Yes those are the numbers for most hustlers, you don't need many idiots when one really fat bastard will pay off all the work.
That's unfortunately what I thought as well. Specifically: "That sounds just like the figures that Nigerian scam artists pull in."
And I'm also guilty of having helped this trend: I've spent money on TF2 (I actually bought the game before it became F2P, but I've bought weapon packs and stuff since then) and Hearthstone. I kinda regret spending money on TF2 because I don't think it's been worth it, at all; but $1.50 for an Hearthstone arena match (when you have the option of using gold as well) doesn't seem to be extortionate to me. I wouldn't buy the card packs.
considering that less than 1% of people in the world also hold over 50% (actually - over 70%) of the value, id say the distrubtion is quite fair.
There is only one F2P game that i have put money in. All other games i usually do the ingame money traded for premium items from those that buy them. That game is World of Tanks. I have paid ~70 dollars for that game gold. Raptr counts that i have played the game for 685 hours, which puts it at almost 10 hours per dollar of fun. Granted, some of it i could ahve achieved without the money, heck i could ahve done same hours if i stayed to low tiers and just limited myself there, but i dont regret having paid that, because the benefits were worth it, and the game really was good value for the money. I would have paid much more if it was subscription based model.
Hmm. If you count mobile games, and IAPs are certainly part of the F2P model, I've purchased/de-nagged maybe 5 or 6 F2P games.
Punch Quest - great little iOS game with a lot of humor and more nuanced gameplay than I expected. Fell for the "coin doubler" trick, but it proved to be worth it.
Solomon's Boneyard - wish it were on PC, just a dandy fantasy twin-stick shooter. The pace of unlocks is a liiiittle on the slow side (I still haven't unlocked *bosses*, for God's sake), but it's worth.
League of Legends - still have some RP lying around somewhere, I really just wanted a Kayle skin
League of Angels - forgive me the occasional heretical browser game ;)
Spaceteam - a cross-platform (really! Local co-op!) mobile game that's just a scream with three or four players.
It's funny -- I think mobile IAPs can be the most pernicious form of the F2P model, but when they do deliver value, they do so pretty well. Maybe it's the low cost of entry for those games, and knowing how bad the margins are? Wish I knew!