hands – and more importantly, see what you do with them.

Walter

  1. David Garner says:

    Man…I just bought the indie iOS license a couple weeks ago! If I am reading this correct do I still get the analytics for the next year or do I have to buy corona cloud?!? Do I get the same features as the new pro or do I just have the features of the free version of corona now??

    • David – Corona Cloud is completely separate from all this.

      If you just bought Indie, then you are in the best position of all :) You now have a Pro subscription for almost a whole year, and will be able to renew it twice in the next 2 years (as long as it doesnt expire).

  2. Holy crap, this is fantastic news all around.

    Especially the bit where I get upgraded to Pro FOC :-)

    I only have iOS license and would have bought pro but just could afford it.

    Thanks very much for this. If I make enough from Anroid sales before the deadline will defo upgrade for another 2 years.

    Dave

  3. Great news!!!
    Thank you guys… you’re making such a great job.
    I only have an iOS license, just like Dave, and this change to Pro is amazing. Thank you for that and for letting indies developer like me keep doing what we love.

    Best regards!

    Erich.

  4. Really good value for the Starter! Not sure why giving away free custom splash screen though. I have seen many good games with unity splash screen which really helps to promote unity.

    It seems as of now the only downside of Starter is lack of In-App Purchase. Look forward to the plugins, if nothing much then I will consider “downgrade” from indie to Starter :)

    • Brent Sorrentino says:

      Hi @nobstudio,
      Thanks for the input. We hope that if you’re so inclined, you’ll include a mention or the “Made with Corona SDK” logo in your app somewhere (in the credits, maybe an intermediary “splash screen”, or elsewhere). It’s just not something we wanted to *force* on people who use Starter, since many would rather put their own custom splash screen in. :)

    • nobstudio,

      I would have to agree with the approach that Corona took re. the custom splash screen. I, for one, wouldn’t touch an environment that forces their branding into your app with a 10 foot pole. If the goal is to get more people on the Corona bus, it seems like the right move to me.

      On a slightly more selfish note, I think that in app purchases should also be included in Starter! :)

  5. I thought $350/yr was pretty rough. Now $600/yr? Really? Wish I had a money tree in my backyard like the other low-volume indies.

    Guess I’ll be switching to Unity.

    • You are in for a shock if you think $600 is expensive compared to what it will cost you to publish a game on iOS and Android via Unity.

      The verdict is out on how much value the extra $250 gets us. Adding support for Windows phones would be enough to sell me on it, but we’ll have to see what “significantly more value” means… I plan on holding them accountable to that statement.

    • 600 if you don’t get Pro until May 1, but if you do, you might get the $350 price for 3 years (if you don’t miss to update your subscription).

      And it depends on what you want to do. I think Unity is mostly a pain in the a** when making simple 2D sidescroller.

      But yes, having a subscription is always a bit painful – but it always depends on the benefits you get. Quick updates (daily builds), support, etc.

    • Let me see if I get this.
      You are not happy with the new Corona pricing and think $600/yr is WAY too much (due to lack of available money tree!), so you are going to go to Unity where you will pay $800 (for both iOS and Android)?!!

      Did you think over this comment before posting?!

    • An ongoing subscription fee and the lock-in to the Corona servers should have been a big red flag to me when I first started using Corona 2 years ago. Now this new pricing just cements the fact that I’ve made a grave mistake.

      Unity is a more fully featured and polished product. It has a once off fee and a larger community. Why on earth anyone would choose Corona nowadays is a mystery to me. $600 per year now, how much next year? Then how long until the company is dead, the servers power down and nobody can update their apps?

      It seems to me the free version is only here to get people interested. Once they’ve sunk some time into their projects and become comfortable with the quirks and shortcomings of the SDK. That’s when the rug will be pulled out from underneath. Those users will be forced into a paid subscription in much the same way as the indie subscription is being forced into the pro now. Then they will look back and think ‘****, why didn’t I listen to that rambling idiot on the blog’.

      So long, Corona.

      • I have published apps to Google Play, Nook app store, and Amazon. Corona debugging reminds me of ms basic from 1982. You had to riddle your code with print statements everywhere to have a chance of tracking a bug. With the price increase, I have to totally rethink whether or not I an going to continue with Corona. I had a bug in a game I am working on for the past year. I had to result to writing to a sqLite database table on my device to get any idea why the app was running on the simulator, but crashing on the device. I also had to write code to read the debug table to tell where the game crashed on the device.. It took me a week to isolate this bug. Yes, Corona is easier to start, but things get exponentially more difficult as an app gets more complex. Things that should be easy in other languages are sometimes are way more difficult in Corona. As it turns out, it was a corrupt sprite graphic. Being able to trace and step through code and examine variables is sorely lacking in Corona. Even the free Android sdk has this capability. Also, I would like to be able to do 3D games without resulting to sprites, and not have to be concerned with a greedy company wanting to double the price every year or two.. My only hope right now, is to get my game completed before my pro subscription expires.

  6. Perfect timing.
    I’ve been waiting for some features for quiet some time before getting an account and now I see that huge update.
    I’ve been following Corona for over 1,5years now and have been playing and working out on many projects, some of which I had to pause due to missing features which are now there.
    Of course there are other IDEs and I’ve tried many of them, but none was as good for rapid prototyping AND for real development (especially games) as Corona.

    Too bad I haven’t bought the Indie License before, but I still think it’s a good deal ;)

    Looking forward for the OpenGL awesomeness.

    Best regards,
    Chris // chrizZzly

  7. I thought $350 was a lot of money for pro. The new price is definitely going to make me have second thoughts about renewing. My subscription is up in June. Now, you say I have to renew by May 1 to get any kind of break. After two years of developing with Corona sdk, I am making some determinations.

