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Tetris Subscription is Highway Robbery

If you have played any games on any device, one of them has likely been Tetris. Tetris has been around since 1985 and there have been many versions of the game even on iOS. Tetris licenses out the name of the game so others can create a game. Back in January of 2020, a whole new version of Tetris was released by the development group N3twork. The release can be viewed on tetris.com.

As is the case with many apps these days, they are free with ads. Quite often there is the ability to remove the ads. When the app was released, there was an offer to remove ads. This was a one-time fee of $4.99. I immediately purchased this, because I do not like seeing ads when I am playing a game. The one-time purchase mechanism is useful in some situations, however, it is becoming less common. Instead, many apps are moving towards a subscription model.

In many cases, this makes sense, because a subscription can generate consistent revenue. The reason for this is because many people sign up for a subscription and often forget that they have subscribed. When it comes time to renew, if they didn’t pay attention the notice from Apple, and say, “oh it’s only x, I’ll keep subscribing”. If the fee is small enough, say $4.99 a month, most would not argue with that.

While I was digging through the interface of Tetris, I noticed that there was the option to change avatars and your background. These had a lock in the lower right corner. So I tapped on it, and it brings up the option for “Tetris Premium”, which I can understand.

What shocked me though was not that they were offering a subscription, but the price. It is $4.99 per week. This is not $4.99 per month, which I can somewhat understand, but PER WEEK. This means that if you were to subscribe to Tetris Premium for an entire year, it would cost your $259.48. Here is what you would get for that:

  1. No interstitial ads
  2. Exclusive LCD Theme
  3. Three Exclusive Avatars

That is it. I would hope that they would add more backgrounds and avatars.

My Thoughts

To me, this is completely absurd. I will concede that it is possible that this is an “accident” and it meant to be per month, but it does not seem to be the case. It is also possible that the interface can update to whatever the current offer. There are many apps that are scammy apps that try to trick people into spending money for very little in return.

I am not saying that $4.99 is inappropriate for all applications, quite the contrary. However, for a game like Tetris, pricing of $4.99 per week is definitely not worth the price. To me, this just seems like a cash grab. Not only should N3twork be ashamed, Tetris Holdings, Inc. should protect their brand, because this is going to make people stop trusting any Tetris apps in the future.