It is true. Though they have reached out recently to let us know the team will be back in the future with a new business and fresh ideas.
I do sound design for them. They did indeed close their doors due to the VAT changes.
@BonfireThemes, It has been this way ever since they standardized the front page experience. It used to be that items would hit the front page in the order they were approved and fall off when they were forced off by new releases. But a couple of years ago, so many people were registered and uploading that it became an issue. Now, each author can have one title listed at any one time, only once a day and everyone gets the same amount of time on the front page. This was announced a long time ago, here in the forums, so I am not sure where to send you to find the written rule now.
I actually do not buy exclusively from Elite authors. In fact, I manage over 14 different buyer accounts here and have for several years! I specifically went with the Elite authors for this specific situation because of the themes themselves, the advisement of the Envato support team and the fact that they advertised ongoing support and updates. The fact that they were featured by Envato was also a big plus for me. I, too, have been featured by Envato, interviewed twice, included in a bundle, etc and it brought me great traffic and some wonderful long-term clients. And I am not an Elite author. So none of these things are mutually exclusive. Both of the authors in question had stellar ratings, responded to me quickly before the sale, had tens of thousands of sales, etc. My experiences were not due to lack of knowledge, experience or diligence on my part. And neither of these instances affected only me, but many, many customers alike.
I think many people would be just fine with paid updates. I know I would be. I would love to keep my money in the Envato family, so-to-speak, hence my interest in seeing this handled in a way that works best for everyone moving forward. But it does need to be discussed and addressed for that to happen. That’s why I started this thread. It wasn’t to complain, to be lectured or consoled. It was to get the conversation focused on the points I feel (and others do as well, based upon their own threads in the forums) are really the root of the issue.
It’s all about the quality of the developer
+1 Perhaps this should be the most important factor in elevating an author’s status in the network, rather than just sales! Someone may be great at marketing and driving traffic but not-so-great at developing/coding. But this is what Envato has done, so this is what we are addressing. :-/ This is why this thread is focused on the Elite program and the perception it creates because of the messaging used. When the Envato staff is recommending it to buyers, it should stand for something and meet those new expectations.
Why is my site doing just fine?
Well, perhaps these themes are using features that you do not require for your website. For instance, both of these themes in question are made to be used with WooCommerce specifically. A static HTML site is a different beast from a Wordpress site.
I hope my responses are not coming across as argumentative. Just trying to make sure that the reasoning behind this frustration is explained properly, as I know that this has plagued many, many people.
But the Elite status program has significantly increased sales for Elite authors. These particular authors released these themes as Elite authors, and therefore gained sales because of it. The transparency of the sales statistics here in the marketplaces makes it easy for customers to calculate the overall earnings for any given product. So both Elite authors giving the excuse/reason of not making enough money to update wordpress themes seems out-of-whack form the customer’s perspective after the authors specifically promise that updates are included and support is provided. Make sense? And Envato actively encourages people to shop with Elite authors to help ensure greater satisfaction.
So again, this thread is only about the Elite authors and their themes. It is the Elite status that creates this higher expectation and Envato has really pushed it into being a powerful tool. I was encouraged by Envato support to seek out an Elite author to avoid these types of issues. So this is why I started this thread, because two out of two times I have had the same exact results. Both from very experienced, well-repected Elite authors who promised support and both simply dropped out as soon as they made the cash they wanted. THAT is what this thread is about.
The idea about the contract and Envato taking ownership of abandoned themes was just that, an idea. And we DO have a contract with them as authors, it’s just that the contract does not specifically deal with any of these things. The contract is more of an agreement that we have acknowledged Envato’s standards and expectations regarding policies and procedures. But it does not touch on any of this stuff because of the desire to stay out of the legalities of creative properties in general. Things get gray quickly.
If someone is developing for Wordpress they are well-aware of the fact that it is constantly updating. And if they are Elite authors, they have proven they can develop themes that sell. So I’m not sure where the argument of it being a huge risk for the author comes from. And why should customers have to pay for the assurance when the Elite authors have already earned so much more because of the Elite program? They are endorsed by Envato! Envato recommends them! Why should the customer have to pay more for something that Envato created to increase sales?
Allowing the Elite authors to simply cut-and-run after taking advantage of their elevated status here, leaves them free to take those same themes and play the same game elsewhere. If Envato elevates these people to Elite status in their network, they should be interested in protecting it! At the very least they should be interested in elevating expectations so the customer experience is somehow controlled for the better! The customer experience is paramount and with competition growing every day, all over the world, it should be a larger concern in regards to the Elite authors and what they provide.