    Corona sdk is easy to do some otherwise difficult things.
    Corona sdk is difficult to do some otherwise simple things like text input.
    There is yet no voice input/output. The free Android sdk has this.

    Just something to think about.

    • Jerry, if your subscription is up say June 15, as long as you renew before June 15, its $349 for the next year. Then if you renew before June of 2014, you get another year at $349. You do not have to re-up everything by May 1.

  8. I’ve been with Corona for over 2 years, mainly as a hobby. Even then the yearly sub pretty much makes it the most expensive of all the SDKs imo. And as a hobby, pretty much restrictive if you want to go the pro route. I guess one can always do the free edition. But I don’t like the current trend that Corona is taking. Seems like new features are added/etc but major update is getting waaay more price restrictive more trending more towards “enterprise” than the garage-style-indie of yesteryear. These are not small incremental increases, its nearly 40-50% bump. Not everyone can make that angry birds hit to justify the expense. I do agree Unity has a much steeper learning curve, but I can’t justify $600/yr, especially knowing that it will only go up with the current trends that corona is taking.

        • nicholas Golden says:

          If you can’t make money with the starter version, what makes you think you can suddenly make money with the pro/ enterprise versions?

          If you are NOT using IAP, then starter edition.

          If you ARE using IAP, then use the pro version.

          Think about it, just because you have all the most fancy pants tools, doesn’t mean you’ll strike it rich. I’ve known people who had pieces of crap, hot and steamy pieces of crap for laptops that started businesses, wrote apps or whatever and found success.

          I’ve known people who have had brand new macs, new servers, new office, etc and are making CRAPPY products.

          Whatever your case, think about it – start small and if the money comes in and you can support going to pro then do it.

          -Nick

          • I’ve made 2 indie games at this point for android, and let me tell you, no matter how polished, you won’t make money without in app purchases. I have an almost 94% piracy rate on both of my android apps.

            No offense, but while this is a decent tool for teaching my daughter, but after evaluating the product for about 2 weeks I went to go purchase and found the price had almost doubled. I can no longer justify it at this price.

  9. The full subscription comparison chart includes an line that hasn’t been explained: revenue limit.

    For Starter, it’s $100,000. For Pro, it’s $500,000. Is that net revenue or gross? Does that mean if you company makes $100,000 or $500,000 in a year, you have to buy a more expensive license? And how would that be determined? Self-reporting?

  10. I have been playing around with corona for 2 years now. Been waiting for some upgrades (like multiplayer), and now that u finally got them, I bought 2 year subscription a couple of days ago.

    I bought iOS indie licence, and now I have PRO licence. Nice.
    But still, this is gonna be too expensive for a lot of folks :(

  11. This is a very fantastic development. Good job Corona team! I think it’s a great balance between growth and sustainability. Yes, the Pro price went up 40% but the value you get from it went up more than that.

  12. It’s going to be awhile before this affects me given the “grandfathering” of existing PRO users, but the price increase clearly goes too far, too fast. I’d be able to see $449 or $500 (half of Enterprise), but $599/year is pushing into Unity territory and I don’t think that’ll fly.

    That said, the real strategy here is to get people publishing games for free using starter, which locks them in and compels them to pay more than someone fooling around with a trial.

  13. Just getting into mobile game design and looking for which sdk to create with. While the free starter sounds awesome, $599 per year is ridiculous. Especially with solutions like Unity and Gideros available.

    • Brent Sorrentino says:

      Hi Nick,
      Of course the choice is up to you. I should just note that Unity is $800 if you want to publish to iOS and Android, and while that fee is “one time” (not annual), it’s also not “forever”, as you’ll be required to pay around a 50% upgrade fee on your package for each major Unity release. Then, of course, factor in the complexity of Unity, the steep learning curve, and the need to be versed in 3D modeling software unless you want to buy “stock” models or contract that job out. If you’re a developer on a schedule, I maintain that a primary advantage of Corona is the speed of development and time to market. In any case, best of luck with your game development, whether it be with Corona, Unity, or another option altogether.

  14. Hi Corona,

    Can you give a more comprehensive list of what is in the starter kit versus new paid subscription?

    Specifically what is the complete list of programming features that I could use up until now will now longer work (i.e. can’t deploy to production) with the Starter Kit version?

    thanks

  15. This may be great for those just jumping into Corona who want to explore before committing, but it’s a kick-in-the-face for hobbyists. I don’t think I’m alone in wanting to target only a single platform (iOS in my case), and that meant previously paying $200/year. I was okay with that price given the benefits of daily builds and such, but now in order to keep my previous features, I’m being asked to pay three times that! With the old pricing scheme I was already losing money because my (currently) one app isn’t making much sales, but there’s a huge difference between $200 and $600. The former is reasonable for someone tinkering around as a hobby, while the latter is a significant commercial expense.

    Granted, the $350 promo price is great for those who were already paying for the cross-platform package before, but the two-year limit on this price for existing subscribers means hobbyists will have to seriously consider whether they want to invest more time into Corona, or move on to something else sooner rather than deal with the massive price increase in the future. If existing subscribers (who have been around for at least a year or something) were grandfathered into the old pricing scheme ($350), the price increase would be a lot easier to stomach, but as it is, only developers already making decent money won’t gawk at this change.

    Sure, I could drop down to the starter package, but then I’d be giving up daily builds, IAP, et al. You’re basically telling folks like me that we’re not your target customer, and you’re really just focusing on commercial developers. Me and the other hobbyists now get downgraded to a crippled product tier, unless we’re prepared to start paying thrice what we were before.

