Mobile devices are a premium target for companies who are looking at making money with games and the model that seems to be working for a lot is free-to-play with a boat load of in-app purchases to keep you hooked on.
For myself, I rather pay upfront the cost of the game be it $5 or more, the free-to-play model is great, but it won’t get you far if you intend to get into it because you’ll be restricted to either length of time, resources in one form or another only enabling you to play for an hour or so every day. You can spend a lot of money to get all the different in-apps that will keep you playing and that’s exactly what these companies aim to get you to do.
It is true that previously gaming was usually limited to a couple of minutes here and there, not because of the games, but the devices weren’t capable of sustaining these massive games. This allowed game creators to offer you items to supercharge your game and get to where you wanted to go. This isn’t true for many now that we have capable devices that are just as powerful as gaming desktop PC. There’s now a large percentage of smartphones that are capable of playing all these crazy high-end games.
I love my RPG’s (Role Playing Games) and I can definitely waste plenty of hours playing. A well-made game will keep me entertained for many days if not weeks. The problem I see is all the in-app purchased request being pushed to the consumers. While I agree there’s money to be made, I would rather simply just pay the premium fee and play a game without distractions.