A Brief History of the Nik Collection
The Nik Collection was originally developed by Nik Software. This was a private software company which has its roots in Germany and the US. Interestingly, Nikon also had a stake in Nik which is why many innovative features of the Nik Collection (like Control Points) also appear in the Nikon Capture NX software. There’s a short page covering this on Wikipedia.
For a long time, the Nik Collection was a market leader and a favourite among professional photographers. It was (and still is) easy to use and can help you apply excellent enhancements to your photography. The downside was that it was very expensive.
Then in 2012 Google purchased Nik Software and took control of the Nik Collection. Initially, they continued with enhancements and quickly released Nik Analog Efex. Shortly after they followed up with Nik Analog Efex 2 which added further features. As well as this Google slashed the price of the software, making it much more affordable for the photography enthusiast. Later they went a step further, making the software free and issuing refunds to many who had purchased it.
But by late 2016 Google appeared to cease all development and bug fixes. Then in 2017 they formally announced that there would be no further releases of the Nik Collection. Fortunately, there was a lifeline for the Nik Collection when DxO purchased the assets from Google.
The Nik Collection 2012 and 2018
Following the purchase of the Nik Collection from Google, DxO commenced development. Their priority was to fix any serious bugs in the Nik Collection software and ensure the software used the latest code libraries. By this time, some Nik Collection users were reporting stability issues when upgrading Photoshop, Lightroom and their computer operating systems.
In June 2018, DxO released their first new version of the Nik Collection branding it the Nik Collection 2018. At the same time, they branded the old Google version “Nik Collection 2012”. I suspect that’s because Google purchased the software in 2012, but it makes it seem a lot older than the final build Google produced.
There was though bad news for Nik fans who now needed to pay for the upgrade (as you might expect). But the upgrade was virtually identical to the previous Google version. At the time I published this video on YouTube giving my assessment of the upgrade.