Steinberg does not currently offer any of its major products using subscription pricing. The most recent version of Cubase, Cubase Pro 8.5, includes an optional feature called VST Transit that allows you to collaborate with other users across the world, and which allows you to upgrade for additional storage and bandwidth, but you are not forced to use this feature if you buy Cubase.
We do not plan to have any service-based offering as part of the initial release of Dorico, though I wouldn’t rule out some kind of additional services in some far-off future release. So you will purchase Dorico 1.0, and you will receive any 1.0.x maintenance releases free of charge, plus any releases that include additional features in the 1.x series, without having to spend any further money.
When we eventually release a major new version – which could be either 1.5 or 2.0, though at this stage it’s too early to say (let us get 1.0 out of the door first) – then users will be able to choose whether or not to purchase the update to the new version.
I cannot provide details at this stage of the frequency or cost of major, paid updates for Dorico, but if you look at Steinberg’s other products, such as Cubase and WaveLab, in general we aim for major (x.0) and minor (x.5) versions in alternate years. I would expect Dorico to eventually fall into that kind of release cadence, but it’s too early to say with certainty whether or when that will happen.