Just to get people talking, here's a bit of a "(something-other-than-Devil)" view.
Not All Gaming Is Created Equal.
This includes the colossal field called ... Sports.
Very briefly, in Sports, people don't bat an eye that upgrading certain equipment means better overall results. Each has its own. Tennis Racquets, Shoes, and shockingly, even Chess Equipment.
So in these "Games", watch the line where "cheap game" merges with "Sport". You start to get clashes with "Cheap Game" vs "Sport" eventually. Of course the sneakier Developers push this line.
If you go back to the world of "Pure Games", the best example from my younger days is "Magic the Gathering". It's In-App Purchase driven from day one and everyone knew it and mostly accepted it. You can goof off with your friend but if you wanted to get serious, it would cost you easily $300 on a good day. *If* you also made a few savvy trades. Twenty Three years ago.
Now, new angle. Something is totally wrong with Apps. "Several Someones" have decided that it's the new marketplace of idiots, and therefore any half baked junk is an "App".
The fallacy of course is that Phones are just Comps from 15 years ago. So it's far from clear why an App on a Phone from 2014 is 30 times worse than a (better) precursor program on a Win98 machine from 1999. I mean, they hold demo competitions on who can squeeze the most functionality out of older hardware, most famously the Commodore line. So what's with a cute prog from 1999 that outperforms a phone app from 2013?
Something about the Culture. In the old days, you/they released software as best as they knew how, with every last ounce of tech they had. Today's Apps are slammed out as fast as they can do it without too egregious bugs making them look bad. Somewhere in there ... is the problem.