Not public: ‚I found the initial reaction on the main forum (citing conditions) unpolite and therefore unprofessional to say the least. No one should tell anybody „deal with it or go away“ like „we can do what we want“. I was really very upset and angry about this, so I won’t post anything there.
Instead I’ll say this much here: when Totem released the game „VR Paradise“ on Steam, they initially had a similar subscription-based business model. The uproar was great and they changed it really very quickly. Yet mobile is a different platform altogether and I won’t bet on aynthing like that happening here: people seem to forget that streaming is very different than just offering downloads. To maintain a proper streaming service costs much more money.
That said, I’d like to add that those are developments which can be seen industry-wide: a Polish company that sells similar products is running a mobile „beta“ just like Totem did right now, and when they are done with that they may very well also switch to a subscription-based model, and this is a company which is also doing business for over fifteen years now*. I don’t want to „lecture“ anybody but guess I should „explain“ the situation as a whole (without mentioning specific delicate details of course).
You see, the main platform holders of „mobile“ (Apple, Google, Amazon et al.) won’t allow anything remotely „adult“ on their marketplaces as „real“ apps. In the past, other companies had to rely on the hassle of sideloading stuff – their public to accept something awful like that. Until the true miracle of HTML5 came along: HTML5 and corresponding techniques now allow working solutions just by using the browser of current mobile devices. For those companies, this really is a great opportunity. Yet this technology comes with a big catch: anything that’s browser-based principally works like a cloud-based solution. When using something like that the software does not gain access to any device like a „real“ app would – whether you consider an iPad also to be your „desktop“ or not. In this situation you always have to rely on the service and subscription-based services are much more likely to happen than individual purchases. Even the question whether you actually have „bought“ something comes into jeopardy because that way (and that way alone) no product could ever really be delivered to you (like a download would). In the end, that way you may not even have obtained a license: with a download there usually comes a license that runs not out. Like with the desktop version here, you’re allowed to play any card you obtained on up to two computers (before you have to revoke it).
Now, regarding the desktop version itself: after thinking this through I came to the conclusion that switching to a subscription-based model – as tempting as it may seem from a business standpoint – at this point in time couldn’t really make any sense for the company. As concerning this looming possibility may be – losing a collection some people have built up over many many years (me, myself and I since 2007) – but truthfully spoken the credits-based system also forms the basis for the „gambling“ that usually goes on here every week (starting again by tomorrow when the currently running „cash back“ is over – which in fact is the only marketing campaign that does not include some form of „gambling“ and is actually very very rare these days).
So, when this credits-based system is gone and being replaced through a subscription-based one they would need to invent another currency for getting „gambling“ again (with more exclusive cards), or otherwise lose any exclusivity. Yes there could be different tiers with different cards but the aspect of collecting stuff aside, the chance of „winning“ anything otherwise would definitely be gone. Not to mention how alienated a lot of the collectors would then be.‘ * this company – of course – shares its name with the first Grand Inquisitor.
More on „VR Paradise“ (since late November 2018) – the French company (Totem) had to leave Steam with its main service early on because of (then new) regulations initiated by Valve concerning (suggestive) depictions of real people on their platform (which otherwise notoriously allows full-blown pornography). Only „VR Paradise“ could remain.
The reasons for that are more or less unclear to this day (more on these issues in my texts about the formidable British „Super Seducer“ from Belarus).