First, let’s start off with a few introductory statements. NO, I am not against innovation. NO, I am not against vendors. NO, I am not against companies making money. NO, I am not against the users of Daz. So with that out of the way, let’s get going.
Late 2011, the 3D market was introduced to Genesis, a figure that only worked in Daz Studio (at the time) to replace Victoria 4. Fast forward to June 2013, we get Genesis 2, the new and improved figure. Fast forward to June 2015, we get Genesis 3, the new and improved figure. Fast forward to June 2017, we get Genesis 8, the new and improved figure. Ignore the fact that they skipped 4-7 (this part makes sense to me, keep the numbers the same as the character figure numbers) and you see the pattern. Every two years, a new figure. And a new library you need to buy so they remain clothed.
And there’s the rub. We see what this is. It’s a cash grab. It’s plainly obvious this is planned obsolescence. They do this to make sure they keep making money. “Oh, we’ve run out of ideas for characters/themes, let’s just make a new base, so we can re-use the same ideas over and over!” That’s what Daz is thinking. And they are thinking this means that they can also make money off the content creators by having them release the same stuff they already made, but for a new figure.
Now, THIS is bad. Both for the industry and content creators. The industry stagnates, as many ideas are lost because no one is forced to innovate new things. They just re-release the same stuff over and over just “updated” each iteration. The content creators stagnate because they don’t HAVE to come up with new things, they can just release what they’ve always done, and not have any new ideas. They don’t need to research new clothing styles or invent something original, because they don’t HAVE to. All this while Daz is skimming just a little off the top of their profits. That’s why this is done. Sales get a little low after two years because all the good ideas are taken and no one can think of anything new, so BOOM, new figure and the rush to take the good ideas start. It is irresistible to content creators because they get an increase of sales, but it’s bad for them, and for everyone else. ESPECIALLY the consumer.
Every two years, the consumers are put into a fun position. Update and buy your library all over again, or loose out on the new stuff. And on the off chance someone makes anything new and unique, it’s going to be in the new figure. And if you don’t upgrade to the new figure you can’t use this new idea. And so then you are forced to re-buy everything you need, JUST for this one item. Trust me on this, I will get into it later why and how this happens. Consumers are milked over and over for things they already have, JUST so Daz can make more money, and content creators can make money.
As I said at the beginning, I am NOT against either group making money, but I AM against them doing it because they don’t want to innovate. Some of my content creator friends are likely getting ready to yell at me, saying that isn’t why they are doing it. That they deserve a living wage. And I don’t disagree on that last point. But either you are cheering for the new Genesis because you are a Daz fanboy who would cheer if Daz released a turd for sale, or you have an ulterior motive for it. Not saying there is anything BAD about an ulterior motive, just want you AND EVERYONE ELSE, to be aware of it. You want to have a wage. Fine. I want you to have one too. But when your wage is made by just selling the same thing over and over to people getting into the “newest thing” I find that a little distasteful. If your entire wage is based on this, then maybe it’s time to diversify. I have seen this with many vendors I know. Some who used to just to characters and texture addons went into modeling clothing. Others went into making merchant resources. All of these are good ideas, as they allow you to keep making money while providing something you previously didn’t. It’s a step forward for you and the community. But others just re-hash the same stuff over and over. And Daz reaps the rewards over and over. That is unless you aren’t selling on Daz.
And that leads me back to my previous rant when Daz took over RDNA. Interesting side note, Syyd, the one who I firmly believe is responsible for Daz eating them, is no longer with Daz in their latest round of firings. This is what happens to a traitor. You can never trust a traitor, even one you create. But back on topic. Anyone not selling on Daz isn’t DIRECTLY giving Daz money for sales, which is something Daz isn’t fully happy with. This is because they want that sweet, sweet broker charges. But they also want full control of the market, so they can implement DRM, and turn Daz Studio back into pay, maybe even subscription based. So they can ALWAYS make money. You want to use Studio this month? You better pay! This is likely one of their end goals. If it’s not, it probably will be as soon as they read this. But for now, they are willing to accept other markets, because they still force people to buy stuff from their market. So it’s indirect cash flow.
