Nvidia has announced that mental ray will be discontinued.
New subscriptions will no longer be offered and current customers with existing licences will be supported until the end of their current subscriptions.
In an FAQ, Nvidia explained the reason behind discontinuing the renderer.
To bring AI and further GPU acceleration to graphics, NVIDIA continues to significantly focus on developing SDKs and technologies for software development partners who create professional ray tracing products. NVIDIA will focus on bringing GPU accelerated ray tracing technology to every rendering product out there. Therefore, it further invests into core rendering technology, like:
> NVIDIA OptiX and real-time ray tracing platforms for next-generation GPU architectures.
> MDL, the open Material Definition Language.
> NVIDIA IndeX, our platform technology for visualization and computing of multi-valued volumetric and embedded geometry data.
> NVIDIA Iray for physically based rendering platforms focusing on the CAD, product and architectural design markets.
With this focus, we have discontinued development of plugins and new features for Mental Ray.
Mental ray stopped shipping with Maya in version 2017, with Nvidia instead releasing the product directly to customers.
Nvidia also announced that it was relaunching mental ray at SIGGRAPH 2016, a little over a year ago.