Addressing Play+ Launch Concerns and Ongoing Development

Dear Polyend Community,

We want to take a moment to address the current confusion, anger, and rumors around the launch of the Play+.

The Upgrade Model

Offering an upgrade path was not profit-driven; it was a gesture made in good faith to offer something valuable to our current user base while also making the original Play more accessible to new users with a lower entry-level price. In offering the upgrade, we are providing a brand new unit. This approach to pricing doesn’t make us more money. In fact, a more profitable option would be to simply release a new device. Our intention was never to hurt original Play owners, but to innovate within the constraints we had. Admittedly, balancing cost with capabilities in tech development is always challenging.

The pricing model was done with consideration to the user base, but without realizing the amount of frustration original Play users would feel. We are very sorry for this but ultimately this pricing model cannot change.

While we are still proud of the original Play, the introduction of a more capable product necessitates a price adjustment. This is not merely a business decision. It is a step taken with the best of intentions, considering both environmental impacts and community benefits.

Play Development Continues

Most importantly, the development of the original Play continues. We are dedicated to providing always-free software updates, ensuring that your Play remains a dynamic and evolving instrument.

We also must mention that we are deeply saddened by the amount of trolling and tribalism in the synth/gear space and around this launch. It is never okay to make threats on people’s lives over a $799 product, or a $299 price drop. If you are one of these people we ask that you engage in a little self-reflection.

For those of you who continue to support us, we will keep making the best possible instruments we can and provide free updates whenever feasible. We’re here to support your musical journey and are grateful for your continued trust and support.

With heartfelt thanks,
Piotr Raczyński
Polyend CEO


Thank you for addressing this. I am personally very excited about the news. And also sad to see what should have been a celebration turn into a shitfest.

While I do understand that people who recently bought the Play feel a bit disappointed from the price drop (who wouldn’t like to save a few hundred bucks), I don’t understand the outright rage. Product prices drop all the time in all aspects of our consumer lives. And artificially inflating the prices of both the Play and Play+ – just to make existing owners feel that their machine better kept its value – would be a disservice to everyone. Lower prices makes the devices more accessible. Let’s celebrate that!

I hope all this didn’t completely kill the motivation at Polyend HQ. Keep up the good work, friends :v:


Will Polyend also address the following:

  • If the upgrade has to cost 400€ to be economically feasible for Polyend then how come 200€ upgrade coupons are shared around in some circles.
  • If a more affordable upgrade wasn’t feasible, then why did you advertise to some reviewers that it would cost 200€ (loopop claimed that he wasn’t aware the upgrade would be 400, because he was told otherwise by you).
  • How come you can afford to sell the original play at a -40% discount and it to remain economically viable? Has producing it become 40% more affordable over night?
  • Why did Polyend release the original Play in an under-specced state? Play was released 17 months ago, I would assume the Play+ hardware and firmware would have taken many months of RND. It would seem likely that you started working on the Play+ before the original Play was even out for a single year. Trying to see in from the outside this looks like lack of foresight, is it something else?
  • Does the team at Polyend sincerely believe they could not have found a better solution for this entire debacle? This has been a very controversial launch and surely all of the backlash can’t just be dismissed as unrational… What will Polyend be taking away from this?

I’ll take a stab at these, but I think you are intent on being upset either way!

  • If the upgrade has to cost 400€ to be economically feasible for Polyend then how come 200€ upgrade coupons are shared around in some circles.

This was a mistake on my part. I sent Benn Jordan a very small number of coupon codes for his Patreon. These were used up almost instantly. He didn’t ask for money for the video and I just wanted to say thank you to Benn and his community in some way. Admittedly this was not the best way to do it.

  • If a more affordable upgrade wasn’t feasible, then why did you advertise to some reviewers that it would cost 200€ (loopop claimed that he wasn’t aware the upgrade would be 400, because he was told otherwise by you).

I just double checked my email and I did inform him the upgrade would be 399.

  • How come you can afford to sell the original play at a -40% discount and it to remain economically viable? Has producing it become 40% more affordable over night?

As Piotr said this isn’t a great deal for Polyend to sell it cheaper but we wanted a lower barrier of entry, this would serve to get more people into the Play and allow us to continue supporting it for a longer time.

Happy to answer the other questions if you can ask them in a less patronizing manner, otherwise peace!


Thank you Piotr and Mitch for addressing this and speaking out. I’ll be honest that the upgrade announcement did sting a bit, but I didn’t hesitate for a second on purchasing the upgrade.

I’ve been quiet with my opinion as I think empathy can go a long way and helps to see both sides of any issue. I don’t believe in jumping to conclusions and making assumptions. The only reality I know about this is how it made me feel.

I really hope the Polyend team doesn’t take the anger/frustration too personally and realize that it is the idea being criticized by some, and not the people behind it. The interactions that we have with you here on Backstage is outstanding and an opportunity that is so rarely seen in product development these days. All the respect and Kudos to the team for creating such a great community.

As for the trolling and tribalism, I couldn’t agree more! There was quite a bit of toxic vitriol coming from both sides of the discussion and no matter if you are highly offended by a product decision or a diehard fan of the company, there is no reason to treat people like crap because they have a different opinion that your own regarding music equipment.

Finally, the backlash that Benn Jordan received makes me really sad. I loved his gear reviews and I’m very saddened to see the decision he made. I support it 100% as no one should have to deal with that level of toxicity, but it’s still sad to see him go.


