Zombies Run VIP Virtual Races subscription - Abel Township Disapproval - Petition

Zombies Run VIP Virtual Races subscription - Abel Township Disapproval - Petition

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Cassandra Sharp started this petition to Six To Start and

Zombies, Run! is both a running game and an audio adventure crafted by British studio Six to Start and critically acclaimed author Naomi Alderman. Set around Abel Township, a small outpost trying to survive the zombie apocalypse, players act as the character "Runner 5".

Virtual Race (VR) missions are an additional paid content, run during a defined period of time anywhere in the world. VR contained a set of audio missions + additional physical goods (medals, booklets, race bib, etc.) for an average price of 35. Usually, there were 2 Virtual Races per year.

Unfortunately, the latest introduction to the VIP Virtual Races created a few significant changes:

  • Virtual Races are no longer going to be available as a separate option to buy single VR. Now, the user will have to buy a yearly subscription for ALL races. Subscriptions cost around 90 with the price varying depending on location and tax details, which causes subscription to be even more expensive.

    This is a large one-time payment for anyone, especially for people from countries with a weaker currency than $ or £, not mentioning that this change came during COVID-19 pandemic, thus it couldn't be introduced during more troubling times when people are losing their jobs, or (hopefully not) loved ones.
  • Even despite buying such yearly subscription - if not renewed, it's going to be blocked and the user is going to lose the access to the previously bought Virtual Races without the option to play them again. This situation never happened before, as previously if Virtual Race was bought - the user had a chance to play it as many times as they wish, whenever they wanted to. 
  • Additional tangible goods (medals, booklets, etc) will be no longer provided within the price of the "Virtual Race Pack". They are now separate, and available to be bought via the store for an additional charge. VR will now only contain audio files.
  • Legacy users and users who bought the previous Virtual Races will not receive any discounts or benefits for their loyalty and previous support on buying Virtual Races. Thus, if the user already bought previous Virtual Races, they are going to be overcharged in case they decide to buy the VIP subscription.
  • What's more, as of August, the 3rd race was introduced - presenting cameo of beloved Jack & Eugene characters. Since they are a cannon LGBT couple in the Zombies Run game, plenty of LGBT community as well as supporters voiced their concerns about using specifically those characters as a part of a selling point in order for users to buy VIP subscriptions.  Especially as the 3rd race was introduced over the weeks of constant negative community feedback to the VIP idea. As the LGBT community and its representation in media is fragile as it is - Six to Start should be more careful of the choices they make. It's impossible to tell whether this cameo was now, in fact, a genuine act of kindness to present the community with the story about Jack & Eugene or a form of persuasion and mitigation of conflict while using LGBT representation.

Due to those changes to the Virtual Races, Zombies Run and Six to Start received a crushing negative response from the community, repeating the concerns as mentioned above, and plenty more.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2781121375503648
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=586275075403849
https://www.facebook.com/zombiesrungame/posts/3622281187787132

As Zombies Run community is one of the most supportive ones, we will always welcome new Runner 5s to the Abel Township.

Still, at the same time, we are NOT happy with reading posts by Six to Start and it's CEO Adrian Hon, constantly repeating how they value our community, yet at the same time completely disregarding our voice and our opinions while pretending to listen.

Sadly - it's been happening for a long time.

Over the years Six to Start were already given multiple community ideas as to how to make Virtual Races better and more approachable.

This included, for example, a very popular idea to allow users to buy separate Virtual Races as the audio file, without any additional goods, and for a lower price than a standard one. The reasoning was simple - we are all Runner 5, and due to country of origin + currency conversion problems plenty of us did not have the money to buy Virtual Races at the standard price, but we still wanted to support Six to Start and Zombies Run game. 

This - and all similar pleas - as always came to no fruition, only being confirmed as "We're working on it," "We'll think about it" or similar phrases - repeated fervently at this very moment with a VIP subscription.

In the end, Zombies Run community received the change to the Virtual Races - but this was NOT the change we even considered as the option. 

The change was not discussed with the community at all, there was no opinion-gathering of any sort.

VIP VR was first introduced as something "exciting" that will come and then simply presented - thus it was only natural that this community had (and has) no other option than to voice our concerns of being treated this way. 

Unfortunately, it seems that this decision was dictated not by the love for the community, which is even more hurtful taking into consideration the fact that it was introduced during COVID-19 pandemic, showing a complete lack understanding that this means asking for more money from people who are losing their jobs, fearing for their life, or even had their family members pass away.

We understand that this is business but unless VIP subscription will be strongly revised, Six to Start might find themselves losing a lot of die-hard fans, including legacy users, and instead of moving forward, go backward.

This petition is created for every single person NOT happy at all with the course Six to Start and Zombies Run is taking with the introduction of the VIP Virtual Races subscription.

Thank you for reading and participating.

PS. This petition is not my personal opinion, it is a collection of problems stated by the community on all platforms and put into one bigger petition, as not everyone has the willingness to publish such opinions publicly. 

We still love Zombies Run game and hope this small petition, as well as all of the comments, will be finally taken seriously into consideration and this situation will be a great lesson on how to be better in the future and communicate with fans beforehand.

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