Something I've noticed over my painful experience of reading Millennial opinions when it comes to money and game development is that the single largest issue surrounding a video game is how much money they DON'T have to spend to play it.
So let's say a game has a Kickstarter campaign. Immediately 2 very vocal groups will form, the people who think it's a cash grab and try to find a way to prove there's somehow a scam happening, and then a group who will silently donate hundreds or thousands of dollars but then come on the forums and defend the game. The argument will use words like vaporware and scam and 'development team size'.
Anyhow, when a game finally comes to fruition, the next stage of game development is always figuring out how to generate ongoing revenue. "Monetization" becomes the issue. This is the first of a series of divide and conquer mistakes that will eventually fracture the games support group and put it in a death spiral. The original Kickstarters will either have been given free play for life, or they'll have been informed they'd have to join the payment model after a prescribed amount of time based on their contribution.
Of course, let's not forget, the glorious imagination of some of the Kickstarters will turn them into some of the games most vocal adversaries, as various stages of alpha testing may make them feel as though they've donated to a sub-minecraft graphics experience. The game will have to contend with their alpha testing cries for Kickstarter refunds between forum posts carefully articulating their 'failures' from day one.
If and when a game makes it to release, Kickstarter or not, this new generation of MMO player wants a hand-held experience. They want to click the quest objective, to go watch TV, and come back and know that their character auto-pathed, auto-combatted, and auto-turned-in the quest, and is now gathering resources because it had nothing else to do until you got back. Yes, the player doesn't want to have to figure things out, or to struggle to learn the controls, huge flashy bouncing fingers are the best bet for a developer, quickly pointing to the "click here to have AI play the game for you" buttons.
After several months of 'release' games realize cash-flow is drying up. The honest truth is, how long do you want developers to warranty your gaming experience? If a game costs $30.00, how long does that developer owe you a fun experience before they want more money? "Monetization" again becomes the key item. The Millennial solution I always see is to sell useless items like wedding dresses through an item mall, allowing players to 'tip' the developers as they play the game if they feel like. Yes, yes, the developers rush to create the tip jar, and it gets some coin in the bottom, hardly vacation material however.
Oh, how the games forum becomes flooded with computer-penis comparisons. Long lengthy computer specs of just upgraded video cards and processors and ridiculous amounts of RAM. Developers realize how the players will spend thousands of dollars on their machine, maybe on a video card alone, but can find little more than $30.00 to invest in their game. Yes, the players have the money, the developers need to have a conference to figure out how to get it applied digitally. A monthly subscription? Heresy. Selling useful items? Pay-to-win. Oh how anything beyond the $30 box is the death of us all.
Once upon a time a MMO game was $49.99 and $120.00 a year in subscription fees, now we expect twice the game with better graphics for 1/4th the money. We spend days putting together thousand dollar machines to play $30.00 games on. When we get what we pay for, we're frustrated and upset. Truth be told, there's no new $160.00 or $200.00 a year game coming on the market. If you want an experience that asks that price you have to return to Blizzard, which has unfortunately implemented most of the challenge-killing short cuts of modern games anyhow.
I like to offer solutions, but we the gamers, not the developers, through our endless endeavor to not be compelled to pay money for the games we play, have killed our genre.