While I do agree with you on a lot of points, I have been gaming since 1992, and I have never once seen game-prices rise. They have always been to what is the equivalent of 60 dollars/euros for console games, and 50 dollars/euros for pc games.
So yeah, we were vigilant but may not have called out the BS practises enough, but we also didn’t find a new system to pay for things. Whether it’s necessary in the first place is something else entirely, but it is at least remarkable that a lot of other services and goods have become more expensive, but games have not.
Just as a frame of reference. Almost all media content I buy, has at least doubled in price since the 90s. Boardgames, newspapers, magazines, physical music (CD, vinyl), books. If I take the current prices for those things, I would have to divide it twice to get to the 90s price. Games? I’d have to double the digits.
PC game, used to be 100 credits, now is 50. Console, used to be 129 credits, now is 60. Board game, used to be 50, now is 50. CD, used to be about 12, now is 12. The list goes on.
So yeah, it’s a horrible practice, that I really don’t like, but you used to shell out a lot of money and got a finished product. Finished doesn’t equal good though. Half of the time these products sucked, and you lost your money, or you had to hope for a refund. At least that way companies went out of business, nowadays they can get away with patching them months or even years late.
The one thing I would also add to your list is the lack of demos. I have seen a slight return recently, but mostly it’s still impossible to get a demo. Why not? It’s such a good system! We have trailers for films, why not gameplay for games?
Again, I agree with what you said, and wrote what I wrote to add, or shed a different light. : )