This piece really summed up what I’ve been saying for awhile now, and I think it’s worth pointing out microtransactions do the exact same predatory shit as well. The best freeium games I’ve played have been really generous with free content, and extra content you can get through microtransactions don’t give a significant edge or have a particular appeal, it’s just like “hey if you want this knight costume set just give us a buck or two.” Even that should raise some eyebrows when you add in stuff like seasonal events to pressure for more spending by putting content on a timer.
This is often why I stop playing Animal Crossing, because I just can’t take the subconscious pressure I put on myself to play regularly. When you add in real, actual money for digital goods that can just randomly vanish one day, things get unethical quick, weaponizing that pressure we put on ourselves to regularly play. This is particularly why I utterly despise Overwatch’s lootbox practices, because they’re basically stealing the format of gacha mobile games and putting in a full, purchasable title.
I have some addiction issues, and it ha taken me a lot of time to figure out how I can enjoy things in moderation. My experience with games that encourage micro-transactions have told me I should never play these games, with very, VERY few exceptions.
This shit is literally evil at worst, and I could only possibly accept it in freeium titles because you expect it to be in those games as the cost, not a game that costs 60 bloody dollars.