StoryLine 360 vs StoryLine 2

I use StoryLine 2 and have become accustomed to all of its quirks, and mods, and little hacks that I need to do with it to give the best presentation possible to my users.

Now I see this "StoryLine 360" as part of the Articulate 360 Studio, and I'd like to get some answers to some questions.

1) Can I expect the same types of quirks that I have with SL2, which I am totally fine with btw now that I have adapted to them?  Or is SL360 more or less a completely different product and should not be treated the same as SL2.

2)  What exactly are the differences?   It would be nice to have or see some sort of a checklist of things that SL360 has that SL2 does not.   I get that the articulate 360 package has the full gamut of Articulate products (the very vast majority of which I won't use, personally), but simply comparing one storyline to the other, I need to know if I need to take the time to make a change or not.  

Any information or advice is greatly appreciated.  I'm concerned by what i'm seeing, mostly because I simply don't understand it.

thank you.

99 Replies
Crystal Horn

Thanks so much, Kim, for sharing your story with us.  It's a good opportunity for us to keep in touch with what tools our customers, especially our existing ones, need and use.

I wanted to let you know that we'll be adding a feature to Articulate Review that allows your stakeholders to make comments without logging in.  Also, you're right.  Storyline 360 courses are not backwards compatible with Storyline 2.  If you weren't planning on including all of your developers in a Teams subscription, I can see where that would be problematic for you.

Thank you again for sharing!  If you wanted to investigate further about your needs and if Articulate 360 can meet them (now or in the future), please don't hesitate to reach out to our Success team!

Rob Pannoni

I have to say I'm very disappointed in how this has played out. I purchased Storyline 2 six weeks ago. Haven't even completed a project in it yet. It's the only Articulate product I'm interested in. Now I discover that it's basically end-of-lifed and is not going to be upgraded to the latest features and I have to spend another $600 to get a new version six weeks after I spent $1400 for the product.

Frankly, this is a terrible upgrade policy. And the fact that you are sending me daily emails to flog me into purchasing the new version is a constant reminder to me of how terrible it is. If I have to spend $600 at this point and another $1,000 every year thereafter to keep using the product, competing products are back on the table. The entire Adobe Creative Cloud suite only costs $600 per year. And it's far more comprehensive than the two flagship products in your suite, Storyline and Studio, which basically duplicate the same functionality.

Articulate is a good product. But you need to seriously rethink your pricing strategy. You are pissing off users and pricing yourself out of the market. 

Justin Grenier

Hey, Rob.  Hey, Harry.  Hey, John.

I'm really sorry that our marketing emails have made you feel like we might stop releasing perpetual versions of our software or stop supporting our existing tools.  Two quick points on that:

  1. I think this post from our VP of Operations answers your questions on subscription versus perpetual.

  2. Articulate will continue to support the last 2 perpetual versions of each product (currently SL1, SL2, ST09, and ST13) as well as our new subscription tools. In other words, we'll keep supporting Storyline 2 for a long time.

Our perpetual customers got us where we are today, so we're committed to you, and we won't abandon you.  If you'd like to discuss options regarding your recent purchase, please contact our success team at  Thanks!

Harry Carter


You didn't address my situation.

If I start working in 360 for a year and decide to not want to pay $1,000 next year, I have no legacy support, to go back to S2. Also, S3 will be coming. Will 360 be compatible with S3?

Will S3 be the same as 360? If so, why should people who pluck down their money today be the chosen ones...and not others who wish to or need to wait?

Listen, it's no secret that there have been a lot of big problems with no workarounds for current and past software. But all I see is this "trudging forward" mentality, leaving a lot of issues and people in the dust.

Bottom line, I paid for S2 and went to Captivate because I couldn't embed a video without using a web object...which totally took the air out of the sails.

Anyway, on and on and on...

Rob Pannoni

I'm glad to hear that Storyline will continue to be upgraded, although there's no indication of when a new version might be out or whether it will have feature parity or compatibility with the 360 version. Vague promises of future versions will have very little impact on your customers' current decision-making. 

My problem is that I would like to have responsive mobile support for a project I'm working on now. I could pay you another $600 to get that feature in 360.  But since anything I create in 360 is not backward compatible, it means the $1,400 I just paid for Storyline 2 will be flushed down the toilet without ever being used. It also means I'm am committing to pay $1,000/year (after year one) just for the ability to maintain the project in the future, including being forced to pay for products I will never use. 

For $1100, about the price of a one-year subscription, I can purchase a perpetual copy of Captivate, which has responsive mobile support already. For $360, I can get a Captivate subscription that will save me $600/year versus your subscription.

There is no reasonable business case for the substantial extra expense you are asking your users to pay versus other options. Sadly, you are forcing your users to your competition. 

Justin Grenier

Hi again, Harry.

  • If you start working in 360 for a year and decide that you don't want to renew your subscription next year, you still own your license for Storyline 2 and we will continue to support Storyline 2, although it's true that Storyline 360 projects can't be opened, edited, or published with previous versions of Storyline.
  • When we release the next perpetual version of Storyline next year, it will not be the same application as Storyline 360.  Most notably, it will not include integration with the web apps in Articulate 360 such as Content Library and Articulate Review.
  • In general, we'd like to avoid breaking changes between Storyline 360 and the next perpetual version of Storyline, but it happens.  Like, if we introduce a new dial style in version X, you'll need to use at least version X to edit and publish that dial style. So, if you're still on version W, you might see a message like, "this project includes a dial style that requires version X. Please upgrade to version X."  Our plan is to try and limit this though and keep it isolated to projects actually using new features.

