Autodesk discontinues Softimage, confirming widespread rumours about the software's demise.

Autodesk on Tuesday announced that, after the 2015 version set to ship in April, it will no longer support Softimage, confirming the rumours that began last month suggesting that the company would soon kill the 3D modelling and animation software.

"We regret to inform you that the upcoming 2015 release will be the last one for Softimage software," Autodesk writes on its website. "This final version is expected to ship on or around April 14, 2014. Autodesk will continue to offer product support until April 30, 2016."

Autodesk says that it will offer Softimage support services to all Softimage customers with Autodesk Subscription for two years, but, as of 28 March 2014, customers will be unable to purchase a new standalone license for the software.

The aim is to move customers to Autodesk's Maya or 3ds Max software. Customers with an Autodesk Softimage Subscription will now be offered the option to migrate to Maya or 3ds Max for free, while still having the ability to use Softimage if needed. There are also upgrade paths available for any customer who owns the software, but doesn't have a subscription.

"Although this decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by focusing our development efforts, we can better serve the needs of the media and entertainment industry and provide customers with better products faster," Autodesk insists. "Autodesk wants to continue its relationship with you into the future. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause."

In a PDF Q&A release, Autodesk continues: "We need to innovate faster while balancing our investment in the development of features and functionality needed to support new and existing customer workflows. We did not make the decision lightly. Many factors were taken into consideration during the decision making process, including the impact on the Softimage user base. Although the decision is a difficult one, we do believe that by doing this we can better serve the needs of the industry as a whole and provide customers with better products."

Autodesk purchased Softimage, which was a competitor to its Max and Maya software, in 2008 at a cost of $35 million. It was founded in 1986 by filmmaker Daniel Langlois, before going public in 1992 only to be purchased by Microsoft two years later. After another four years in the hands of Microsoft, Avid purchased Softimage. Ten years later, it was finally bought by Autodesk.

During a web conference on Tuesday, an Autodesk representative said that the company made the decision not to sell Softimage on because it now contains too much proprietary Autodesk IP.