That is at least how it feels at the moment (which makes me sad). Although the upgrade prices to R22 are not known yet, the majority of users is assuming that it will be similar to previous non-MSA upgrades, which would (if you financially take the now-missing Cineversity into account) mean a doubling of the 2017 prices (2018 already saw a price hike, and now this...).
The best way for MAXON to say "We are still committed to Perpetuals" would be to announce that the upgrading of a Perpetual will be equal to the cost of the corresponding timeframe's subscription. As easy as that. It would certainly not solve the issues of oldtime Prime/Visualize/Broadcast users, and it would still phone home, and it is still more expensive than last year's MSA, but it would feel a lot more fair than the current pricing expectations.
Yes, fairness is the word here. Perpetual users are already saddled with an upfront cost (which they have paid already and cannot fully retrieve), and they suffer from getting updates later than subscribers. There is no reason to punish them with much higher yearly cost on top of that - except to intentionally make that choice unattractive. Since the "R22" would be virtually identical with what subscribers receive at the same time, there would be no "separate version issue" either*.
If a customer feels treated unfairly, there will be resentment. Resentment leads to angry threads (lots of them, not just on this forum but on those of other software too), and to customers leaving the fold. That cannot be part of the strategy, no?**
* Only exception to that would be if MAXON wants to release a pure bugfix version for Perpetual users, which necessitates keeping the bugfix branch separate from the feature branches. But as we don't have seen any new inbetween versions yet, this might very well be the 21.1 anyway. Plus, retaining customers may be worth the additional cost.
** "The only bad publicity is no publicity"?