We have lots of ideas for the Arcade but we just don't have the resources to address it right now - we're 100% on Construct 3 at the moment.
The Arcade is pretty demanding on our servers and we help support that with the ads for Construct. I'm not really convinced the payment model you suggest would work as a substitute.
Well Ashley, that big advertisement on the load screen makes it so websites like mine can not get interest in games because our viewers just see the same big Scirra ad instead of the game so they have no idea what the game is about.
You could do a smaller Scirra ad with a pic or better yet animated gif of the game and that would get more people to play the game and notice your advertisement don't you think?
I know you want to sell C2 and C3 engines but the fact is that most people visit Scirra to see the games and that is how they judge the quality of the engine and after they try the games in the arcade they go and get a free copy or maybe a licensed version.
Those people that consider a licensed version are interested in making a little money to offset the cost of the license and if you provide that in the arcade so they can include 3rd party advertising then that is a big selling point for them to get a license AND you would be making the extra revenue by offering that perk which would cover your expenses for maintaining the arcade server and probably a lot more.
You have tons of new people visiting the arcade every day and that is where you get your customers for your other Scirra products and that is what motivates people to get a license to try and make some money so it just makes sense I think to invest some time in getting that arcade working (CAPX downloads still not functioning) and get it set up with a search feature and animated gifs like you have for the Scirra store and then divide it into licensed games with advertising and free games with no advertising.
That is a big incentive for those people just using the free version to make the investment in a C2 or C3 license so you would benefit in all ways.
Just my opinion but I really hope you guys will consider it and run the numbers of visitors to the arcade compared to how many have shown an interest in buying a C3 license.
ADDED: I am in the process of setting up my arcade website right now and I would be more than happy to put a banner saying games created with Scirra on my website to help my viewers find your product BUT I want the games on my arcade to show the game screen with just a small Scirra ad so my viewers will actually try the games.