Storyline Perpetual Licence

Jan 25, 2019

I'm getting that sinking feeling that Articulate have decided to abandon their perpetual licence in favour of the subscription based 360 offering.

There's been no update of Storyline v3 since Aug 2018 and the gap between Storyline v3 and 360 is getting wider.

Normally around this time of year Articulate have started to promote the latest version (v4). This year we're getting meaningless messages quoting "we're focusing on the overwhelming needs of our customers and adding new features to 360".... and those of us to prefer, or have to use, perpetual licences have been left by the wayside.

I wonder if anyone could give us a definitive answer as to whether-or-not 360 will be the only future option for Storyline? (I do hope not, but I suspect I know the answer).

I also wonder if there are other Storyline v3 users out there who are in the same predicament and have already started looking for alternative solutions? I see that Adobe are continuing to offer Captivate 2019 on perpetual licence, and some of the new features in that look pretty good, but what other options are people considering?

I’ve been a Storyline user since v1 and have invested heavily in licences over the years. I currently have 12 developers on v3. I realise that our licences will continue, even after Articulate have abandoned us, but eventually it’ll become a legacy product and we’ll need to look elsewhere.

I’d appreciate others thoughts.

11 Replies
Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Andy, 

Our first priority is delivering a continuous stream of new features and content to Articulate 360. The vast majority of our customers are using Articulate 360, so that’s where we’re putting our focus. We know some folks are unable to switch to subscription plans or cloud apps, and if there’s anything we can do to help you make the case for Articulate 360, let us know. We’re happy to help.

We’re continuing to support Storyline 3 with bug fixes, but we aren’t adding any major new features to Storyline 3 or sharing a release schedule. We haven’t made any decisions about developing a new perpetual version of Storyline. We’ll announce any major updates here in the Storyline forum.

I'm here if you have any other questions! 

Russ Sawchuk

Hi Andy,

Yes, I am in the same situation. I have been a StoryLine user since V1 and have updated to the newer versions of SL as soon as they were released. I have hundreds of StoryLine components for our own use and those that we developed for our clients.

I have added other programs to my e-learning toolbox. These include iSpring 9 Suite (love their quiz program and interactions), Captivate 2019 (still trying to figure it out) as well as a bunch of video production software.

However, for now I still find myself using StoryLine 3 because I know what I am doing, and can usually get the results I want. My SL applications are simple narrated presentations and knowledge check scenarios. SL 3 works well for me for these simple applications. If I need advanced features such interactive video, 360 video, etc., I will use Captivate.

I too believe that there will be no StoryLine 4! And there is NO WAY that I will ever subscribe to 360 because of the costs, and the fact that I have no use for the other components. For me, there are simply other more cost-effective tools to develop e-learning.

Andy Carter

Thanks Ashley,

reading between the lines here, I guess that Articulate have decided to abandon part of their loyal customer base who either can't afford the expensive 360 subscription or have technical reasons why they can't use online tools.

It's a shame but I fully understand that you're a commercial organisation and making money is your main focus.

Interesting to hear that you're continuing to support SL3 with bug fixes. I must have missed those. The last I saw were in August, which seems a long time not to issue fixes?

We'll stick with Storyline v3 for a little while longer. It's already lacking in functionality compared with Captivate 2019 and iSpring is  much more affordable option. Eventually though our SL3 will become obsolete and then we'll look elsewhere.


Ashley Terwilliger-Pollard

Hi Andy,

A quick update to let you know that Storyline 3, build 3.6.18134.0 is available today. This update encompasses a number of bug fixes that you've also seen released to Storyline 360. The only new features or enhancements are updated support of Chrome and Safari browsers and improvements to usage data Storyline 3 collects and the ability to opt out by changing your privacy preference. You'll see all these noted in the version history linked above. 

You can download the latest update here, and please let me know if you have any questions. 

Leslie McKerchie

Hi Soren,

With Update 19 we added the option to opt out of data collected when deploying a course created in Storyline 360, prior to that there was limited usage data collected. That data is detailed in the article Ashley shared above (linked here), specifically:

  • analyze feature metrics and error reports from Articulate 360 desktop products
  • anonymized device and browser data when learners view published output
Andy Carter

Thank you Ashley,

I'll download the latest bug fixes and get them installed.

Again, it's unfortunate that Storyline 3 is all but dead and buried for Articulate. These bug fixes will help to keep it ticking-over for a few more weeks/months. But, in the end, if there's not going to be any future for perpetual licensing with Storyline, it's barely worth the effort of updating. In reality, it's putting off the inevitable.

Most of the 'Enhancements' in the latest download rely upon us having the expensive and unusable 360 suite installed and that's simply not possible for us.

Typically, the life-cycle of an eLearning module is 2-3 years. If we continue to use SL3 now, we can guarantee that, when the modules need updating, our authoring tool will be obsolete and we'll be forced to look elsewhere. It makes financial and practical sense to switch now to a tool which is sustainable into the future and I'd strongly advise anyone who uses, or who is considering purchasing Storyline 3 to seriously consider their options.

It is a shame. Storyline v3 is a great tool but it's clear that Articulate isn't too concerned about 'minority' users who need perpetual licensing or even those who use MacOS. An interesting customer relationship model.

I do hope you have a change of heart, but the future for many of us looks as if it's not going to be with Articulate.

Rob Morgan

I also work in an industry where we cannot use a cloud product at this time. I have been using SL since SL1 and have been very pleased. I have SL1, SL2, SL3, and Replay all on my computer. The push for cloud based systems and reoccurring revenue has been ramping up for awhile and it makes complete sense for the company to focus attention on those who are paying every year as opposed to those who pay once or once every few years when a major version comes out. I worked at a company previously who made a lot of money off of auto renewals that people did not even realize they had. 

The good news for me at least is that SL3 is still meeting almost all of our needs and where it is lacking we have started purchasing add on products that do what we need. It is still our primary tool for eLearning creation but I think we'd all be kidding ourselves if we think the perpetual version will be around much longer. If you look across the tech industry everyone has moved to a Netflix model because reoccurring revenue is so valuable.

Judy Nollet

My 2-cents' worth: I prefer the perpetual license, too. In addition to the cost saving, I just like using software on my hard drive, rather than having apps and source files in the cloud.

Like others above, I also understand why Articulate prefers the annual-fee model. But I would like to see them add some ala carte pricing, e.g., have a less-expensive annual fee for getting access to Storyline 360 only (without Rise, etc.).

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