"How about Free? Will you pay us zero dollars? Do we need to pay you?"
Some people are cash rich, time poor. Others are time rich, cash poor. F2P manages to leverage the time rich people as cannon fodder for the cash rich people to shoot at and kill. Its an awesome business model,
The trouble is, the time rich, cash poor people are, *by definition* more likely to be the ones tweeting, posting on forums, replying, downvoting, and arguing. The perceotion that $20 is a lot for an indie game is taken from a bunch of cash-poor people posting online. The time-poor people just buy the game and then go back to work.
$20 is cheap for a decent indie game. My latest one is $26.99, and sells very nicely. Ignore the complaints.
I think it's a left-brain versus right-brain thing.
You buy games with your left brain. You evaluate them critically and are price sensitive. You try to figure out how many hours you'll play it, how much fun you have, and whether it'll be a good investment. Other things you buy with your left brain: fuel for your car, groceries, smartwatches.
You buy cosmetics for games with your right brain. You buy this stuff to express yourself, man. It's why we live. Other things you buy with your right brain: trendy sneakers, colognes/perfumes, and luxury watches.
The trick is to figure out how to make people associate your stuff with the more profitable side...
I put "smartwatches" and "luxury watches" there because that's another example that's always boggled me. People obsess over the price/specs/Apple/Android, where to me, a smartwatch is a fancy piece of jewelry and people should buy 'em accordingly.
Quick note about a typo - the first sentence in the "But I Like To Be Sunny" section has a second "who" which doesn't fit.
Thanks for writing!
One interesting fact I remember hearing about recessions awhile ago, is that the sale of suits flourish. People have all the more reason to want to look rich during a recession, it is the middle of the road non flashy but not ultra value oriented either that are hit hard.
If we extrapolate from fashion, cosmetics will likely boom during a recession. But a more interesting question might be, can we extrapolate this to games in general. Are games luxury items? can they be status symbols? Or are they just one of the cheapest forms of entertainment for people who dont want to make their own fun or go outside?
It's just different type of players. They do intersect but not a lot.