Really depends on the pricing imo. If they're gonna charge (made up amount) 250 dollars for the software, and also an annual renewal fee, it would become way too expansive, especially if future addons (CMS, for example) also would have to be bought separately. On the other hand, unless they're going to be upfront and totally honest with us about what they're gonna do and when, I think a 'life time license' wouldn't really work either.
They just need to mathematically solve it first (use derivatives?) and come up with optimal setup for xF and for its customers so that XenForo can have enough funds to sustain itself and grow, and xFcustomers can afford it. To me it looks like it's better to adopt IPB pricing system.
I would honestly rather have an IPB pricing scheme than vBulletin's. It offers more for less (ie. ticket support that actually helps you), and you get to choose what you want (I didn't think everyone wanted vBulletin 4's CMS). I also don't want to pay full price again when something like XenForo 2 comes around.
I decided to outline something I think would suffice if it were close to this. I tossed in some products just to demonstrate the licensing/renewal potion a bit better.
License (yearly renewal, not version specific) - $140
Renewal (optional) for 1 year - $25
Renewal fee covers all purchased add-ons as well, only adding whatever renewal costs is
Blog - $35
Addition to renewal fee - $5
Gallery - $50
Addition to renewal fee - $8
Content Management System - $80
Addition to renewal fee - $12
Calendar - $20
Addition to renewal fee - $5
Online Chat - $30
Addition to renewal fee - $6
The above is just a random example. If there's a simple flat fee for the renewal and add-ons are covers by it automatically, that would be fantastic, but if not, something cheap that would also add on to the renewal fee would be fine as long as an individual add-on doesn't expire (meaning if you have an active forum license, you have an active add-on license too).
If the prices were anything like the above, it'd be great I think.
Yeah I know, but as it's tossed into addition to the renewal fee, it does add up. If I had the Blog and Gallery, my full renewal fee would be $38 total, and so on with each additional add-on. I'm not saying it'd be that low (I'd be crazy if I did), but just demonstrating how the cost would go up slowly depending on how much you have tacked on.
Rather, why not give discounts depending on what amount of products you take? Pay relatively more for each product if you only take Forums + CMS for example, while paying relatively less for each product if you take multiple products. Same for the annual renewal fee. Give a discount when you get multiple products. And not just when you buy them all in once, but also if you bought two and then later decide to add another one.
Personally, I think that would be way more interesting for customers.