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I have given this a LOT of thought and if I were financially stable; I'd host the site for free, for everyone, forever.  Unfortunately, I am not and have to rely on community assistance to keep this place alive.  If it weren't for donations that VPUniverse has received from our community; this site would have been gone right along with VPinball. 
 

Just to share a little information and transparency... In 27 days the site has had just a little over 12TB in file transfers alone, this does not account for normal site transfer data. The sites S3 bill for this month, with 3 days still to go, is a little over $1200 USD. This does not include the webserver/hosting that runs the main site which is another $60-70. During the last maintenance I made some major changes to help with speed, stability and security. I moved things around a bit that should help mitigate transfer costs.  Advertising revenue is nil.  Google Ads paid roughly $100 every 3 months and any other ads, such as Zebsboards, that you see have always been my way to support people selling products for the community. Nothing has ever been exchanged for them. It's painfully obvious that donations alone are not going to be able to sustain the financial requirements of this site. 
 

I have deactivated Donations and have the following subscription options activated... If there are any questions or concerns please provide feedback.  This system may need to be tweaked a bit more.

First and foremost; Content Creators -Content Creators are those people that help further the digital pinball hobby.  Anyone that develops applications we use (PinMAME, Virtual Pinball, Future Pinball, etc), Table authors, table creation teams, artists, etc.  If you are a content creator, your creations are your subscription.  If you are a content creator and do not see your name in Green; please contact me. Of course; you are welcome to subscribe to support the site, but everything our content creators do supports the site!

Name in Green in forums an Discord
Unlimited everything
Tip Me/Beer Me - Ability to accept tips/donations for your creations 
VIP Access for creating content for our hobby.  

 

We are forced to limit speeds and impose download limits for the free memberships. This is mainly due to curb those trying to scrape data from the site.  Strict membership registration rules are in place for security and to help maintain site stability.  The Free tier will remain as it has been. 

 

Free Membership - 
Maximum Download Speed - 2500kb (this has been increased from 1500kb. I will continue to monitor and may be able to increase it more eventually.)
Time user must wait before download starts - 45 sec
Maximum simultaneous downloads - 2
Maximum downloads per day (24 hour period) - 35
Limited Club Access
* Possibility to earn more downloads by participating in the community

Unfortunately, the bills gotta be paid... 

If you have made a donation to the site in the past; don't worry... all is not forgotten. I'll make sure that you are taken care of.  You will have lifetime Gold access (minimum), but feel free to subscribe to one of the tiers below if you'd like to continue your support. 

 

We are working with table creators & content creators to give limited exclusivity/early release to supporting user groups.  Perhaps, offer a limited early release period prior to full public release or open up Alpha/Beta testing to supporting members, etc. 

 

Silver Level - 10.00 /1 year
Silver Supporting Member Logo in Forums
Maximum Download Speed - Unlimited
Time user must wait before download starts - 15 sec
Maximum simultaneous downloads - 6
Maximum downloads per day (24 hour period) - 250
Clubs - Join various community clubs
* Earn Community Achievements - coming soon.

 

Gold Level - 25.00 /1 year - Name in Gold in forums and Discord
Supporting Member Logo in Forums
Full Access - All site features unlocked
Maximum Download Speed - Unlimited
Time user must wait before download starts - 0 sec
Maximum simultaneous downloads - Unlimited
Maximum downloads per day - Unlimited
Google Ads Removed
* Earn Community Achievements - coming soon.

Access to private areas and additional site features  


VIP Monthly Multi-Pass - $10 first month then $5.00 per month after - Until cancelled - For those that want to continuously support VPUniverse.com + Name in Purple in forums and Discord
VIP Logo in Forums
Full Access - All site features unlocked
Maximum Download Speed - Unlimited
Time user must wait before download starts - 0 sec
Maximum simultaneous downloads - Unlimited
Maximum downloads per day - Unlimited

Google Ads Removed

* Earn Community Achievements - coming soon.

Access to VIP sections & private discussions 

VIP Monthly Multi-Pass - $60/1 year - Same as above, but one yearly price instead of monthly. + Name in Purple in forums and Discord
VIP Logo in Forums
Full Access - All site features unlocked
Maximum Download Speed - Unlimited
Time user must wait before download starts - 0 sec
Maximum simultaneous downloads - Unlimited
Maximum downloads per day - Unlimited

Google Ads Removed

* Earn Community Achievements - coming soon.
Access to VIP sections & private discussions

 

VIP All-Access - $150/Lifetime - All of the above + Name in Purple in forums and Discord
VIP Logo in Forums
Full Access - All site features unlocked 
Maximum Download Speed - Unlimited
Time user must wait before download starts - 0 sec
Maximum simultaneous downloads - Unlimited
Maximum downloads per day - Unlimited

Google Ads Removed

* Earn Community Achievements - coming soon.
Access to VIP sections & private discussions

I'm always looking for ways to create new features on the site, so new features may be added at any time.

* Prices are subject to change; lock in your subscription now.

UPDATE:
Looks like PayPal doesn't like subscriptions that do not require a renewal, IE Lifetime.  I've added Stripe as a payment processor.  If you have problems using  PayPal; please select Stripe.