Thank you, Piotr and Mitch. Transparency and honesty are key in situations like this. I would, however, caution on dismissing valid criticism and concerns as tribalism. As @dan.lgrnd mentioned, I have seen toxicity and vitriol coming from both sides and that behavior is abhorrent. Nobody deservers to be personally attacked over music production gear. However, the underlying question that needs to be asked/answered from Polyend is “Why were people upset?”. Whether that is done publicly or privately, I hope that it is and those learnings will be used moving forward. Good intentions do not always translate to good decisions.

Lastly, I personally think these type of comments serve no purpose other than to add fuel to fire:

Obviously, everyone will read things from different viewpoints, but I personally did not read @vros questions as patronizing. They are valid questions to ask and were asked respectively, from my perspective. There is no requirement for Polyend to answer them, so I do appreciate your attempt to answer them @Mitch, but I don’t believe the extra flair was needed.

With that, I am off to enjoy the weekend with my Mini and I hope that everyone has a wonderful day.


mini 4 lyfe


Fair enough, I hear your feedback and my frustration level was pretty high when trying to address this. Part of my frustration stems from the fact that we don’t have a solution that can make everyone happy at this point. Could we have done this launch differently? Yes, we could have raised the price of Play+ and not lowered the price of Play as drastically but that isn’t going to change now. I’ll go ahead and answer the other questions as soon as I have time.


I completely understand. It is what it is at this point, and I hope people have just accepted that and moved on down whatever path they choose. And I wasn’t trying to imply that you MUST answer all the questions that were asked, but just that I didn’t read them as being asked in disrespectful manner (critical? sure, but not disrespectful). Any additional insight/answers that the Polyend Team feels comfortable sharing will be appreciated, I’m sure.

First of all, I want to say that as a loyal Polyend customer (I have got 3 Trackers, 1 Play, 1 Play+, and a Tracker Mini) I can only appreciate the transparency and honesty of this ‘small’ company, which has always had a very open and equal approach to us.

After all, no company (only the manufacturers of Deluge) have ever done anything similar. The upgrade is a wonderful opportunity that the company has offered.

Then, I am among the customers who have been upset by the latest choices.

There have been many ‘tactical’ mistakes, but that is not to say that there is any bad intention on the part of the company.
If I may say so, (I have been involved in marketing and behavioral economics for decades) the mistake was to forget that the relationship between price (sacrifice) and quality (is always relative).

The mistake was to lower the price of Play. Just this.

Suddenly, all Play owners saw the possibility of reselling their machine reasonably on the second-hand market vanishing. Too sudden a price drop!

Paradoxically, if the company had only released the Play+ at a higher price than the Play we would all be happier.

What I would advise, if I may be so bold, is not to ignore this sentiment but rather to consider the user base with respect to the next choices. In the end, retention is the first source of customer acquisition.



I personally think you have to look at this from two sides that most old users don’t quite get and think we new users are just trolling. If you bought your Polyend a year and half ago the update deal to you probably is a great and I’d probably go for it. But for someone like me with it being less that 3 months old then you also too have to understand the frustration that a machine has just dropped £300+.
I’m all for innovation and I’m not naive to think there would never be an update and not just to this but to anything any music company produces. I just think for us ‘new’ users we feel hard done by the way it’s been done and that’s what is causing the upset.

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I as a consumer in the technology space must understand that when I purchase any gear, a newer version could drop after checkout. This is the risk reward we take in entering this space. Once you come to terms and at peace with this reality, the sting will not be so great for we all have amazing toys to play with.

This response won’t sit well with those that haven’t accepted this reality. As I too got major back side frost. I hate frost. It’s bad for the body.

Play on.


Appreciate the need to innovate and release new products, It however would be really great if there were more environmentally friendly upgrade options such as developing an instrument where we could upgrade the board and reuse the hardware itself. I have a tracker and it’s quite straightforward to open and the pcb could easily be swapped out for one with updated components to support advanced firmware / features and this reuse all the plastic!

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I just want to say thank you to Polyend for continuing to iterate on this machine, probably my favorite one of my kit.

Outrage is ephemeral currency online, unfortunately. Super valuable in the short term, racking up numbers, empathy, resentment, and other fierce feelings in a posting blizzard that tends to melt within a week.

I’ve been the guy before who bought the old model shortly before learning about the new model. I’ve also bought things day one knowing that in a year there will be a new one.

It would really be nice if every organization could share their roadmap, offer cheap upgrades, recycle old models, etc. If it were affordable, more companies would do it, eh?

I’m not saying this for clapping, but if you’re reading this and you work for Polyend: thanks and keep doing what you do.


The problem with an upgrade for the tracker is there are 3 (maybe 4) hardware revisions so making a single PCB to upgrade trackers would not be possible.

They weren’t designed to be swapped out unfortunately, but I think it would be a great thing for products in the future!

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Releasing the Play+ at a higher RRP than the Play, completely discontinuing the Play or (at least!) not discounting the previous version (which, as you say, is what tanks the value) is not paradoxical - it’s simple marketing/pricing strategy.

I will be giving my 1yr-old Plus away to my kids’ school as it no longer holds either the monetary or fun value it did for me.

Hey man you didn’t read my post maybe. I was not saying it’s paradoxical…and I know it is a pricing strategy…
However I appreciate your point of view and thanks for sharing it with us. I usually never argue online and never correct people… I’m so old school and street oriented. ;). Take care. :slight_smile:

Of course I read it :slight_smile:

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