Theme License Updates

Due to the changing state of Envato’s role of providing Support Packs as an up-sell on ThemeFores itemst, we at ThemeBeans have had to resolve a few issues surrounding this new initiative.

Although a seemingly large group of authors on ThemeForest seem to oppose this, Envato is pretty dead-set on making this “work”. They foresee lots of additional income for authors and themselves – though I personally presume that the latter will benefit a hundred times over.

The Issues

One of the biggest issue I see with this move is that authors are forced to leave a product on ThemeForest for a minimum of 6 months, or 1 year from when the last extended support pack was purchased – unless they choose to go non-exclusive (which drops the amount made per sale dramatically).

Basically, this really feels like a move to lock authors in.

Another issue that deserves to be in the limelight is the actual execution of support purchased via support packs. If a buyer purchases a theme on ThemeForest with an extended 1-year support pack, how does that differ from a buyer who purchases one of our items on Creative Market? This inconsistency will most certainly confuse buyers.

Do we offer 1 year of support and updates for all buyers, without mentioning it (as that’s against Envato’s terms)? If so, why would anyone purchase the support packs then? And would that not be fair to buyers who have indeed purchased extended support?

Another question. Do we just opt-out of the new support packs? If so, Envato will impose a nasty “Not Supported” badge on the item profile, and again, it’s against their terms to say that our team does support our themes on any product profile page.

Last question. What about changing the initial length of our license keys to just 6 months – matching the “included” support pack license term? I really think this is where we have to move right now.

Taking Action

As of today we’re switching our theme licenses to a 6 month support and updates model for ThemeForest items. The only two facets that are changing is the length of the initial term (12 months to 6 months) and therefore the pricing of a license renewal (from 70% of the initial cost down to just 50%). And if you have indeed purchased a 12-month extended support pack, no biggie – we’ll just update your license when it comes to it.

All previously verified theme license keys will continued to be honored at the original 12 month duration.

Ultimately, Envato’s move is placing a lot of theme development teams in awkward circumstances by attempting to capitalize on our time responsibility – something that is quite far out of their natural territory as a stock goods marketplace… But in the end, we’re here to provide the best possible support to each of our buyers – no matter the circumstance. We’re here for you guys.

TLDR

  • Envato “Support Packs” are live, even though few them.
  • How do developers conduct support with Envato now taking a cut?
  • Support & updates term is now 6 months for ThemeForest items.
  • License renewal cost is down from 70% to 50%.
For more updates, follow @themebeans and @richard_tabor on Twitter.

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