Premium Accounts was a feature intended for the 2006 Redesign. With the standardised layout of GameFAQs and GameSpot, CNET and CJayC discussed the possibility of implementing a paid account system which granted exclusive benefits.
According to CJayC, the only benefits of a Premium Acccount was ad-free access to the site as well as ownership of a Private Board. No other benefits were to be given to Premium Accounts, and the boards and FAQs would continue to remain free. There was concern over contributors feeling that the site was using their work to gain money. CJayC made a concession, allowing Prolific Contributors to have free Premium Accounts when implemented and giving them ad-free access during the interim. Contributors were not satisfied with this solution, concerned that the quality of contributions would drop due to new users contributing for the sake of Premium Accounts.
Despite this, users expressed universal outrage at the idea. Site Suggestions was flooded with topics calling for the abolishment of Premium Accounts, a reaction reflected in the later site survey issued to random users. One of the questions on the survey asked for a rating for the idea of Premium Accounts. CJayC posted the results of the survey on The Daily Grind. With items scoring below 0 indicating a hated point, Premium Accounts scored -0.8.
- To be honest, I initially didn't expect the backlash this has gotten. In my head, I couldn't understand why anyone would be upset that other people would pay for extra features, but I'm in the minority. The problems, of course, come with elitism by paying members, contributors feeling we're taking money for their work they post here for free, and so on. With overwhelming numbers of people just plain against it, it's a good possibility the proposal stage is as far as this one gets.
With the colossal amount of opposition to the idea, along with existing alternatives such as AdBlock, Premium Accounts have all but been forgotten.