3D optimization tool Simplygon is discontinuing its free service, meaning that any smaller developer or company relying on that service will now have to pay a significant amount to access the software.
No official public-facing announcement was made to reveal the change, but Bennett Foddy, developer of Getting Over It and the upcoming Baby Steps, shared a notice on X (formerly known as Twitter) earlier today.
In the notice, which is simply titled "a message from the Simplygon team", Simplygon says that the free version will be discontinued on March 31st, and that after this time, developers will no longer be able to use said free tier "or any of its features".
Foddy says that he's "got some wild price hike emails before" but that "going from $0 to $35,000 per year in one jump" must be some kind of record.
With no free tier available, developers will indeed now have to pay $35,000 per year for Simplygon, according to the service's official website. That price gets you unlimited seats and processings, as well as a ton of other benefits.
That $35,000 per year is on a per-title basis, too, so it's not just for your organization as a whole, although Simplygon does say it offers "up to 85% discount for small ventures".
Per an archived version of the site from just a few days ago, the free version originally offered just one seat and 200 processings per day, but many other benefits, including plugins for Autodesk's 3ds Max and Maya software, were shared by both tiers.
It's also worth noting that although Simplygon says its free tier will disappear on March 31st, it doesn't seem possible to sign up for the free tier at time of writing either, with only the $35k option available on the official site.
This is arguably the second tech-related blunder to make Simplygon owner Microsoft look bad this week.
Over the weekend, Microsoft aired an ad for its Copilot chatbot during the Super Bowl celebrations, and it's a chilling watch, to say the least. It's effectively inviting developers to ask Copilot to write code for their games, which...well, I'm sure that's not a future in which most devs would like to live.
We've reached out to Simplygon for comment on this story and will let you know as soon as we hear anything back.