Google Abandons Nik Collection Photo Editing Plugins

Google Abandons Nik Collection Photo Editing Plugins

In another classic tale of a large company purchasing out a beloved product only to abandon it, Google is now dropping development of Nik Collection. After Google bought out Nik in 2012, they made all the Collection plugins free last year and have incorporated some of its features into their Snapseed mobile app. Sadly, a new notice posted on the Nik Collection website informs us it’s the end of an era.

In my opinion, the suite of photo editing plugins in the Nik Collection, including Color Efex Pro and Viveza, are some of the best tools ever created for post-processing. They are an essential part of so many photographers’ editing workflows and soon enough once it stops working on updated operating systems, a lot of people, myself very much included, are going to be crying for their wonderful Nik control points to come back.

New message posted to the Nik Collection website reads: "We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time."

Was it the sign of the end once Google bought Nik, or was it doomed when Google made the software free? What are your backup plans once the Nik Collection stops working on your system? Let's know your thoughts and vent your frustration with me in the comments below.

[via DPReview]

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37 Comments

Since I'm an amateur, I has no direct consequences for me. I don't make my living on selling pictures. However I loved some of their stuff.
The most used tool was Silver Effex and I hate to see that go away. Google probably only bought the company to be able to use their software in Google Photos which is quite excellent for rapid stuff.

Way back when I actually paid an arm and a leg for the Nik Collection and didn't regret it because I loved working with it! But then Google bought it and made it free. It was soon after I stopped using it, because this is what Google does. They buy companies, strip out the technology (or technologist) they care about and then dump the original product. I'm just glad Adobe is a large enough behemoth that Google will not want to buy them outright, but never say never. The day that happens I will be a very sad photographer.

Leigh Miller's picture

They hinted towards this for a long time..shame. I use it quite a bit for landscape and product shots...particularly the pro contrast tool.

Mike Robinson's picture

Poor move by a company that still claims to do no evil.

Well they gave it away for free. That is not being evil. I remember it used to be an expensive product.

ver sus's picture

especially after elia locardi's tutorials i really loved using the nik collection and would have payed for it. one more reason to dislike google...

Kawika Lopez's picture

Well it looks like ill be editing with Photoshop CC 2017 until the end of time...

steve the lacky's picture

i can not understand this shit, why would they dick us all over , I LOVE Nik

Rex Jones's picture

The Nik Collection was worth the money, to me, back when you had to pay for it. I didn't understand their reasoning for making it free, nor do I understand their reasoning for just dumping it altogether. It's a powerful set of tools and right now, I use them all the time!

Sad news. When I used Apple Aperture (speaking of abandoned software) the Nik plugins were a huge help to me and almost every image I worked on went through Nik. Now, Lightroom has some brushes and tools that have helped me need Nik a lot less often, but I still use it. I guess Google doesn't need the money, but I really wish someone like Adobe, Capture One, OnOne, Affinity, or even Apple would buy the technology and incorporate it into their own tools. Whoever can make the Nik tools native to their platform would gain a lot of Nik fans and not to mention some good will from the community.

Jonathan Reid's picture

I'd buy vivuza all over again if Nik took it back and redeveloped it. It is still my favourite editing tool, saving me hours in Photoshop.

Chris Hawkins's picture

What are the alternatives and are they as effective as NIK? So much of my work floe if not all of it relies on NIK. I dont know what I am going to do now!

Richard Berry's picture

When I first learned that Google had purchased Nik I wondered if they were going to continue to develop it. I bought a copy after Google acquired it because I was able to afford the $150 price verses the $600 that it had been before. When I found out they were giving it away, that really pissed me off. I love the entire collection. I have found myself using it less though because Lightroom does some of the same stuff. My hope is that someone will buy Nik and develop it so that it is better than ever. Another reason I like Nik is that I could purchase the software once and I owned it. I don't like this monthly rental scam that Photoshop and Lightroom now have.

Charles LeRette's picture

It says they no longer plan to update or support them. They can still be downloaded. And why would they stop working, they're plugins.

Boris Schipper's picture

That's what I was thinking and I hope you are right, i am one of those that actually bought them and I use them on 90% of my work.
The black and white filters are just incredible

Because as operating systems change and grow they may not work wellif at all with Nik products.

Allison Szuba's picture

I am sad about this news. I would be happy to pay again, as NIK is a quality product. What are the alternatives?

Wes Jones's picture

Darn. The Nik collection are the only plugins that I use in Photoshop. Hopefully they will continue to function in newer releases of Photoshop CC.

Chad D's picture

in the past with many holding PS at a certain version for a few years no big deal the issue now is one update from Adobe and POOF it could quit working !!!

where before you could say well no worries for the next few years :) lets hope it stays working for a long time

Michael Yearout's picture

No, No, No!

Rick Salmon where are you. Take this software back. I'll be glad to pay. Please, please don't let it disappear.

Connie Anderson's picture

I have used these for so long, they are my favorite plugins and the only one's I use! I would happily pay for them again! Yess Rick Salmon, take them back!!

william mitchell's picture

The Plug in era is largely over. I have Nik and paid for it and still use it when I use PS CS 5. I cannot get it to work in Affinity photo. Did the Mac app store and "creative cloud "kill off the plug in market? Most of the plug ins that still exist live on as apps. Far too many software companies think only about the next wall street earnings report. Well some of the Nik people are still in business as Macphun.

David Moore's picture

I remember when they first announced the purchase I was all "RIP Nik" and people tried to be hopeful. I am sad I was right. Normally I am just the pessimistic ass that gets proven wrong.

Aleksey Leonov's picture

Same here! I knew this day will come with Google. They needed just patents, not software it self.

Adeel Jawed's picture

I love Nik software, but luckily for those of us that are Mac users, Macphun is doing pretty good. I haven't tried their newest Luminar, but the others fairly comparable to Nik. Although the control points in Nik are just phenomenal.

Maphun cannot come close to the capability of the Nik products.

Igor Butskhrikidze's picture

didnt use Nik's software for a couple of years... i love AlienSkin Exposure using it all the time

Peter Guyton's picture

So the real question is: what are you going to replace it with? The guys who originally created Nik run Macphun now and their Luminar application has some of the same stuff. Alienskin Exposure is an option, andTopaz, or you can use native tools (presets in LR, styles in CaptureOne, Actions in Photoshop, Macros in Affinity) to get a lot of cool effects.

I'm surprised Google kept it alive this long honestly.

So far the only software that I have found that gives me total local adjustment control within the program and for all images is Picktorial. The local adjustment brushes and gradients are like using the Nik control points.

Go to Nik homepage and click feedback at bottom. Let Google know you're not happy and to not abandon this suite.