This is a timely discussion, and one we have been deliberating, and praying on, for some time. I’ve read through all of the comments in the thread so far and feel it's time to weigh in.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed that the Aetherlight stopped growing a while ago, and only started improving again recently. This is because the money generated by the game wasn’t enough to support it. From its origins, to this day, most of the Aetherlight we know and love was created and operated thanks to donations of time and money by generous individuals who believed in the game’s mission. It has never been financially self-sufficient.
This presents us with a very real problem. If the game can’t become self-sustaining it will have to shut down. We’re open to suggestions, but the current episodic model doesn’t work - for a lot of reasons.
No one is looking to make a profit, the goal is to earn enough to keep the lights on and make semi-regular content updates so you and others can continue to enjoy the game for a good long while.
Towards this goal, the plan is to have some form of limited access for free, and a small recurring payment for full access. That way, those who can’t afford it can still hang out with their friends in some fashion. All those who have paid for episodes will have the full amount paid forward into the new system. This means those of you that paid under the old system would benefit from the new content but not have to pay anything for months.
Hope you understand that faced with the choice of making changes, or shutting down the game, we had some difficult decisions to make. We're doing what we can to ensure that as many of you as possible can continue to enjoy the Aetherlight.