    I recently wrote about developing my first app with Corona (http://beastwith.in/2013/03/05/corona-sdk/), and a huge take-away was that Corona was great for any hobbyist dev to jump into. But after this pricing change, I don’t know that I can seriously recommend Corona to other hobbyists looking for a platform long-term.

    I’d ask that you guys seriously consider the gap you’re leaving between the starter and Pro versions. If you really don’t care about this gap for new customers, then at least grandfather your loyal indie devs into the old pricing plans indefinitely.

    • WyldKard, here are some thoughts on your comments. Undoubtedly you will not agree with everything, but I’ll give you a reasoned response since you did the same.

      The thinking here is that hobbyists and starting indies need as few barriers to entry as possible. That’s why we went with free. There is no better price than free. And this is *real free*: no hidden fees, no promotional splash screen, etc. You can put out a great, polished app that monetizes by charging people up front or via ads. Many, many apps make a lot of money that way.

      Now, we also need to make money or Corona will eventually go away. So we do need to charge people that are/become more serious about development and there have to be some restrictions on Starter. For now, those are daily builds, analytics and IAPs:
      – Daily builds: we do a public release every couple of months. So you will get access to all features, but you might have to wait a month or even two. If you are a hobbyist, this doesn’t seem to be a big deal
      – Analytics: There are actually options here you can still use (via Lua libraries). And we will have basic analytics on our own dashboard. But if you start getting more hard core about analytics, I would argue you are no longer a true hobbyist.
      – IAP: this is also a more advanced feature, and I would also argue a reasonable way for us to separate true hobbyists from more advanced developers. We may disagree, but we had to draw the line somewhere.

      Now, if you are initially a hobbyist, but are getting more serious about app development and need more features, think about it this way: $599 sounds like a lot, but how much is your time worth? If you are a good developer it is probably way more than $50/hour. But let’s go with $50/hour. Will using Corona save you 12 hours of your time over a whole year? I bet it will. And if it does, it is worth paying for it. It’s that simple.

      Finally – as a current subscriber you will be able to renew at $349 for 2 years. So that makes it even better.

      Again, you may disagree with me. But that is some of the thinking that went into this. At the end of the day, many people are positive about it and see the benefit in Starter/Free. Others see a price change and automatically label it as bad. That’s ok – we’ll let the market speak.

      I just realized my response may have been longer than the original blog post!

      David

      • David, I appreciate that you took the time to write a response. I absolutely agree that the free tier is a great new option for would-be app devs getting started with Corona. No doubt, someone wanting to get into an “easier” way to write an app will find the new free tier a compelling reason to go with Corona. But that’s not my issue.

        My concern is that the rug was pulled out from under me and other devs in my situation; we chose the $200 pricing tier to focus on one platform, and we’re hobbyists. We’ve now grown used to things like daily builds and IAP. Dropping down to the free tier is giving up things we’re happy to pay for. In order to keep these features, we’re now being asked to pay substantially more.

        Even as a hobbyist, I found the daily builds to be invaluable for supporting things as I was developing, like for the iPhone 5. Same for IAP, which I initially incorporated into my app design. IAP isn’t an “advanced” feature, it’s a standard way of doing business, and there’s a rather strong argument for this being the preferred form of app payments long term. (On the Apple end, several blog posts have documented the proliferation of IAP in apps, and how it makes more money over up-front purchases.)

        It’s not so much that these are not offered to the starter tier, it’s that they’re effectively being removed from a tier that you admit you “did away with”.

        I understand that you guys need to make money. If $200 was too cheap, raising the price is understandable. What’s not as understandable is raising the price to such an extent. The “promo” option of $350 for two years is 175% of the old price. After two years, the new price is 300% of the original.

        For people who were already paying $350, the promo-price is a no-brainer. And to them, the $600 post-two-year pricing is 171% of what they were paying before – not as drastic as the change from the “discontinued” tier.

        I appreciate that the promo option is there, but new mobile developers need to think long-term. I have several apps on my iPhone that have been around for _years_, so any developer planning to release on a given platform should expect to support their apps for some time. And when the promo price is no longer an option, hobbyists will likely not be able to afford that jump to $600. Commercial developers, sure, but not hobbyists.

        You’re basically pricing Corona out of several hobbyist developer’s reaches in order for them to keep the features they vested in when they decided to use Corona for app development. What’s the reasoning for getting rid of this tier completely? I
        might even be able to stomach the jump from $200 to $350 if it wasn’t simply a two-year “promo” option, but tripling the price to keep the aforementioned features? What am I supposed to do after two years when I’m still not bringing in enough money to make up for that new cost?

        Maybe those of us on the old $200 option were in the extreme minority, so you guys made a command decision and decided we weren’t worth supporting. Maybe other devs in my shoes have apps that easily bring in enough money to cover the new pricing – I don’t know. But from where I stand, the change is very upsetting.

        (Did you guys consider providing a lesser tier with more features, but increase the cost according to number of app sales made? Or can’t you track that?)

        One of the many arguments I heard when I looked into Corona was that I’d be at the mercy of Ansca Mobile. My retort was that I’d happily pay $200 for an easier way to get started in mobile app development. Honestly, I would not have said the same if I knew the price would be $600/year. That’s 1,000 $1 app sales a year just to break even after Corona and the iOS dev package. How many hobbyists do that?

        I want to clarify that this is coming from someone who’s already been a customer. If you haven’t developed with Corona before, you can look at the new pricing plans and make your decision as to whether you want to go with Corona accordingly. But folks like me have already vested in your platform, paid for key features, and didn’t expect a price hike of this extent. “Buyer beware”, I know. You have every right to change pricing as you see fit, but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t feel like crappy treatment from a company we’ve supported (financially) to date.

