This is a response to a post by Aurelius6299 that I agree with and wanted to add my own two cents too. Much to long for a comment post, so I thought I'd just post my own and link it:
I agree that BYOND is making some serious policy mistakes recently with many of their new changes.
In general, I sympathize with BYOND in terms of memberships. It's not cheap to run a website like this one, and their only options are really to load the site down with ads or to try to pressure members into subscribing more. I realize no one likes this, and this isn't a way for the owners to try to make a quick buck.
But where I believe that BYOND is making the most serious policy mistakes are the areas where they seem to be punishing devlopers, in particular non-member developers. Now, I don't know for sure, but I'm under the impression that most developers on BYOND aren't making tons of money, if any. In fact, I know that many people actually pour their own money into their games or games that they like in order to have a website or a server for those games. So, unless I'm greatly mistaken, most BYOND developers are basically volunteers, spending time making games because its something they enjoy, not because they think that they'll financially hit it big.
Quite frankly, my argument centers around my belief that developers are providing as much of a service to BYOND as BYOND is providing to developers, if not more. So, when BYOND starts turning the screws on developers who don't pay membership fees I think it's just hurting itself. And BYOND is turning the screws by not indexing games made by non-developers and making more and more features developer exclusive. It's feels a little like BYOND is saying, "We don't want your kind around here" to non-member developers, when they should be doing everything they can to encourage developers, even non-member developers.
And, I think the new fangames policy is quite frankly, hurting developers as well (both member and non-member). Yes, rips are trouble, and something should be done about them, but I think just making them virtually inacessable and dooming them to eventually die from a lack of new players is the wrong move. Perhaps they could find a better solution? A separate category for fangames? Perhaps going back to the old system (that I have always missed) of having a section for "unpublished" games? (Or whatever it was called)
I don't think it's bad that fangames themselves are popular. Heck, I found BYOND because it was a place I could play Yu-Gi-Oh online. If we attract players from these games, so be it. If anything it's a good thing if I type "Yu-Gi-Oh online" into a browser and I get BYOND in the results. Creative or not, people who don't know about BYOND aren't going to be typing "NEStalgia" into a browser.
In general I find many changes to be more restrictive to developers. BYOND has been complaining about some demos I posted a while back. One demonstrated the mathematical game of Nim, which, fair enough, isn't very exciting, and another was an early demo of a game I was working on, showing some of the systems I was trying to include. I understand that neither of these are particularly exciting, but I felt BYOND telling me I had to hide it because it didn't meet some guideline on what a "demo" is was a little unnecessary. Again, it feels like BYOND is telling me that I don't meet their standards.
By imposing more and more limits and controls on developers, I feel that BYOND is going to drive more and more of them away, and that may ultimately kill the site.