Ah, The Old Republic. Can't have a patch without a Free-To-Play controversy, now can we. Anyways, the latest controversy concerns this patch note:
Players may now gain reputation with the Contraband Resale Corporation, a group loosely affiliated with the Hutt Cartel! Reputation Trophies for this organization are now available in new Contraband Packs, and a new vendor has been added to allow players to capitalize on this reputation.
There is no actual content attached to this reputation. Instead, items which give you CRC rep appear in the cartel boxes, you increase your rep, and you can buy cosmetic items from this reputation vendor. You can buy and sell these rep items on the Auction House, I believe.
I don't really see the big concern about this idea. To me, it's roughly the equivalent of those old promotions where you cut out a bunch of UPCs from cereal boxes and mail them to the company for a prize.
These cartel packs need "common" items. Something to add filler along with the rares which everyone prizes. Things like XP potions, or minor unlocks. These CRC rep items make good fillers.
The one thing that I do think they might have changed is to use a different mechanism other than reputation to achieve roughly the same effect. All the other reputations in the game are content, and having one reputation be different is a bit jarring. The packs could have contained a new type of currency, and the vendor sells items for that currency.
Though, this is one of the things I dislike about F2P. So much effort spent on innovating monetization, much less time being innovative on the game.
There's an old piece of advice about looking for work. You want to work for a division which generates profit directly, not for a division which is a cost center, no matter how important that cost center is. The cost centers are the divisions that first get cut and squeezed. That's why a lot of people recommend avoiding IT work in non-IT firms. In F2P games, more and more it's looking like the monetization team is the profit-generating division, and the actual game is nothing more than a cost center, and company policy follows accordingly.