Something that has emerged since late 2010 is the fact that, unlikely before, people are paying more for digital bargains for things like in-app purchases or extensions for games, software, etc. At the beginning it was pretty balanced but 2012 leaves with this turned into the consumer nightmare that will eventually blow up this model. Of course that this model has been created to increase sales by getting micro-payments for small things but they have forgot that users have a very thin line that divides love and hate for a product or brand and people will start to hate this more and more.
When you went to an Arcade joint and play in any of those machines the coins where used as the currency to be able to use this machines. Why? Because the owner has to pay the power, the property, the illumination, the maintenance, etc. Then the home gaming consoles came so with the Nintendo and the desired game you where able to replicate the experience. It wasn’t the same, but it was closer and cheaper in the long term. So why you have to pay 1 dollar to be able to roll a virtual slot machine? You are not in the casino, you won’t experience the same and you won’t earn nothing if you get a row.
The same problem is present in some apps where you have to buy pencils, colors, sheets, etc. But why? does the developer need to get the pencils from the factory? Does the developer needs to have an inventory? Absolutely no, is all digital and that’s why digital things exists: To easily repeat and multiply things. Ok, the developer must pay salaries to keep development going, he needs to pay his bills, etc. I totally understand that.
Some developers catch the micro-payments thing in the right direction, like make the app fit your needs by buying custom assets like lenses in a camera app, but others are just doing the most annoying thing ever saw like ask you to buy coins to play an old arcade game. This is just a terrific way to make money at the price of loose your clients in the second that your competitor stop this way of doing business.
I believe that the main problem with this micro-payments is that the respect for the client has been lost and they will squeeze the cow until it last.