Sublime Forum

Why is the license so expensive?


I seriously think that the license is expensive. For developers that live in a 3rd world country (like me), $70 is a lot of money for a single license.

It’s even weirder that you can use your license on more than 1 machine. Developers that live in a developing country are most likely to have only 1 machine. I am a bit more lucky, i have 2 machines and monitors.

Please consider changing the license fee and model. I don’t mind buying 2 license for my 2 machines at a price of $15 ~ $25. It fits better for me and millions of developers out there that don’t have 10 ~ 100 machines.

Thank you,
Josef M

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Actually $70 is not that much for a work tool. Compared to competition Sublime is relatively cheap. Also it is not uncommon to use Sublime on multiple machines (simple example: 1 at home and 1 at work).
Unfortunately for people that live in 3rd world country everything, that is reasonably priced in developed countries, will be expensive.



It suits me too.If there is another price for the developing country,the company would get a lot more money than now so that sublime can develop faster than now,since I found a lot of developer in China want to buy a license to purport sublime Text ending not buying because of the price.If the price changed to 20$,there may be billions money from China since sublime Text is popular in China.



I think the problem is that it’s priced the same everywhere. $70 might be fine in the US or Europe but in many other countries it represents a lot of money (especially given how expensive USD is at the moment). It would make sense to give it one main price + a cheaper price for 3rd world countries.



What you demand is a price discrimination, that indeed may lead to maximization of income, but also under certain circumstances could be considered as unfair by customers, because now depending where you live - you are charged different price for the exactly same thing, and leads to cheating, grey market, reselling licenses, and lot of ugly stuff.

What do you say to everyone who paid $70 when your drop the price to $20?

I am nowhere economy expert, but I believe that in long term price discrimination may even lead to stronger salary level differences between 1st, 2nd & 3rd world countries, rather help with the convergence.

Also, I don’t believe $70 is so much for what Sublime Text offers, even for IT professional in 3rd world.

Much better thing would be to simply introduce some free licenses for best plugin developers, open-source project developers, students or plugin functionality bounties. Then if you cannot afford the license, you can just spend a day or two to get the license. You can do it with the trial version.



The price is great, if you make money out of it, pay for it. Honestly it is probably the first product I paid for a few years ago and it’s been worth it for sure. Yes the features might be the same with the “free” version, but that way you support the developers for more features.

And yes, the price might be steeper for developing country, but again, if you get paid for it - buy it. If you buy a hammer that lets you do a job and get paid, it’s an investment. Same with sublime. Now, if you’d say to lower the price, what ono said is very true, what about those who paid $70? Only possible solution to me would be to have 50% off for Sublime Text 4 when that comes out for those who have bought 3 ^^

Anyways, the point is that the price is fair. Some competitors might be free, but they lack performance big time, so switching is a no-no for sure. The others are full blown IDEs, so thats a different type of software completely (and usually more expensive because of the montly subscribtions).



I’m trying to explain to all my students that they should pay for the license instead of looking for a cracked version. $10 for a licence is worth buying. When they all see $70, they all look for a cracked version.
Just about the numbers :

  • for christmas very famous game sells around 200.000 units for $1.99 = ~$400.000
  • when it’s not christmas, this game is $19.99 and sell ~4000 units = $80.000
    (those numbers are from the author of the game itself)

I’m pretty sure with a price around $10, you’ll make much more money than with $70 (I’d be one of the first buyers!). Meanwhile I’ve paid $200 for the PyCharm licence which is a better quality-price ratio (sorry for saying that, I dont want to be rude but I dont know how to say it another way).

Or maybe you could filter registered people like "" means you’re a student or a teacher in France, so you can have a one-year free pro licence or something



PyCharm is 200$ for one year, ST is 70$ with no time limit. The point that licenses does not expire eliminates educational discount, because you can just buy the license as a student and use it afterwards. Adding a one year free license to something, that already has a unlimited free trial does not seem to be useful to me. (I know students, who “try” it during their studies and are looking forward to buy it when they have more money.)

In addition I don’t understand why you should crack a version when you have a unlimited trial. I don’t think anyone with that mentality would buy it for a lower price.



