Yesterday we caught wind that this "new" Dark Meadow [$5.99] that we'd heard rumblings about wasn't new at all, but instead originally was planned to be an update that converted the existing app into a free to play game. Predictably, even with the vague offer of "exclusive upgrades" for existing owners, news that Dark Meadow as we knew it was going away fired up our community like few things can between the actual article comments and the Dark Meadow forum thread.

Thankfully, it seems Phosphor Games has made a last minute decision to cancel the complete free to play conversion, and instead will be keeping the existing Dark Meadow and releasing a new free to play companion version. Per a Phosphor representative on our forums:

Our intention was that we’d have one version of the app, so (future) leaderboards, etc could all be shared by same community. We always planned on turning off ads and gifting premium players, so we didn’t see any negative to what we were planning.

BUT it sounds like the community really wants them to stay as separate versions. From reading the forums, one large issue is it sounds like a lot of users have completed the current version, deleted it (as it is a large file size), and would like to check out the next one, but there is a good chance they won’t have save data, and they’d have the hassle of downloading the current one just to have a save game, then download the newer one, etc. All an annoyance we’d rather not give our fans.

SO we are keeping the Premium version of Dark Meadow separate from the Free one, and both will get all the new features. So anybody who previously purchased the game can update whenever they want, and they will just get new stuff. …Read More

So, that's good news. But, it still is a little strange that keeping two version seems like such an eleventh hour decision, as this sort of community reaction to plans to load a previously-paid game full of micro transactions couldn't have been easier to predict.

So, put away those pitchforks and burning torches, as it sounds like Phosphor Games is doing the right thing after all. Since this update was scheduled to land this week, I'm guessing it'll be a bit longer before we see the new free to play version as at the very least this decision means another trip through the Apple approval process.

  • Adams Immersive

    That’s good! They might have done right by us with one version, but this way the question just goes away.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fleshman1992 Laszlo Tuss

    Good! Shared leader boards should be awesome, maybe Apple adds the support for the with Mountain Lion ( they said we can play versus Mac players in GC, so i think they finally do merged leader boards ).

    I recommend iCloud support for the game, with iCloud, we can transfer save games from premium to fermium and vica versa 

  • swarmster

    With iCloud the whole concept of keeping/losing saved games goes away. I can't believe this is still an issue how many months later? Every app should be using iCloud for user data, period.

    Back on subject, though, was it ever cleared up whether they were adding a for-pay currency to the game? My problem is then you're suddenly limiting paid users, no matter how much you gift them. But I could never find confirmation of anything other than ads, which they'd remove for paid people. Maybe I didn't follow long enough.

    • Andrea Casali

      This.
      Also with iCloud saves we would be free to do a clean reinstall on our devices instead of restoring from backups that (in my case) originated from an iPod touch 1st gen (and I had to carry on to iPhone 4S..). I can't do a clean reinstall because I would lose saved file from old games.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeremy-Church/100000209380954 Jeremy Church

    This developer sounds really cool. All they want is to make their customers happy. Even though it was just the vocal minority complaining. Anyway, it's a cool game and they deserve our support.

    • mclifford82

      The same vocal minority that will post a very vocal negative review if they feel slighted in any way, shape or form.

  • nickmorgs

    Torch extinguished, pitchfork back in the shed.

    Good decision Phosphor.