Lone wolf makes thier money when they sell us the core for 34.95 and when they sell us the addons that each person has to own for 12.95.. currently With the core and the 2 alien archives and the pact world and the dead suns expansion you will have dropped over 100 dollars per person on hero labs... I am not bashing thier model.. but warning to all... there is zero offline method of using the program... and when the subscription kicks in that will be 100 for the content and 25 a y eq ar just to have access the content you have purchased.. dont want a subscription.. bye bye content... meaning you cant even create characters for offline play with out resubscribing... a lot if people dont mind this model.. just be aware of the cost up front.. it's a good program... just understand there is no offline use and you will have to purchase all content and keep an active subscription or your content goes bye bye.
Yes they make the money when they sell the addons, a portion (half?) goes to Paizo for licensing, but let's say there is a product (like PF1, which is coming to HLO) that will no longer have new products, what pays for the server maintenance for those users in perpetuity?
There really is no way around not charging a subscription fee for an online service, unless you want banner ads...