        • Perhaps a nice middle ground would be the ability to add Pro features a la carte to Starter Edition. Starter Edition + Daily Builds: Starter Edition (Free) + Daily Builds ($199) = $199 yearly. Just a thought.

  16. Great news, Corona keeps improving all the time!

    I like the approach of making Corona Starter free as that will bring more non-experienced developers to learn and try Corona, and as they grow in their abilities and revenue, they’ll be able to afford an expanded and more valuable version, which in turn will hook them into the platform in the long term.

    This is good for the rest of us that have been learning Corona for a while, as it means that we can safely keep investing time and effort into learning Corona, knowing that it will be here for a long time, and that the more we learn the more we can leverage our experience into more and better apps. So I guess is a true win-win situation for everybody.

    Keep up the great work guys!

  17. Just to be sure…

    I have a Indie subscription until 2014 and because of this new changes my account will be upgraded to Pro during this time, right?

    Before the lapsing of my subscription in the next 2 years I can renew for $349 / year, right?

    Thanks in advance!

  18. The starter kit is great but as it was mentioned above, not enough for publishing professional or money-making stuff. The Pro going up 40%+ in the other hand is pretty far from being great, however I will enjoy the free of charge upgrade as many others so Im ok with that just for now.
    Some of the new features sound great but you need to speed up a bit guys. For god knows how many months it has been like “yeah we have some great stuff coming, almost done but just can’t show/give you anything yet”. I don’t know, maybe its just me expecting something to be delivered in 1-2 months when I read such line.
    We have 5,000 fish swimming at 60 FPS. Great. How about some basic clipboard functions? Or a browser object which can tell the current URL? Etc, etc…

    Anyways, great work team, keep it up, much appreciated!

  19. I rather think corona may be shooting themselves in the foot here as whats to stop developers from going down to to starter and using google analytics through lua inbuilt http library? If it were me I would keep the product paid for and keep the indie models as well as offering the new pro subscriptions.

    In Defence of Vu I could just about justify the $180 for the android indie, I did go up to 360 for IOS but never used it and wasnt going for it this year. But not a hope in hell of justifying the $500 for an individual non revenue generating app. I agree about unity not being an option.

    Please reconsider – some revenue is better than nothing. I want to remain on android thanks and get the latest builds. I dont want or need IOS or nook or kindle just yett?

  20. Thanks for the new public build, guys. I’m happy to support the Corona team and I’m looking forward to plugin integration.

    Quick question – is analytics working again with the new public build?

  21. Well we are all not very happy with the new prieses but i hope that you gave a discount for future renew of the licences like other do.

  22. Ok, just to be sure about the new pricing:
    1) It’s 349$ for everyone until the end of April
    2) Current subscribers will also be able to renew other two times (two years) at 349$ even after the end of april.

    So basically, I can renew one time before the end of april and get +1 year of license. Then after 1 year when my license is expiring I can renew and pay only 349? And same thing the year after that? Is that right?

    About the new subscription model.. Well, of course I’m not happy of the price increase, however it all comes down to how much (and how) what you’re promising here is really going to be delivered.

    I’m especially interested in your “Device Access” point. Does that mean Pro users will be able to do some basic Obj C calls?

    But, the main issue I have is the same as JF before. You need to speed up and deliver more.. we’ve been hearing a lot about new cool features coming out “soon” but somehow couldn’t make it.. and ok, 5000 fishes swimming are nice and all, but there are some basic things, Today, with bugs and still not working and other basic, basic things not implemented at all (clipboard, facebook ios6 sharing, etc etc).

    • Ruben, answers to your initial set of questions are all yes.

      For your other points – we plan on delivering *everything* we have talked about. We do that now. However, there will be delays from time to time – any person who has been in software for some time knows that is inevitable. Cross-platform development is getting harder, not easier. And we are not a 200 person company. But we will deliver.

  23. The table of features and versions doesn’t mention this new graphics engine. So will it be a Pro only feature? (I hope there are more details on it soon)
    Will there be other Pro-only features that aren’t listed yet?

    I can’t decide whether to buy Pro this month if I don’t know these things.

    Great move anyhow :)

  24. I am quite sad with the new pricing.
    It increase the pain for those only wanna focus on iOS app.
    Furthermore, the PRO ver increase the $$$ ALOT!!

    I guess most of us willing to pay and Corona realized IAP is the reason we pay for it.
    So for me, the FREE ver is jz a training kit, we all willing to pay BUT now we hv to pay more. Great Move Corona! You suck more blood now!

    • Hi @weilies,
      We hear your concerns, sincerely, and thank you for the feedback. Part of the purpose of offering Starter for free is that it can be used (now, but not before) to publish to all of the markets, and with no “hidden fees” or a forced Corona splash screen. I understand your complaint: that if you want IAP or other monetization features, $599 is a good jump from $349… however, if you are creating an app that features IAP, the idea is that you will probably be aiming for profits of higher than $50 per month, which is the cost of the Pro license over a 12-month period… or actually, if you are already a paying customer (or sign up before May 1), $349/12 = $29 and locks in for 2 years. I know this might not justify this change for you, and for that I’m sorry, but the price has both gone up (Pro) but also down (Starter for free), without a vast amount of limitations.

  25. The starter version starts from the current version 1076 right? Then why does it check for validation and tell me that my subscription has expired and then give server errors when trying to build for the device or simulator? Are there any steps to be taken to enable that or is this an announcement for something that will be released later in the year?

    • StarterSam – if you are seeing some errors like this, can you email me with some detail on what they are? david AT coronalabs.
      All this should be working as of today (and is for practically everyone).

