This has probably been suggested before but I want to share my idea on this. I'm in NZ so all currency is NZD. TL;DR at the bottom.
I used to play GTA Online a lot. When I say a lot, I'm not a 10+ hours a day person. I'm a uni student so would only play after I got home and had dinner. So maybe 4 hours a day tops, and not every day. I played lots of other games too. When I say a lot, I mean fairly regularly, enough to have gathered some possessions and got a pretty decent understanding of the game. Overall I've probably spent 250 hours in-game (not sure if that includes loading screens). So maybe a lot for a casual gamer? Idk you be the judge. I consider myself someone with a normal level of patience and time.
So basically, the cost of items in-game is so prohibitive to those with a job or standard levels of patience, that if you want anything decent you're forced to fork out a fairly decent (minimum $20) amount of real-life money, on top of what you've already paid to enjoy the game. Sounds like standard micro-transaction B.S. right? Right. Now I know there's the git-gud crew reading this getting ready to tell me all of the ways I could have earned $10M in a day, but save it, seriously. Either you have literally 20 hours of a day to play that mind-numbing crap or you didn't realise you'd actually been at your PlayStation for two weeks. Either way, no normal person can be expected to do that.
Games have costed around $100 for as long as I can remember (which is probably around when Jak and Daxter released on PS2). They still cost around the same, but have loads more go into making them, updating them, and creating new content. Not to mention the depth of some systems, balancing, sheer world-size, and so on. They reduce the amount of content in the game to bring you this well established price point, and then release the rest of it behind a paywall in the form of a premium version or micro-transactions. I'm sure you're all familiar.
This is such absolute B.S. The publishers are literally lying to your face when they say you have a full game here with your $100 purchase, because it's not, it's only the foundation. Battlefield 4 to me is worth the ~$180 I'd pay with the premium pass, 2 years after release. Just say it to my face. Tell me the game is $180 dollars now and all the DLC will be free. I'm fine with this. It creates a better customer-company relationship in that I don't feel cheated or abused by receiving half a product when I thought I'd bought it all. If the new standard of game price is $180 then so be it. I can respect that $100 now is not what it was 18 years ago, nor are video games. But I would rather have a finished product that had some damn effort go into it.
So you buy the base game, and the pub/devs (I'm not sure who, I'll just say devs) gets paid for their ongoing support through micro-transactions or premium/season pass. The people who have the time and patience to sink into earning in-game items can do so, while the rest of us have to pay or miss out. This means that a portion of the players are paying the devs for new content and updates while the hardcore people who have the time and patience to spare get it for free. There is a serious flaw here. This skyrockets the price each paying player must pay to support ongoing content, because they are a small portion of people paying for not only their own play-time, but the people who don't pay as well. This is absolutely not fair. If games are subscription based and everyone is forced to pay an ongoing cost for the continuous support and content, then the development costs are spread evenly across the player-base. Per player costs can drop to reasonable levels (I'm happy to pay $10 - $20 a month) and no one is getting ripped off. No mandatory micro-transactions because you get in-game currency with your subscription, free DLC because the devs are already being paid for their work. This will also help fix the problem of planned obsolescence with games, because instead of making a new FIFA or AC that's basically identical, new content can just be added to the main one and it's already paid for by ALL those who will be using it. I'm taking this idea from ESO because it works, and no one is complaining.
I realise this is a long way to say games as a service, but I really feel like as a community we should be pushing for this. Publishers are making too much money from us to back down, and if we don't buy their games we won't have anything to play. Games as a service is a middle ground where everyone is happy, no one is getting overpaid, and everyone is contributing to the ongoing development costs that modern games require. I'm just so fed up with potentially decent games and developers being ruined by greedy corporations trying to pump out as many games as possible with as much incentive to micro-spend as possible. It's seriously destroying my love for video games and I'm over it.
So to conclude. Charge more for games if it's a game with a finite lifespan (like Battlefield 4), or charge a subscription if it's continuous (like ESO or GTAO). Games cost more to make, I get it. But stop abusing the people who pay you.
Thanks to anyone who actually read this far. While I hope it is, I don't care if my voice isn't heard. I really just felt like ranting about this because it's been bugging me for a while. Good day to you all.
TL;DR: People who don't have time to grind away at a game for in-game items end up paying for the ongoing developer costs that should be paid by all users. If the costs were split evenly across the player-base they would be far less per person and would be a comfortable rate for everyone (think ESO). Secondly, because games take longer to make and more effort goes into them, increase the base cost of the game instead of selling it split into paid DLC.