A week has passed since the announcement of the acquisition of the Spanish software house by Autodesk, but the negotiations had already begun in the last month of 2015 and then concluded in February and made it public, with a press release, on 18 April.
Autodesk, in addition to having bought the well-known Arnold rendering engine, took possession of the entire Solid Angle structure including the two studios (Madrid and London) with the entire staff, an operation made possible also because the company was family-run (father and son) and therefore there have certainly not been many oppositions for the passage of the same to Autodesk, but the founder himself Marcos Fajardo reassures his costumers by declaring that absolutely nothing will change, indeed there will be improvements due to the possibility of expansion of the distribution and development on other platforms such as, for example, Autodesk 3DS Max.
In any case, the latest acquisition by Autodesk brings to mind, at least for myself, some events of the past which then led to the “death” of the incorporated projects or to the integration into other software with strange or unsatisfactory results. %.
In 2005 Autodesk acquired the entire automotive department of Alias (including Maya) and shortly afterwards the entire development block of Softimage Co. and related software “Softimage | XSI ”of which, after a few years, the withdrawal from the market and the sale of development and distribution were declared. Or software like Exotic Matter Naiad which has been integrated into Maya with the name of Bifrost in order to allow, as stated by Autodesk, a faster development of flip-fluid simulation tools within Maya.
In the last 10 years we have witnessed a radical change and the almost passivity of some software-houses that are unable to counter a giant like Autodesk which then leads them to close or sell with great benefits for the American multinational.
But are alternatives really needed? If Autodesk bought all the software houses in our sector then how would the market develop?
Certainly company policies on the licensing of some software would change and perhaps there would no longer be a strong development and therefore a flattening of innovation. But who can tell? None … in any case I have tried to report a time-line of the events that have occurred in the last 10 years or so and I have tried to analyze, with a reflection with possible alternatives, what has happened and what may happen in the future.