And how does Daz ensure that people are forced to upgrade? Well, let me give you a little secret that most people DON’T know about the Daz market. This is no secret to anyone who sells there, but for those who buy there, it’s not widely known. This is also how Daz kills Poser based products. See, in order for a vendor to sell an item on the site, Daz has to APPROVE the item. Not test it, APPROVE the CONCEPT. If they don’t like the concept, they don’t get to even submit it for testing. So you have this awesome outfit that you want to sell, but it’s for V4? Nope, not interested. But hey, if you made it for G8/V8 we’d be HAPPY to sell it. Nice character for G3? Well, not sure we want that, how about you make it for V8? Oh you have this cool character that works in both G3/G8? Well, that’s too much, how about just removing the G3 compatibility and we’ll let it go. Sure this won’t happen IMMEDIATELY, but give it about 6 months, you will see fewer and fewer backwards compatible options. And eventually, it will be barely a trickle. That’s how this works. I saw it with G2, and again with G3, and now we will see it once more with G8. And in two years we will see it with G9.
That’s right, I am calling it now. June 2019, G9. It will happen, or Daz will be out of business by then. I wonder when they realize they can’t force Poser users to swap over by locking them out. I guess it may actually take them closing shop till they realize they aren’t going to succeed by splitting the market like this. Daz isn't doing this for good reasons. They are doing it out of spite. We have seen that Genesis is perfectly compatible with Poser, even Genesis 3. It took a little more work to do, but it can be done. Daz proved it when they released the DSON importer, and others proved it again. Poser users WANT to buy products, but Daz doesn't want them, because they can't control the content distribution methods, nor can they control the program itself. This leads into them wanting DRM, like mentioned in my last rant. And for content creators who think I am wrong, PROVE me wrong. Keep making for G3, keep innovating, and keep TRYING to sell it on Daz in a year. See what happens. If content creators REFUSE to switch, you will find the customers will follow suit. And then maybe Daz can innovate something that customers actually WANT.
And let’s look at that, what HAS been innovated with the new Genesis? Let's look at their official press release and see what can be said. Better face poses. Okay, so they made the morphs and weight mapping better. Did they need to make a new figure for that? All new eyelash system. Again, why a new figure? Could have been an addon. Improved default pose. Ummm...what? That is the stupidest "advancement" I have ever heard. More realistic fingers and toes. Okay, again, addon. Improved shaders. Again addon. Clone shapes for compatibility. Okay, hold on to this one. They claim backwards compatibility with G1, G2, & G3 with this. I'm gonna come back to this. Extreme backwards compatibility. Again, coming back to this in the next two points. Improved bends & muscle flexion. Okay, if the bends are changed that breaks most clothing, EVEN IF IT PHYSICALLY FITS. Why? Becaus this changes the WAY clothing would bend, and if it's designed for a different bending figure, it won't work. This also comes up with the reworked heel and toe bending, which means it will likely not work as well for older shoes. So all their claims of backwards compatibility are contradicted by their own claims of advancements. Not only that, most, IF NOT ALL, of these could have been made into a 'Genesis 3.1' type deal and focussed on making sure that compatibility with existing stuff STAYED TRUE. Instead, they deliberately went to a new figure to break compatibility.
And as usual, some content creators are gushing about her, and how advanced she is and how good she looks. Really? She looks more masculine than G3 Color me not impressed. Not impressed with the "advancements", not impressed with the look, not impressed with Daz's business model, and not impressed with the current state of the 3D market. I am urging content creators who ACTUALLY CARE about their customers to NOT make products for it. Tell Daz they better come up with something better than this if they want to call it an upgrade. The consumers deserve better. 3D deserves better. Of course, we know that many vendors won't do this, and can't afford to do this. And isn't that saying something in itself? Daz is pushing to make this market so that even the vendors are expendable. Do what they want, or one of a dozen other vendors will be taking your place. The content creators are just cogs in Daz's money shearing machine, and the consumers are the ones fleeced.
* Original rant (
Poser State of the 3D CommentaryIt's time for a little rant about the state of 3D art from an old timer who has seen a lot and is concerned.)
Okay, so here it is, some time since the ‘merger’ of Daz3D and RuntimeDNA was announced and I wanted to get some of my thoughts on paper, in a virtual sense. While these thoughts may have been mostly written at that time, more information and editing has been done since then, and it is now several months later. This had removed some of the initial bitterness giving way to calm thoughts, as well as some of the hopeful thoughts giving way to bitterness and resentment. As some of you know, I am not a fan of Daz anymore. As even fewer know, I am, at least last I heard I was, a QA tester on RDNA. But here it is, months after, and we still have NO idea if we will still be QA. But all signs point to NO. What signs? Let’s go through the ones I can talk about. It is now months later, and none of us has heard word one about anything at Daz, despite assurances we would be