Our graphic design shop with an emphasis on print production, eps is still very alive and well and we follow the same workflow: .ai files are the “native” file format and can only be opened by Illustrator. So there must be a reason beyond Adobe not being up to date. or go to this forum
Read more: What`s the difference between saving a vector as .AI and saving as .EPS? - Is there any benefit to saving as an .ai file? I know that .eps files can be opened in many programs, but .ai files, I think, would only be opened in Illustrator. Should I bother saving in an .ai format?