Articulate 360

I am confused by this new Articulate 360 and what it means for Articulate Storyline. Does this mean that no further development will occur on Articulate Storyline 2, standalone version? Will there ever be an Articulate Storyline 3? What about people who bought a platinum licence with an upgrade option who do not want to go to Articulate 360? Will they get a refund on the upgrade portion or will they be forced to go to 360 if they want to benefit from their upgrade purchase?

While I see that there is benefit, especially for new customers, to 360, I am still not sure that it is worth mine and my company's money to take a perpetual licence and change it to a subscription for what I perceive to only be minor feature enhancements.

I am open to be shown why the expense would be worth my while?

281 Replies
Jake Hurt

With the way this sounds it sounds like:

If Company A takes on 5 new Instructional Designers they would buy 5 licences for Storyline 2.

If those 5 Designers leave the company and 5 new Designers join, the company would have to buy 5 brand new Storyline 2 licences and the original 5 licences would just 'disappear into the ether'.

It makes slightly more sense for 360 because single licences are registered to an account but sounds a little extreme for previous CD key versions of Articulate.

Mark Schwartz

You are correct Jake.  But, as I indicated, in the Storyline scenario, we will consider transfers upon request.  So in the scenario you describe, we'd most likely allow that.  The good news is that with Articulate 360 Teams, there is no request required.  You've got the ability to manage it under the 360 Teams Admin panel. - It's so easy.

Jake Hurt

I understand that teams is good if you have 20 designers but 7 would only need it at a time, but if you have 10 designers and all 10 need it to use it concurrently the extra $300 per person per year is effectively only paying to remove the need to buy another licence should someone leave the business.

At that point you can analyse it like this:

Cost of 10 licences $9999 per year

Cost of 10 team licences $12,999 per year

As long as fewer than 3 members of staff left the business and were replaced per year it is actually better value for money to keep buying the single user version.

Which is completely and utterly stupid.

Mark Schwartz

Hi Jake,

Based on your thoughtful analysis and the use case you describe, buying 10 individual plans may well be the right choice for you.

I've previously shared the other benefits of Teams plans, and if you don't see the value in those attributes, the good news is that we offer both plans. We'd be grateful to earn your business as a 360 customer - be it under an individual or Teams subscription.

Note, also, that we will be adding additional Teams only product features.  Already announced, and expected soon is collaborative Rise authoring.

Please note, however, that you should pursue 360 individual accounts and your use model changes and/or you find the new Teams only features compelling, we do provide the ability for you to consolidate your individual seats and upgrade your accounts to a Teams subscription.


Jake Hurt

Thanks Mark,

That was something I was really confused about actually, I imagine it would be on a case by case basis but if you were to buy 12 licences (1 a month) and then move over to teams it could be confusing as to how that would actually work!

I don't know how we will proceed with 360 at the moment, whether we get a certain amount of single licences or fewer team licences for flexibility will depend on our projected workflows. We only have a certain budget so we really need to plan carefully.



Mark Schwartz

Jake, for 360 Teams in the scenario you describe here's how it would work under this made up example: 

- Purchase 1 360 Teams seat January 1st.  That seat expires December 31st.  Billed for 12 month term.

- Purchase a 2nd 360 Teams seat for that existing Teams subscription on February 1.  You would be billed for 11 months (remaining term of base subscription) and that subscription would expire on December 31st.

- Purchase a 3rd 360 Teams seat for that existing Teams subscription on April 1.  You would be billed for 9 months (remaining term of base subscription) and that subscription would expire on December 31st.  

And so on.  So in this sense, Teams also provides you ultimate flexibility - not only with seat management, but also the ability to add additional seats, without committing those seats to a full year subscription.  Instead, they assume the remaining term of the base Teams subscription.

At renewal, we apply any qualified volume discounts to your renewal based on your total seat count.

