I was lucky enough to be around for the early days of PC gaming. I remember when the manual actually told you to make a backup of the floppy. (for you young viewers, manuals were small booklets that used to come with games giving you tips, backstory, art..)
I guess it's good that I am nearing 40 and don't get into gaming as nearly as I used to. This stuff is just turning me off completely.
Considering the typical audience here, there are probably not a lot of you that play EA's NHL (yearly susbscription game). They have already been testing the waters for this from at least 2011 when they indroduced a mode of play called "hockey ultimate team". In this mode you build a team by using "cards". The cards actually come in foil packs that you can buy (all virtual of course). They offer a way to pay for the packs with earned in-game points or real-world money. My son plays the NHL13 version of this game and it is obvious that the system is entirely designed to get you to need to buy more packs of cards to continue paying.
As expected the good hockey players are "rares" (and i mean really rare), and you continually need to feed contract cards and injury repair cards to keep playing. The amount of points required to get the medium and larger packs are so high it is difficult if not impossible for a weaker player to ever purchase with earned points. I'm a software engineer, I see the patterns and thresholds and how they are clearly designed to maximize the need for more "cards". it is completely obvious to me; my son however is too naive to see this....as are probably many other people under the age of 20 or 30. And that is why these microtransactions are "popuar". Mom drops $20 into the kids account and he blows it on virtual garbage. (I refuse to allow my son to buy with real money)
F**k EA. F**k the industry for....well...becoming an industry with the corporate greed that comes with it.