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That all sounds fair to me. My few suggestions would be limiting daily downloads for the free tier even more drastically to really drive home some level of subscription.

I'd also be hesitant on the lifetime access for $150. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it but hypothetically a person would break even after 2 1/2 years compared to the yearly VIP membership. It might drive a ton of money at first but those in it for the long haul would benefit by using this, which would mean you might run into funding issues down the road again.

Consider me signed up for some level...just not sure which yet. Cheers!

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Max dl per day for non-supporters is unnecessarily generous. 5 or 10 is reasonable.

 

Thanks! Hope this place can stick around.

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First purple suit I've happily worn.  Glad the subscription service is active. 

 

Y'all better give or I'm going to punch your fat gut. 

 

This is what we have left.

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Very much appreciate the time and $ spent to keep this site viable.  

I agree with others that the free daily dl limits seem too generous.  

To drive new users to become contributors I think lower daily limits and making the subscription options fewer and simpler to decipher would help.  

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5 hours ago, jmreedy said:

That all sounds fair to me. My few suggestions would be limiting daily downloads for the free tier even more drastically to really drive home some level of subscription.

I'd also be hesitant on the lifetime access for $150. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it but hypothetically a person would break even after 2 1/2 years compared to the yearly VIP membership. It might drive a ton of money at first but those in it for the long haul would benefit by using this, which would mean you might run into funding issues down the road again.

Consider me signed up for some level...just not sure which yet. Cheers!

The $150 Lifetime is a limited time thing.   Honestly, I don't really know what a fair price should be...
 

I'm afraid that if I lower the free daily limit; it would push people to other methods.

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54 minutes ago, Dazz said:

The $150 Lifetime is a limited time thing.   Honestly, I don't really know what a fair price should be...
 

I'm afraid that if I lower the free daily limit; it would push people to other methods.


Ahh, apologies if the lifetime thing was obvious and I just overlooked it. That is a fair argument regarding the download limit. With any luck the 45s delay and speed limitation will be enough persuasion for people to help with server costs.

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As someone newer to this hobby I think you are on the right track.

There is no way as a free member someone should be able to download more then 10 downloads per day. "this is me at this right now" 

This Hobby is a Gift and labor of Love. What this hobby is and to ones Who made it, so many thanks. I will definitely be subscribing to some level. 

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Can't thank you and all the content creators enough for what you’re all doing & have been very happy to part with my cash to support you. Everyone should in some way and you’ve made it very reasonable for people to do so. I do agree with other posters that the free membership daily download limit is  overly generous. What you’re doing is not free for you and costs need to be covered. As I have literally no talent other than playing, it’s a way I can contribute. 

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A subscription for the prices you've laid out is quite fair, but I think everyone jumping on the download limit is maybe a bit unnecessary. Considering all the components you generally download for a table (actual table, backglass, rom, alt color, front end media) 5 downloads might not even cover a single table if you're not using popper to grab front end assets.

 

Also I hate to bring up any cross forum talk, but if other communities don't have download limits, putting too harsh restrictions here might just funnel users away.

 

I understand trying to combat media scraping, but I'm not really against the 35 a day limit, especially since the timer between downloads exists and simultaneous downloads is limited.

 

In the beginning, I mass downloaded tables out of sheer enthusiasm, if there had been strict download limits I probably would of just headed over to the other forum and downloaded all the MOD tables because I didnt know any better...

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Just paid for the VIP access.   Glad to support the site.   May even chip in more in the coming years to help out if I have the means to do so. 

Thanks for all work that goes in to hosting and moderating this site. 

 

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20 hours ago, jmreedy said:

also be hesitant on the lifetime access for $150. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for it but hypothetically a person would break even after 2 1/2 years compared to the yearly VIP membership.


There are people like me who absolutely despise memberships but will happily pay for a lifetime membership.    You risk losing funds from those people entirely by not offering it.    There's a risk that lifetime members accept too - the site could shut down well before they break even.   

 

As for free limits being too lenient - we are currently fighting an uphill battle against people who are packaging up content against authors' wishes, and offering torrents or mega links full of our content.    If we make it too difficult or expensive for people to get things the "right" way, people will just go to these alternative sources.    It's a fine balance that has to be achieved. 

 

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45 minutes ago, DJRobX said:


There are people like me who absolutely despise memberships but will happily pay for a lifetime membership.    You risk losing funds from those people entirely by not offering it.    There's a risk that lifetime members accept too - the site could shut down well before they break even.   


Yeah, I opted to do the lifetime after giving it some more thought. Better to swallow that pill all at once. If the site has issues down the road, I'll happily give more. Plus that VIP All-Access badge can't be overlooked. I'm like a moth to a flame when it comes to that kind of stuff. 😆

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1 hour ago, jmreedy said:


Yeah, I opted to do the lifetime after giving it some more thought. Better to swallow that pill all at once. If the site has issues down the road, I'll happily give more. Plus that VIP All-Access badge can't be overlooked. I'm like a moth to a flame when it comes to that kind of stuff. 😆

 

Just wait until I get the Achievement system in place... 

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