From next year you won't be able to buy Autodesk suites anymore – just rent them. This follows a similar move for its standalone products such as Maya and 3ds Max.

As of July 31, 2016, commercial licenses of most Autodesk Design & Creation Suites will be available by subscription only. These suites include the Entertainment Creation suites based around Maya (above) and 3ds Max – plus industrial design tools such as the AutoCAD Design Suite, the Building Design Suite, Factory Design Suite, Infrastructure Design Suite, Plant Design Suite, Product Design Suite.

The move follows a previous announcement that standalone versions of Maya and 3ds Max will go subs-only on January 31 2016.

Autodesk describes renting software and services rather than buying and upgrading as "the new norm".

Studios will be able to subscribe to Autodesk products and services based on pay-as-you-go, multi-year, annual, quarterly or monthly subscription terms.

There won't be a traditional upgrade path if you currently have a perpetual licence – or buy one before Jan 31 or July 31 next year. If you currently own Autodesk software and have a maintenance contract, you can continue this indefinitely – but after Jan 31/July 31 you won't be able to start a new maintenance contract.