Sublime Forum

I would love to support you but


For $59, I can purchase an AAA Title video game that took a multi-billion dollar corporation 3 years and over 20million dollars to create. Here’s an idea, how about you make it easier for average people to support your development by presenting REASONABLE pricing for a text editor, which is in no way - cannot ever be - even a fraction as expensive to develop or complex as a AAA Grade Video Game? $99 for just 3 years is absurd. For a god damned text editor a reasonable price is $19.99 for a 1 time LIFETIME purchase.

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Here is an idea, use something else if you are too cheap to pay and support developers from a small company.




I just want to note some comparison points between a text editor and AAA video games that show why it’s not a fair comparison:

  • Video games have orders of magnitude larger audiences. GTA V has sold over 145 million copies, which is an order of magnitude more than even the total estimated number of developers in existence (~20 million).
  • Text editors in general are a tool built for professionals that gets used often, whereas video games are primarily entertainment.
  • Video games do not require ongoing development, unlike development tools which are expected to see continuous improvement.

1 time LIFETIME purchase.

Lifetime purchases inherently lead to abandonware. This is why video games have sequels instead of adding more to the one game. Note this is the same approach previous taken for Sublime Text, where you pay for a major version. The new 3-year license model more closely aligns our incentives with what customers want by encouraging more frequent updates and continuous improvements.



Yeah well, that’s all well and good, but surely you know it’s not entirely true?
AAA Video games do sell a lot more copies, but they also dwarf the amount of resources spent in orders of magnitude, as does oh let’s say, WINDOWS 10? Yet even THAT can be bought for a 1 time purchase price. The Subscription model your company has put in place is just an excuse to keep revamping an already fantastic product for easy profit, rather than focusing all your development into a new more risky - and more needed - product instead, one that can’t even guarantee you’ll stay afloat as a company compared to a proven revenue stream.

I could go on for awhile but I’ll skip the easy dismantle of your il-logic and cut the chase.
This potential customer just wants your base text editor as is for a reasonable one time price, like $29. I can get Microsoft Windows 10 for $150, and if I keep it offline I can run it for life. If I don’t I can still run it a good 10 years without major issues (when it was new). Surely you’re not positing that your text editor is in any way close to the value of the entire operating system on which it runs?

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I can’t think of any video game that still receives major updates 10+ years after the initial release without an alternate revenue stream. Same goes for Windows where licenses are both specific to a major version and they have plenty of alternate revenue streams.

Note that the new license model for consumers isn’t a subscription: If you’re unhappy with the updates made over the 3 year period you can simply not purchase an upgrade while maintaining full access to whichever version you were last licensed for. If you feel that we shouldn’t be improving Sublime Text further, simply don’t upgrade your license.

Note also that we have been focusing a lot of development into “a new more risky - and more needed - product” as you’ve suggested: Sublime Merge.



If I’m not going wrong, after the 3-year license expiration you can continue to use life-time the lastest Sublime Text you got when your license was valid. This isn’t different from the Windows 10 life-time usage: if you want the next version, Windows 11, you have to buy a new license.

Also, you’re missing how prices are set: every single company on the planet sets the price of their products in order to maximize the revenue, and not to match the “actual value” of the product - flagship smartphones are absurdly overpriced because a lot of people are willing to pay that price, but objectively they are not worth all that money. The development cost of a product is just what defines the minimum price, but not the selling price.

To me, and it is the same for a lot of other IT professionals, Sublime Text is priced reasonably compared to how much I used it in my daily job. Just like you think 59$ is reasonable for a AAA videogame.



Spending $33 a year to help support the development of a tool as useful and fun as Sublime Text is an easy decision for me. I spend more than twice that annually for Microsoft 365, a professional necessity for me. I couldn’t care less about video games. Spend your money where you like, OP. God bless free enterprise.



You are comparing apple to oranges again. Windows is made by a massive corporation that is a dominant force in the market. Windows is not the only Microsoft product/service, nor its the one that is driving the revenues for the company. SublimeHQ is a small company dedicated only to developing Sublime Text and Sublime Mege. This is their only form of revenue.

Look elsewhere. $99 is the price set for a Sublime Text license that is valid for up to three years of support.



And to give credit where its due. Development of another modular text editor has stalled. It was marketed as VIM with VS Code extensions support. This is yet another example of how harder is for smaller players in the market to compete against giants like Microsoft and VS Code.

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Excellent point and really interesting or even important news in the text editor business it seems.




You are being told how to fix this problem so that development is sustainable and so that Kiswatz can pay what he wants, and you’re just brushing it off.

  • ST should move all distribution to Steam and forget about multi-platform support.
    Stick to Windows, those other OS are irrelevant anyway
  • Sublimers should be required to have a continuous, good quality connection to the internet - how else are you to do accurate telemetry for the benefit of supporting your user base?
  • Themes should be available in exchange for the in-editor $WOO cryptocurrency which you can earn by blindly mashing your keys for 30 minutes a day, but which you can choose to buy for hard-currency in the in-editor marketplace.
    It’s just a cosmetic after all
  • Functions such as search-and-replace-at-will should be available, but with a long cool-down period. Use your $WOO to open in-editor loot boxes - rendered in ascii graphics in the lower panel - for a chance at lowering the cool-down period for a limited time.
    More $WOO means more features and a happier userbase.
    This is about choice and value.
  • Platinum loot boxes give you a chance to jump into another connected user’s editing session in realtime, and overlay an ascii animation of the Doom guy teabagging any lines of code that don’t use your preferred brace style.
  • Platinum+ loot boxes - only an extra 2,000 $WOO - will play a remixed chiptune version of some NiN track while the swinging ascii ballsack is in motion.
  • And if users don’t like it, they can user their own $WOO for automatic defence, good until the next time they save a file

There are other lessons to be learnt from the AAA game business model, but pivoting to these simple ideas as a starting point will allow true professionals to have the functionality they depend upon day-in, day-out combined with the illusion of low cost and value for money.



I would pay a lot of $WOO for the implementations of Platinum and Platinum+.