"These games are free... until you don't want them to suck."
— Aasif Mandvi, The Daily Show (December 8, 2011 episode)
"The rise of free to play gaming is actually a symptom of the erosion of the middle class in the United States. 50 years 61% of adults were middle class, now 51% are. Right now wealth is more unequal since the Gilded Age of the 1890s. Low wage workers across the nation are striking because they can’t afford to survive anymore. Even Walmart, which had a food drive for its own employees, is beginning to realize its profits depend on people having money to spend...Gaming is not an essential purchase. One can do without it. As more more and people balk at the high price tag of consoles and $60 games, they’ll naturally gravitate towards lower priced games, namely free ones. However, free to play games are not free to develop, therefore developers have to resort to using shady tactics to make money. In essence, games like Candy Crush Saga are the direct result of a downward pressure on gaming prices, which while nobody will say it publicly, I believe its because its the result of people not having the money to throw around anymore."
—Noah Murphy, "Candy Crush Saga and the Erosion of the Middle Class"
"Herein lies a serious problem with the mobile games industry as a whole right now: good game design is frequently sacrificed in the name of making something more likely to make money. Players are not respected as people who want to have fun; they're treated as resources who need to be exploited...
[W]ith prospective players — many of whom are coming to gaming for the first time via mobile devices, remember — conditioned to balk at the idea of paying more than 99 cents for a mobile game... millions of people download free apps to 'try' them, get hooked in by psychologically manipulative basic mechanics — usually of the Skinner Box variety — and are then nudged in the direction of the payment options, usually by foul means rather than fair...
[I]f something is put up on the App Store or Google Play marketplaces for no up-front cost, do yourself a favor and check the list of in-app purchases before you download it — if there's the option to spend upwards of $100 in a single transaction, you may want to think long and hard about whether the game in question is something that's really worth supporting at all, even with a download."
— Pete Davison, Wired, "Dungeon Keeper: A Symptom of a Wider Problem"