Adam Hain

My opinion is that there should only be one current version of SL2 (or SL3).  Users can then choose if they want the 360 subscription with the extra software and templates or just the perpetual (or subscription) SL2 standalone.   Having multiple divergent versions is very hard on users who have perpetuals and 360 licenses or on people trying to collaborate using the two differing versions.   

It also makes the people with perpetuals feel like they have been downgraded. 

With Adobe CC users can subscribe to just Photoshop/Lightroom or the whole CC package.  But either way there is only one current version of Photoshop. 

We really like the new features in 360, but if a collaborator chooses not to upgrade, that collaboration is no longer feasible.

Joseph Ferraro

With perpetual licenses there always has to be new major versions, (at least over the course of a reasonable amount of time) otherwise the cashflow just isn't there to justify regular updates and enhancements.

That's why SaaS models (like Adobe CC or Articulate 360) are increasingly where the future is going.

Provided Articulate could lower their annual rates (based on years between major versions, about 50% less), this would work out great. I think they'd have everyone on board in a matter of months.

Adam Hain

I totally understand the need for cashflow and paid upgrades.  I just think they should make the 2 options compatible. Give subscribers the extra software, but keep the current version of Storyline the same for both tracks.  If there are major features added then make it a paid upgrade if needed, but allow perpetual users to have the current version of the software.  

Erin Librarian

I was excited, too, until I discovered SL2 files and 360 files are not compatible.  So, if you need to work cross-platform, you can't.   If you want to help a colleague with 360 and you have SL2, you cannot share/open/examine files.  Very disappointing for two versions released so closely together.  Looks like these will continue to be developed along divergent paths.

Simon Wood

Hi Erin,

Actually - Storyline 2 was released in 2014.  Articulate have just released Storyline 3.

It is very rare for software to have forward compatibility - Articulate are doing a great job with backward compatibility.

Ashley Terwilliger

Hi Matthew,

I haven't seen or heard those plans yet, but it's definitely something we'll pass along to our product team! The message would likely be something you'd see when trying to open a file in Storyline 3 if it included the features specific to just Storyline 360. It wouldn't likely be something you'd see as a part of publish since there is no way to reverse engineer the published output. 

Matthew Bibby

I'm just thinking from the perspective of developing in SL360 but having to keep projects compatible with SL3. Over time I suspect it will get harder and harder to remember which features we can use and which are to be avoided. Maybe a button we can press at any time to check compatibility? 

Jake Hurt

From a user and development point of view it would be simpler for everyone if Articulate simply made it so that when a certain version is patched in that it stops being compatible with 3.

Otherwise people are going to find it really different figuring out what they can and can't use in order to retain compatibility.

Matthew Bibby

Agreed. That's why I have SL360!

My comment was in response to your statement "From a user and development point of view it would be simpler for everyone if Articulate simply made it so that when a certain version is patched in that it stops being compatible with 3."

Erin Librarian

Right.  And I appreciate people chiming in.  We bought SL2 less than 5 months ago.  At no time was 360 marketed to us as the next version or updated version of SL2 -- 360 was presented as a subscription-based (cloud-ish) platform allowing access to all SL2 had to offer, plus additional content (Rise, etc.).  Hence my surprise, particularly since there seemed to be emerging discussion of a possible, though not guaranteed, SL3.  Others to whom I have spoken were told that no further development on a software-based, perpetual license version would take place, which is why they decided to subscribe to 360 (I spoke to them today, and they were shocked SL3 was released, and had no idea it would be based on their discussions with Articulate sales).  So, lots of confusion on the end-user side.

Justin Grenier

Hi Erin!

You’re absolutely right that Articulate 360 is a separate offering than our perpetual license software.  We are definitely encouraging folks to try out Articulate 360 because we think they’ll benefit from the continuous updates and all the other helpful apps and resources.  But we’re continuing to support our perpetual license software, and we’ve shared our plans to release Storyline 3 in 2017 in many forum discussion like this one. If anyone has questions that they’d like to discuss with us further, please get in touch with our success team by emailing