I might be using the wrong term indeed.
By infrastructure I mean the whole cost of staying in business as a developer. As a company they have the expences, such as:
- Workplaces that need to be updated: software and hardware have their own cycles (next iOS, next Mac model), tools change and grow too (Adobe products are de-facto standart for most professional designers).
- User acquisition costs are increasing (the reasons for this is a separate research), so growth model described in “official” post by Max could be not viable anymore.
- Not mentioning the money they need to support a team of this size and expertise (salaries, bonuses, sick leaves, taxes, office space rent etc). So you’re right, there’s no initial development process, as the app already exists, but there’s staff that needs to be payed.
Though I’d like to explain a lot of things with simple greed, or stupidity. This chain of switches to subscription feels like a more convoluted process.