[update] PHPStorm's upcoming subscription based licensing model and why you're fucked up

** I’ve added an update. Click here to read it **

JetBrains has sent me an email today, mentioning about the upcoming change in their licensing model. Right now all users can renew their license at $49 which is a 50% discount rate of the original rate. From this November 2nd, you will be able to renew it for $119. Or you can buy a new license for $199/yr or $19.90/mo. Now, if you want to do some simple math, the upcoming yearly cost will be a whooping 100% increased price. If you go for monthly subscription, it will be like 141% extra of the current price.

Moreover there will be pain if you don’t want to continue. If you start with, for example V8, and in the middle of a yearly subscription V9 is released, but you don’t want to continue after the end of your subscription – you will be given a perpetual license of V8. You read it right, you will have to continue with V8 – not V9. Even though V9 was released during your subscription, you will not be allowed to keep using it. Huh!

Well, either way you’re pretty much fucked up. If you’re an existing license holder then you may find it slightly profitable to stick for the first two years because they said that there will be a 40% discount and 2nd year will be on them.

I am using PHPStorm since it’s version 3 and I am not going to renew it this time, for sure. I’ve been experimenting with Atom lately and it is pretty nice. Anyway, I am going to miss PHPStorm because I consider their upcoming licensing model is a kinda ripping-off of their loyal customers. Dear Jetbrains, Adios!


Ok, it looks like I was comparing the pricing for company/organization instead of the personal licensing model. Their page content is pretty confusing, and it’s hard to get it right at the first sight. I’ve found the correct page with the pricing for personal/individual license and it’s not bad.

With this pricing, well, I think I don’t have any problem to renew it again. Thanks to @Gary Hockin and @Hadi Hariri from Jetbrains for clearing it up.


  1. The fallback license is really a strange! As a loyal customer you should get the 40% discount from the beginning 🙂

    I’m really happy to have a “free” ULTIMATE license, paid by my company.

  2. Just to confirm, as a loyal customer, you do indeed get a 40% discount from the beginning.

    You’ve also confused your prices somewhat, the current renew price of $49 which you take as your base is the current renew price for personal customers. The subscription price you use of $119 is actually for commercial subscription, so you won’t need to pay that price. The actual subscription price for individuals is $53, which is only a $4 increase per year, and not a 100% increase in price.

    I hope that clears things up for you a little and you continue to use PhpStorm.

    Gary Hockin
    – Developer Advocate, PhpStorm

  3. If i didn’t interpret it wrong –

    1) Existing license before Nov 2nd, 2015 will work indefinitely. Here: https://www.jetbrains.com/toolbox/commercialtransition/ under “Frequently asked questions” it says –

    Q: Does this affect existing software purchased under a perpetual license?

    A: No. Any licenses purchased before November 2, 2015, remain valid and will continue working indefinitely according to the corresponding license terms.

    So may be if u have an existing license and u could keep using the ide, without renewing. So u will have the last updated version available, before the term expires. Basically which seems same as current yearly renewal system

    2) Continuity discount: 20% after 12 months of uninterrupted payments and 40% after 24 months of uninterrupted payments are available for both monthly and yearly plans. so that means if u r a long term user, u more or less pay almost the same.

    From those 2 observations, it seems to me, nothing much is changed. The 2nd year of subscription gonna hurt though, as i will have to pay full price instead of just $49. But as for me, i came to rely on the usefulness of their softwares. So, i will probably be sticking with them, unless i get another alternative that can match-up with their line of products.

  4. i guess its a good thing i didn’t end up using phpStorm as my main IDE. I tried really hard for a period of 6 months to work in phpStorm. Although it helps a lot in php coding, it does not help a lot of keeping my 100+ projects organized or deploy just changed files with sftp as efficiently as i have with Coda! Not to mention that front end coding sucks in phpStorm!

  5. not sure whats the big deal.

    even if you use only one of their products, you don’t get much more expensive then it used to be.
    annual license for one product is 53 Euros then, used to be 49 (renewal).
    thats 4 euros more a year.

    The nice thing is that the complete collection is now in an affordable category MUCH MUCH cheaper, (199 for new, 149 renewal rather than needing a license for every singleone).

    Personally i believe the prices are extremly fair, and this is a good change.

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