  • I see that you've submitted a Support Case regarding video in Rise, and we'd love to help with any video problems you're seeing in Storyline 2 as well.

Please let us know how else we can help!

Harry Carter

Sigh, Justin, you just echoed what I said.

As for helping with my video problems in S2, if you go back and check my messages from almost 3 years ago, you'll see that my video problems in S2 were never solved or even continued to be addressed. Mr. Cheng dropped the ball I believe. I switched (not my choice) to Captivate because of this video problem. Listen, most of what I've seen here ends up as cosmic dust, I'm serious. I'm not trying to be rude but gee, go do a study on how many problems weren't solved here or take a count on phrases similar to "we're working on it" or "should see in the next release", etc.

Bottom line is that there is no legacy support if I work in 360 for a year then decide to want to work in S2 which I purchased. Articulate 360 marketing is no doubt, snuffing out any ideas of being able to go back if we don't like it. Sure, we could go back to S2 but we'd have to recreate and YOU and everybody else here knows it...and THAT is the idea, right?

Okay, enough of this...I hope they find a solution to my video problems. It seems that Articulate likes to lower the quality of videos when they embed them. This is very bad for me because my videos are detail oriented and have much text, etc. BTW, this happened in S2 and also occurs in Rise. I need to be able to use the original quality in my published Rise.

Janella Malazarte

Hi Kim, I did almost the exact same thing. I had to test 360 but wanted to be still be productive so I used the trial version of storyline 360 to build a course for a real project, thinking at first this IS storyline 3 and we are upgrading for sure. I wish somehow all the marketing stuff was more upfront that it was not the case, would have saved me a lot of grief. I also used it to make MAJOR edits to previous courses already built in storyline 2 so I can also publish them in Review and try that out as well. I opened a case and was given a 1 month extension to my trial so I can "finish" my project but really after that I'm doomed as I'm sure these courses will still need to be updated and maintained beyond my trial. Looks like I have no choice but to recreate in storyline 2 or pray that storyline 3 will be released very soon and it will be able to open my 360 files.

Our team was this close to subscribing to 360 but have decided to back out after some last minute research in fear of being unable to re-open all content we create with it in case we have to cancel our subscription in the future. I believe it's common for everyone to have to go back and update courses later even if they are technically "finished." Risking loss of access is unacceptable. Even losing this one project keeps me up at night already. Are we really a minority that are seeing problems with the way 360 works? I'm curious if sales is going as well as they'd hoped and if the backlash was not expected. I hope this is something the Articulate team will consider going forward as I'm a big fan and I still want to believe that they can work this out in the end.

Janella Malazarte

That's true, I knew that and I did feel like an idiot once I realized what I had done. But I'm just sharing my story since I saw Kim's post and it looks like I'm not the only one who had this issue with the trial. The problem has been dealt with as I already opened a case and they did what they could (extend my trial). I will recreate my course in 2 once my trial expires unless 3 comes out soon and it opens my 360 files.

To be clear, I didn't expect to be able to re-open in 2, just that I didn't have to. I was under the impression that Storyline 360 is the next version of Storyline and as a team, we were always going to upgrade to the next version as soon as it's out.  Didn't even consider that there would be a separate Storyline 3 that possibly won't open 360 files and won't be coming out until "sometime in 2017." Now that we know, we're opting to wait for 3. Even if we want to subscribe so we can all upgrade now to a new Storyline, there's no guarantee we can re-open our 360 projects if we decide to cancel and get Storyline 3 when it comes out. We may have the budget now to subscribe for a year but it could be cut for the following years and we'll be forced to cancel. We can't risk losing our content then. I'm just getting it out there as something for the Articulate team to think about as they develop their products. 

Rachel Craig

Hi, Crystal,

The fact that the article linked above talks about adding a feature where stakeholders can sign into Articulate Review without signing on outlines one of my main frustrations with all of the communication surrounding Articulate 360 vs. Articulate Storyline 3. I've seen mention of how the subscription model allows for quicker updates, and that's understandable.

What I don't like is how after seeing many comments ask about what features will be in Storyline 3 and when it will be released, I've seen, from multiple Articulate staff, that there will be no access to the web apps in Articulate 360 and Storyline 3 will be released "sometime in 2017." Since I will not be updating to Articulate 360, as my company only needs access to Storyline, this strategy is incredibly frustrating. Is there any progress that can be shared on Storyline 3, as it's been more than a month since Articulate 360 has been released? Or any information about Storyline 2 updates, such as improved HTML5 output, responsive players, and 508 compliant output, please?



steve raynor

Hi, I see that Articulate 360 is not backward compatible with Storyline 2. This is a huge problem as I have developed a bunch of modules for a client using Storyline 360, but the client only has Storyline 2, so they cannot view or edit any of the raw files. Other than for the client to purchase 360, is there any solution you can offer here?

Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Kim,

I'm sorry that I don't have a better answer for you, but with each software release it has not been backwards compatible to the earlier version as each newer version has included items and elements that won't work in the older versions. When the next perpetual version of Storyline is released that'll be compatible with the current iteration of Storyline 360 so that you can transfer your files into that perpetual versions. 

Allain McCallum

Well stated Kim, it matches my scenrio as well. 4 internal SL2 licences, but external contract work as well with 20+ contracted clients and at least another 15 external independent contractors. 1 pebble in the pond anywhere creates ripples that impact everyone else. Nice score for Articulate, not much consideration for the users.