With the news that WoW is looking at an expanded cash shop, I guess that's the last nail in the coffin for those of us who prefer pure subscription games.
I'm not too happy about this, but I'm resigned to it. I don't really see that it produces better games. If anything it just seems like a low-grade annoyance, making the game slightly worse.
Take yesterday's "event" in The Old Republic. It was the 10th anniversary of the release of Knights of the Old Republic. To celebrate, for 24 hours TOR allowed you purchase a title, "Revan's Heir", for the low, low price of 10 cartel coins.
10 cartel coins is very cheap, it's pretty much nothing. But it was so cheap that you have to ask yourself, why even bother selling it? If this had been a sub game, everybody logging in would have gotten the title.
It was to get people to use the cartel store. Like a drug dealer, the first hit is (almost) free. But now that people have used the cartel market, maybe they'll buy more stuff.
It's just so corrosive. Yesterday should have been a celebration. Instead, the entire thought process is "How can we monetize this?"
In the end, though, I blame gamers. Penny-wise, pound-foolish. It doesn't matter how bad our games get, so long as someone else pays for them. We'll just complain about it on the forums.