This tells us exactly nothing. Did it sell 200k units because it’s Christmas or because of the price point? What would’ve happened if it were priced at $9.99? Or did the competition also dump their prices, effectively forcing this game to follow suit? A lot more goes into pricing considerations than anecdotes like this, because if you look for it there is plenty anecdotal “evidence” for the opposite argument too.

This is like sports commentary. Everyone has an opinion on what the coach/team/etc. should have done. You may some kind of ‘expert’ and put it under your post, and the example may be all kinds of famous, you may not even be wrong, but all of that still doesn’t make it helpful.



You’re right. Bad latin mentality.



Did it sell 200k units because it’s Christmas or because of the price point?
I’ll answer by a question: do you think people buy a game because it’s christmas, and they want to offer it as a gift, or they buy it because it’s 1/10th of the usual price?
BTW: I’ve removed “expert” because it seems to bother you a lot.

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The answer is of course “both”.

You can spice up your anecdote all you want, or counter my arguments against it, but it’s still way too little information to come to any kind of conclusion about the broad topic of software pricing. It’s armchair quarterbacking. Which is fine by the way, I have my own ideas about this too ($70 is a bit much, but I get a lot less use from Sketch and I paid $99 for that, plus there is the free option). Just don’t get the idea that it’s more than an opinion and expect it to be very valuable to anyone.




To add some words to your answers, I will say that:

  • it is not that expensive from my point it view
  • possibility of multiple computers
  • even on one computer: many of my Virtual Machines run Sublime Text
  • very good editor for many languages
  • personally, I left:
    • Eclipse (C/C++),
    • Pydev (Python)
    • Emacs (bash)
    • TexShop (Latex)
    • and others editors
  • very good plugins: free for the most of them
  • very stable and very very fast

You have always other (cheaper or even free) editors if not satisfied.



It’s a shame you guys think like that towards those who can’t afford to pay $80.
And also, coming to this forum and asking for more options in the pricing model doesn’t look like something someone dissatisfied would do to me.

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The argument is very simple and it comes down to this:

If the license was cheaper, say $15, I would buy it, but since it costs a fortune, I won’t. If it was $15, Sublime would have $15, since it’s $80, Sublime will have 0. You don’t have to be a genius to see the economic advantages here.

You guys who live in a first world country may never understand what is $80 for us.

While you might make this money in a few hours, it’s half a month of work for most people here, and most people simply CANNOT afford to spend a month with half their salary because they bought this tool; which is for all intents and purposes “free”.

Thank God Sublime’s evaluation time is unlimited. And I hope they realize the amount of money they are losing because of this absurd price.



I consider $80 to be cheap for what you get, the license do not expire which is on own very attractive to me. I also use this on all of my personal devices, at work, at home, which is also amazing without increasing any cost for me.

If it instead was a subscription based license I do not think I would purchase it. Imagine paying that yearly and/or for every device you have - it would get expensive really quick.



Full acknowledge @Simons !
I do also dislike these modern subscription based licenses.

And as a software developer I know how much work and time is required to build such a product. There was no day during the last 5 years where I did regret buying this ST license (and until now the same with SM) - but many where I was really glad to own it. Especially because the license offers so much space (multi device+platform as well as commercial and private usage).

Moreover by buying a license I do not only support (and value!) the developer(s), I do also ensure the further development of the software.



Someone mentioned compared to competition, $70 is cheap… This is funny because the competition is free, supports advanced panels, and more…

They are a bit slower though.

Notepad++ has poor plugin developers and a lot of them have crash bugs or memory leaks - not to mention it locks up when you search through files until the search is done.

Atom is slow.

Visual Studio Code is slow.

It could be that way because I’m on a 10 year old machine, but I can play triple A games at 40 to 60fps, and older games much faster. 3 GHz quad core, so I don’t get it.



I don’t live in a third world country and I also think that the license is way too expensive. I am not a programmer, but I use the editor to type my notes, paste logs, etc…
In other words, I am not making money by using the editor.
I would be willing to pay $20 for the license, but there is no way I am paying $80.
This very high price alienates many people who would potentially buy the product (not only from the third world countries). Even by looking at this discussion, I can see many potential sales that are not going to happen because of this high price.
The authors should rethink their approach to the pricing model.



Why does this thread keep coming up? If you don’t want to pay for the editor then don’t use it.
There are many simple free editors that would meet your needs.
I don’t make money using the editor, but I paid for it so I can play around with it,