As covered by GameMakerBlog, YoYoGames has announced a special 60% discount sale for developers using GameMaker: Studio Professional only, allowing them to upgrade to Master Collection for $199. The special discount extends through 3/31/13.
This limited-time special offer is apparently in response to a situation affecting Professional licensees who had no cost-effective upgrade path to allow them to convert their existing investment to a Master Collection license. Following the recent release of the Ubuntu build target module, a paid upgrade for Professional users, there were complaints of unfair pricing affecting Professional licensees.
The big advantage for owners of a Master Collection license is that any future Game Maker build targets that happen to be released are automatically included as free updates, while GM:S Pro licensees have to pony up more cash for each piecemeal upgrade, thus making Pro a much more costly way to get all the features available in the Master Collection. As the Master Collection grows (and we don’t really know how much more, or if, it will grow), this disparity will only increase.
While this is a fine gesture on the part of YYG to respond to Pro license holders who asked for cost-effective upgrade path to the Master Collection, I still think it makes more sense for YYG to make it part of an ongoing pricing strategy, similar to the “Anytime Upgrade” option Microsoft made available to Windows 7 users, which would enable them to upgrade to higher product tiers for the difference in cost from their present tier, at any time. Hopefully YYG may yet make such a change to their licensing model — if you’d like to see that happen, I encourage you to send them feedback.
For now, this seems to be a good opportunity (and perhaps the only one) for any serious GameMaker Studio Professional users who may want to upgrade to the Master Collection.