I read it to be that a new Nik collection (not Photolab) will be out next year but there was no mention of free or paid.
I think common sense would dictate that a company would not pay money for something they don't intend to capitalize on.
I expect some existing presets to be made better or faster, and new presets to be added. The Nik suite was one of the most popular. People paid the high price for it before Google assimilated it, and continued to purchase it after google lowered the price.
There is value in the package and I expect Dx0 will profit from it. Offering it both as a standalone / PS or LL plugin and also as functions included within Photolab can prove profitable on many levels.