      • This is what the terminal shows

        2013-04-05 15:28:03.480 Corona Simulator[33803:f03] Connection error: (system.connect) fault(/CFStreamFault)
        2013-04-05 15:28:03.480 Corona Simulator[33803:f03] Connection error: (system.connect) ({
        “/FaultCode” = “-65794″;
        “/FaultExtra” = {
        domain = 1;
        error = 64;
        msg = “Stream Error”;
        };
        “/FaultString” = “/CFStreamFault”;
        “/kWSResultIsFault” = 1;
        })

        and on trying the build command, it says “Unknown server error occurred”

        So while the simulator works fine, it does not build or rather throws an error and it also displays that I have a PRO subscription under Preferences.

  26. Deleted the plist files and tried to login, it crashes because the simulator checks for validity of the user. I guess it will take more time before the FREE is offered.

  27. I just want to point out that even if prices went up, if you build a couple of games that generate $1 a day, you’ll be able to fully pay for pro license next year.

    I personally have developed a couple of taptards that generate a little bit more than that and don’t even use any ‘pro’ features and only develop for iOS.

    Now with starter being free and allowing you to keep your custom splash screen, if you make that $1 a day, you get to keep all :-)

    I would’ve prefer if they only went up to $499 but like y’all know, this is a business and they need to stay in business if we want to be in business as well.

    I encourage all to concentrate on really polishing and making the best game you can that people enjoy playing it before publishing, and with time, it’ll pay off…however, if you’re an impatient hobbyist like me, then build several taptards and it will also pay off…you can make a game that makes you $1000 or make 1000 games and sell them for a $1 each…the end result is the same ;-)

    Cheers!

  28. I publish for iOS only. My price will go from $199 to $600 since I wish to use IAP. That is an increase for me of 300% or $401 per year. That is too much for me and many other indie iOS developers to pay. Why is there no more Indie License available for those of us who just want to publish for iOS? This was a very ignorant move to say the least.

      • @weilies, I think we’re both in agreement. Please see my complete quote above “…renew $349 one year at a time for 2 years,” which is your “…$349/yr,” isn’t it?

  29. Price hike no good, $350 was a lot before. Ok if you make a high selling game but for those wanting to have a hobby …. its a bit much.

    • Mick, for those wanting to have a hobby, the price is free.

      Even for those wanting to have a business, the price is free. Of the 7 Corona-built apps I have on the App Store, all but 1 could have been built with the new free version. And I put IAP in that one basically as a test.

      Honestly, my first reaction at the $600 Pro pricing was, “WTF?!” Then I saw what was excluded, and I realized Corona Labs is crazy — like a fox.

      My belief: If you can’t make money with the free version of Corona SDK, then you can’t make money with the Pro or Enterprise version, either.

      This is a win-win situation.

      Jay

      • Jennings, I hope you are getting paid to be the mouthpiece of corona, because we all know really well why you are always first to jump to defend them, your video series. This is how you make a living so for you the more corona users, free or paid, doesn’t matter as long as they shell out $50 for your crappy video tutorial.
        So stop the cheerleading and stomping your feet every time someone talks smack about corona, because what they did was a very bad move. They basically removed features and raised the prices which, at the end of the day, no matter how hard you pound your chest or stomp around and show your teeth, is just bad business.

        • I was a Corona SDK user before I was ever a 3rd-party vendor, and I’ve paid for my subscriptions out of my own pocket. I’ll be a cheerleader until something better comes along, then I’ll be a cheerleader for that.

          I jump to defend Corona only when I see idiocy abound. You and others are looking at the $600 and ignoring that other than IAP (I don’t count Daily Builds as a feature) you get yesterday’s version of Pro Corona SDK for FREE. How is that not a good thing?

          And if you didn’t like my video course, send me an email and I’ll give you a refund right away.

      • It’s not win-win, Jay. If it was, no one would be complaining. It’s win-win for a lot of devs, maybe, not people on the now-discontinued $200 plan.

        As a hobbyist, I don’t mind taking a loss to some degree in order to build an app I find useful, but with the new price increase, that loss suddenly goes up significantly. Given how slow some things have been to release with Corona, I don’t want to have to wait another several months on the free tier just to have a build that supports a given new feature. That’s why daily builds have been valuable for me to date.

        • WK, you’re right, for some people it’s not a win. In general, overall, I think it is, but when it comes down to specific instances it may be bad for you and some others.

          You and I obviously see the daily builds in waaaay different orders of importance. I almost never think about them — over the years I’ve gotten used to only using dev products that have shipped (the stable builds, not betas).

          Might be nice if CL was able to offer a la carte pricing — “I’ll take a free Starter edition with a side of Daily Builds.”

          Jay

          • Yes, an ala carte option would be fantastic. Or as I suggested earlier, a scaling price based on number of app sales. For instance, keep everything free or for a nominal price, but if sales exceed some arbitrary amount, then the user gets charged the $600 (or whatever the difference would be).

            Presumably, Corona Labs can track App Sales via the Analytics, so this idea should work.

      • To release an app on the App Store it will cost big coin!! Yes it’s a hobby but like to release on App Store as well! Corona should have asked its loyal developers before such an increase …. Will people defer to cocos2d … Time will tell! Wish the had a decent IDE – that one they have is very “ugly” – sublime is so much better.

        Only pro is they offering cheap if u buy now…

  30. Well I’m glad my account was upgraded to pro. I think it would have been a better move to announce price increase when the features would be actually here.
    Graphics engine, plugins… don’t look like quite ready like many others features that have been announced and just evaporated (level editor, pc/mac build…).
    So it’s getting harder to trust what Corona announces and I understand that some are not convinced of all those pricing changes.

