An Open Source Revolution
After days of hints and mysterious teasing, Brian Gardner has finally revealed his plans for the Revolution brand. Future Revolution themes will be released under an open source GPL license, meaning that the themes will be available for free download. In this way, he can give back to the WordPress community while still providing extra features to those who want them.
After 31 October 2008, the current Revolution themes will not be available for purchase. A new Revolution site will be launched, featuring a new set of GPL-licensed themes, and purchasable extras such as support, tutorials, customisation, etc. Users of the legacy Revolution themes will have a dedicated section of the support forums, and people who have purchased an all-inclusive package will be given automatic access to the new Revolution extras.
The new Revolution themes will be produced in collaboration with Jason Schuller of WPelements, who has also promised to support his Press75 themes after they are removed from sale on after 31 October.
Though this particular business model is not entirely new, having already been used in Justin Tadlock’s Theme Hybrid Club and Ian Stewart of ThemeShaper for the distribution of commercial child themes which complement their free themes, it’s an interesting change of direction from two of the pioneers of the premium WordPress theme industry.
Though I don’t doubt that the new Revolution themes will be superb, I’m wondering whether they’ll lose their premium cachet, just by the virtue of being readily available to all. What do you think?
Update: Brian has written a follow up post to clarify some issues arising from the announcement post.
- The current Revolution themes will not be available for purchase after 31 October, but a support forum for these themes will be available for life. The themes will be updated in line with any WordPress upgrades until 31 October 2009. The existing forums will be accessible (read-only) on the new site.
- Customers who have purchased the All-Inclusive Package will be given access to the premium extras at no additional costs, and Brian has promised to provide some additional themes which will be exclusive to those customers.
- And to conclude, the prices of the theme packages have all been reduced by 25% for the rest of the month.
With those reassurances, if you’ve been thinking of purchasing a specific Revolution theme, or upgrading to the All-Inclusive Package, now’s the time.
Purchase: Single License: $59.95 | Multiple Use Package: $149.95 | All-Inclusive: $299.95