So just discovered the new pricing plan and i'm aghast, even at the new classic plan. I have no idea who Qualcomm are targetting with Vuforia, but there can't be many that can afford this.
The standard plans have combined the worst possible charging methods into a single big horrible method, per month, per app, with per month usage limits, really? I can't even imagine the budgets needed to support such apps with on-going concerns and the chance of getting stun with over-charge payments, not to mention the need for always connected apps too.
Over the last few years i've done 5 client projects using vuforia and only one would be remotely feasable with any of the new pricing schemes. Even then I doubt the client would agree to anything but the 'classic plan'. One other might be possible with Classic plan, but would be touch and go. The other three projects would simply not be feasable with the standard pricing plans and the 'classic' plan amounts to anywhere from 10%-40% of the project budget. Going with the free watermark version would not be an option either for these projects.
So thats it then 60% of my AR projects are no longer feasible and whilst a couple of larger projects might justify the $499 per app classic plan, it wont take many before it becomes far more efficient to just switch to a fixed price unlimited apps competitor.
Honestly i'm shocked at how out of touch these pricing plans seem to be, especially when Qualcomm must have realised a great deal of the draw to Vuforia was due to the already over-priced plans of its competitors. Sure being free was a heck of a draw too, but for me again the price of competitors effectively priced themsevles out of the market in exactly the same way Vuforia have now done.
It seems so strange when in recent years there has been an explosion in indie develoment through the clever use of low price, unrestrictive licensing like Unreal, to a lesser extent Unity and even apps like Photoshop/Premiere from Adobe. The key is to get as many developers paying a small amount monethly and make up in volume, rather than stifle creativity and recognition with absurdly high prices and risky licenses.
So the future of AR for me looks bleak, i'll keep tabs on Vuforia but as only high budget projects will be able to afford it i'll probably look to invest my R&D into other technologies like Kinect, Hololens, Occulus Rift which will have far better ROI.