    I tried Unity for its wide cross-platform development but switched back to Corona for its simplicity. Now I would be very happy to see Corona supporting more platforms : PC/Mac would be awesome imo, WP8 looks like it will be mandatory and why not Ouya (which works under Android).

  31. I really don’t understand this move… Now you will loose all the $200 customers, who will eventually go free, or change to another sdk if they want IAP.
    You already have a free corona to play with, you just needed to pay to publish. Now you can publish for free… At first it sounds great, but i am sure there will be some features added after that will require a pro licence, and small indies will not pay 600$ for that. So basically you will loose all the small customers. If an app makes 1$ a day it’s normal,in the appstore, and that’s not enough to repay a pro subscription…

    • Raphael, perhaps those of us on the $200 tier were in the extreme minority, so even if Corona Labs were to lose those customers, it wouldn’t affect their bottom line with any significance. Not sure how else to make sense of it.

  32. For people saying you can’t making a living with the Starter version, that’s crazy. Some of our apps have IAPs in them for a try-before-you-buy model however we are going to be removing them anyway.

    Each one of our apps could have been built with the starter version and we’re not hobbyists, this is our full-time job.

  33. Neil Pollard says:

    Great news about the introduction of a ‘free’ tier.

    Will the new OpenGL-ES 2.0/shader-based graphics engine be available as part of the free package in the future, or will developers need to subscribe if they want to create a ‘fast’ game?

  34. Great new features coming to Corona keeps me with you guys for another year.

    To renew $349 one year at a time for 2 years is a really good deal :)

    Looking forward to seeing the new features alive!

  35. I recently purchased iOS indie license.. Does this mean I can build for both iOS and Android now without paying for the android indie license?

  36. This is how is going to be from now on: Do you think that you are going to be able of making more than $599 income with IAPs? Then go Pro. For anything else, the free version is amazing. It doesn’t even include splash screen of Corona, which is weird!

    From my point of view, $599 it’s just too much money for the extra features. The gap between free and pro is too wide in price IMHO. I would say $499 it would be a more fairer price right now.

  37. I love Corona and I don’t mind the price increase for Pro. And offering the Starter version seems like a crazy good deal! And the big draws for the pro version are plugins and premium monetization, which are definitely features I’d be willing to pay for. However, plugins are not available yet and we don’t have any premium monetization for Amazon yet (which I assume is coming with plugins). So I would say the new pricing structure is a little premature and you shouldn’t be offering it until you are actually delivering those features.

  38. As an app developer who had 3 games in the App Store made with Corona, I would like to share my experience…

    My first app was put in the Apple Store at 99¢. A few hundred sold but that was about it. I made an Android version and I sold about 20! So I decided to scrap Android development and stick with only Apple.

    As a new developer, I only got that one app out in the year. So I paid Corona $350 and Apple $100 and never made back my initial investment.

    My next app was put in the Apple Store at $1.99. I sold about 80 or so. Dropped to 99¢ and sold a bit more. Dropped to free and I got 10-20 downloads a day. I added RevMob and made some money with that. So now I paid Corona $150 for the Indie Dev License and Apple $100. To me, that was acceptable. I didn’t make much if anything but I learned quite a bit.

    My 3rd game was done with In-App Purchases because I feel this is about the ONLY way an indie developer is going to make money. It might have worked, but Apple removed my game because they felt the content wasn’t suitable (which is a whole other story). The game was ROIDS, a somewhat gross take on Asteroids but by no means profane.

    So based on my experience, I only want to develop for iOS. Even charging 99¢ will prevent people from buying an unknown developer’s app. Free 2 Play is the new standard and just for that one feature, I now will have to pay $349 and then $600. As an individual developer, I cannot afford it. Corona is effectively pricing people like me out of the market.

    I wish I could just pay you $150 for the IAP functionality. Above in the comments, David Rangel stated IAP is “…a reasonable way for us to separate true hobbyists from more advanced developers”. I would argue it is the ONLY way for a small developer to make any substantial money at all. I was able to implement it and I am by no means an advanced programmer. I just knew I’d better learn it or stop making apps because I would make no money.

    Many Corona devs create apps that give a little and then use IAP to open up the full app. Take away this feature and nobody can “try it before buying it”.

    I am truly sorry to see this move because it means I can no longer use Corona for what I want to do… make small apps for free and allow users to pay me if they like it. That is the current model that is being used. Again, if I could pay for that one feature I would but this is a HUGE feature to take away.

    • I should reiterate and say the current model I am referring to is to make the game free and allow your users to spend money inside the app if they want to. Whether that be for power ups, saving time leveling up a character, new costumes/characters, etc.

    • The alternative is to release a “lite” version of your app for free that’s missing full functionality, and then release a “full” version for purchase. It’s more work for hobbyist developers, unfortunately, and it arguably doesn’t net as much as IAP would. Also, for some apps, this is a poor way to implement “try before you buy” because settings can’t be transferred easily across the two versions.

  39. I guess there should be a forum post – it’s getting a bit confusing over here.
    I can understand most of the people who are angry, because they want a module-system like YoYo GameMaker, where you can actually buy the whole package or single Modules (like it was before with Corona, where you could get iOS only or everything).

    And I agree with Adam, that there are still some features people should pay for which aren’t there yet (i.e. OpenGL GFX).

    As for monetizing: If you want to earn the big money, you might spend it first.
    If you are a hobbyist, you can still make your money with the Starter version (RevMob etc).

    I’ve tested many other Frameworks aswell (Stencyl, GameMaker, Construct 2, Gideros). Some of them just didn’t offer the functionality which I needed, some had a nearly dead community and support, other were specialized on other plattforms but iOS. It always depends on your needs.
    I think it’s a bit harsh to go with a $600 _yearly subscription_, but I hope that this will pay off for both sides.

