Big money maker, and people seem to have no issue with getting 90% of the crap they don't want, just to get the one item they do want. I would rather just buy the item outright then subject myself to a game of chance. To each his own I guess but I really feel like we on the verge of this getting even more out of control, and many folks don't seem to mind it.
Keep in mind in GW2 you can can do the gold conversion which works out to be around 2300 gold in this case, but someone had to purchase that 9000 gems with cash at some point. I can now see why more and more companies have moved away from the sub based model. This seems way more lucrative. Back in the day that would buy you a years worth of gaming to a subscription based game. Can't say I see an increase in quality on the flip side either. They still charge you for expansions either way.