    Let’s hope Corona Labs will still hear the community.

    • A module or a la carte system may be overkill. I think many of us just wish the old, cheaper tier weren’t discontinued entirely. As someone else said in this thread, the gap between free and $600 is simply too big.

      Out of curiosity, have you tried Moai?

      • No, I had a brief look at MOAI, but didn’t try it out.
        It looked familiar, since it is based on LUA aswell and has some benefits, that Corona only offers to Enterprise Users (it’s OpenSource and as far as I know you can use the generated Code in XCode to enhance it).

        I found an interesting article:
        http://www.raywenderlich.com/31081/how-to-make-a-simple-game-with-moai

        Though it may be free and extendable (btw – Corona is now free aswell..), but it looks a bit like an overkill. I use Corona for it’s simplicity to make rapid prototypes. It’s still good to make a full game with it, and now that 3rd party tools will come, it might be a plattform I’ll stay for a long time.
        There aren’t many features that I miss – most of them aren’t even that relevant for game-apps (camera overaly to enable AR), but let’s see. It would be awesome if all those new console-apis could be used in Corona (ouya, gamestick, …).

  40. “The Indie Subscription no longer exists”. So instead of paying 199 you have to pay $600 a year for iOS. Why is there no more Indie can someone from Corona please explain????

      • Didn’t know we are discussing vaporware here! ;-)
        Lanica is already over 4 months behind their promised Beta, and still nothing to show for it.
        Seems to be a habit of their fearless leader to over promise.

        I’ve been with Corona since Carlos was at the helm of Ansca, and time and time again he over promised and under (or never) delivered. Which sort of makes sense now that Corona is moving a lot smoother and getting their act together, after sending the fat over board.

  41. I may be wrong but I think many indies who want to stay within their current platform, be it iOS or Androids, may be missing a great opportunity here.

    Like them, I initially began developing only for iOS and hesitated to go over to Androids due to variability in screen sizes and hardware issues. Once Android 2.2+ came out, I tried out Corona SDK Android builds (Google, Amazon, and NOOK) and found porting of my iOS apps were almost effortless. Hardly any code changes were needed.

    So for those iOS or Android indies, here’s a great chance for you to try porting your current apps and expand your mobile app market, at least until the end of April’s tryout period. You may be surprised at how easy the door to the other market opens for you.

  42. It’s a business , and it is Corona’s business.
    It’s not what i would have done – but then i would get more flak from you guys if i had my way. ( yes free starter version – but only way to make money from your app is if the market is willing to pay for it – ie no ads options.)

    The problem i see coming is clones – yes it was already there – but now, with no price hurdle for release to the market it becomes super easy and don’t forget quick to release a free clone with ads attached that undercuts someone else’s creative efforts => indie “non hobbyists” developers languishing at the bottom of the price point on the app stores – ie either at the 0.99 cent mark or freemium with in App purchases.
    So from my point of view (a corona pro developer – but a lone independent) it just got a little tougher appstore market wise to possibly make a living and being my own boss.
    When i bought the Pro version i looked at it as a worthwhile mini investment in myself to see if I had what it takes to make a living doing something which is fun – it was quite a good business model – 349(corona) + 99(apple) + 200( other stores) for 1 year access to the market – see what happens. very much a feeling of being at the bottom of a hill ready for the climb. Now – kind of feeling am at the top of a hill looking down at the descent yes i have got 2 years “time” for the descent – but the path for those two years just got tricky, very tricky.

    With this said and done – i got into this as a business, and as a businessman i don’t appreciate being told what to do by others – so I hope Corona achieves what it set out to do. Yes we are Corona’s customers, but Corona is not our slave.
    The deal they have outlined has good and bad points depending on your view, but i think its good practice to try and look at things from other points of view, and vice versa.

  43. In this new starter edition, it still pop-up the trial message when I launched the app, so in order to remove the trial pop-up message for the app, I still need to buy the pro subscription. This “new starter edition” is the same as previous “trial edition” as both will pop-up the trial message when launching the app. So what’s the different between them or am I missing something?

  44. Exactly how long will we be waiting for the new graphics engine? From my experience new features like that are mentioned 3-6mnths before they finally reach the daily builds in fairly buggy states.

  45. So with the free Starter version can you now publish to iOS without being a registered Apple Dev? I just wondering if you can actually try out your app on an iOS device without having to pay Apple $100. (mine has lapsed and was planning on waiting til ready to publish to sign back up.) Currently it’s easy and free with Android, just dropbox the .apk to the tablet…

    As for the price re-structuring, I feel it’s kind of a bummer since we were using the trial of Corona and planning on buying the indie when it was ready to ship. Unfortunately we were hoping to monetize through in-app-purchases. :( We are just two guys with a great game nearly done and it would have been a good way to get started again (used to use Unity). So now we have no choice but to change our app to be a free demo and a full version (or pay $600). I doubt that will do anywhere as well as IAP….

    As for the comments about how Unity3D is a one time purchase versus having to upgrade when they do – you don’t have to upgrade if you are happy enough with the current. I own the Unity 3 iOS version for life and can still use it to publish. And even though they are on ver 4 now, they recently upgraded 3 (I’m sure that won’t continue though).

    Anyhow, if someone could answer my first question about testing your app on iOS, I’d greatly appreciate it.

    -VRMan

    • VRMan – you do need to be an Apple developer to run apps on your device unfortunately. Not much we can do about that.

      I hear you on the fact that you wanted to purchase an Indie sub. But yes, at this point you would need to buy Pro for $349 (before May 1).

      • Thank you Mr. David Rangel for your answer and presence here on the comments. Much appreciated…

        I still love Corona, but will have to shift my thinking about how to make money with it. Free is indeed a wonderful thing, but $600 for in app purchases kind of throws a wrench into my plans. I can totally understand why you guys would want to go that route though. Brilliant actually. You guys make an excellent and easy to use SDK, I’m not going to complain. As 7 of 9 would say, “I will adapt”. =)

        Best regards,
        -=VRMan=-

  46. *Low whistle* … you could cut the air with a knife here.

    Just to add my 2c.
    I’m very excited about the free version because it means that I can release an update or 2 for the game I released a short while back which didn’t use IAP(I released it about 1/2 an hour before my corona license expired o_O). As for the $600 price tag on the pro version, here’s my thoughts:

    At the end of the day it costs Corona very little (maybe a small amount in responding to forum posts/support requests) to give more people a pro license. And as we have seen from the mobile game revolution, people make significantly more money by selling a $10 game for $1 to 20 people (look at any success story on any app store, they’re always selling their game/app for much less than its *worth*). What I can’t understand is why other industries cannot seem to see the obvious here. Take the music industry for e.g. If people sold albums for $1 and songs for 10c, no one would bother to pirate music. Why? because it would be way less hassle to just pay the dollar. People would buy an album/song just to see if they like it. I’m not saying that the albums are only worth $1, I’m just saying that if they want to make money, they need to adopt a sustainable business model. Fact, we live in a throwaway society. People want to ‘try before they buy’ and they want to buy things flippantly with the intention of throwing them away later if they decide they don’t want them(I’m not saying that this is good, but it’s just how things are). The same thing applies to the music industry, film, tv shows(as in box-sets) and of course, the games industry. The problem here is that !People are too greedy to make any money!

    Now I’m not saying that Corona is greedy because they’re simply not. Evidenced amply by their original free version, indy options and now their recent *truly free* version.

    What I am saying is that the price hike is massively misguided. What they should be doing is leaving the free version as it was(i.e., you can have a play but you can’t release anything) and dropping the price of the pro license to something like $100 or even $50. If they do this, a huge number of their existing *free* customers will switch to pro and people will flock to Corona from places like Marmalade and Unity3D which is simply not geared towards 2D games at all(it even in the name). Additionally, people who would usually develop for ages with the free version before buying a license in the last few months before releasing would all buy a license up front to have access to things like daily builds all the way through their dev process. And, they would happily renew it each year even if they didn’t intend to make much use of it. Also, if it were say $50, people would likely buy a license just to have a play with the engine, without even being serious about it.

    Just my surface thoughts here, feel free to poke holes all over :-)

    Again, I’m very excited about the new free version.

  47. I literally upgraded to Pro the day before this announcement. Doh! Oh well… I get 2 extra months and 2 years of renewal at $350, but still… I’m barely selling enough a month to cover this and my iOS developer fee. Still think Corona SDK is a great deal. In fact, giving a presentation on it this month in my local iOS users group.

    So if all you want is in-app do you have to upgrade from starter to Pro or will there be ala carte pricing? Just curious. Too late for me. But that would have been the route I went if I hadn’t already upgraded. My timing is impeccable.

  48. Hi,

    Is it possible that I buy Pro with $349 first, and I upgrade to Enterprise after several months ?

    If I need some special function/libary support, where can I find resource ?

    –Farmer

  49. Dear Sir,

    1. proportion compensation
    I’m pro user and it is not fair to us. You just give us 2 months extent compare with people they paid for indie two weeks ago. Why they got a whole year free upgrade?

    I think you need to gave a proportion compensation to each user base on their join date.

    2. Corona treat their loyal customer (Pro user) as rubbish,
    What I feel is – “You don’t like it, just downgrade to FREE version”
    The truth is now PRO user subsidies for your FREE version.

    I look forward to hear from you soon.

  50. I think Corona need three versions..

    1. Free Version
    2. Standard Version ($399) w/Daily Builds.
    3. Pro Version ($599) – w/Daily Builds, In app purchases, Analytics, Plugins.

    I can justify $599 a year as a hobbyist who does not need in app purchases and analytics.

  51. I have a question I’m a little confused about. How will this work with educational support? I am currently in college, so would I get to renew my pro subscription for $250 for 3 years or is it going to be locked in at $250 in the near future?

  52. Hello,

    I started to learn and code with Corona SDK one month ago.
    I didn’t expect that it will be “so fast” to make a working prototype.
    I was thinking on buying the INDIE version (for releasing my app on the store) but Corona changed its business model.

    From my point of view, the new business model is really awesome.
    I still can’t understand how people is complaining about : “STARTER” version is not enough. Except IAP, I really don’t know why you will buy the “PRO” version if you can’t make any money with the “STARTER”.

    As a software developper who wants to develop his own games after work, I will definately recommend Corona SDK to others.

    Thank you for your great product and I will be happy to pay 600 USD / year if I make more than 100 000 USD / year with my apps.

  53. My pro role was extended as mentioned by two months, but if I start the simulator, I get a message, that my pro account expires in 2 days, which refers on the old date!

    Why that? If my role expire in two days, I have to pay 599 for the new one? Please clarify.

  54. This is not good! No in-app purchase meaning I have to pay you 599 PER YEAR to launch my game. No plugins meaning the game won´t even work..

    Well, considering that each app in the app store makes less than 2$/day in average and that Apple takes away half that… this project is not going to be realized in Corona.

    Well.. 7500 lines of code and 300MB of gfx.. will a translator to Moai work?

  55. I’ve just come back from a break from Corona development. I missed the renewal cut off date (just caught up on the news today) and my license would have expired about now without the two month extension date.
    Is it possible for me to renew the Pro subscription now at 349 or have I missed the boat?

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