I think thats an interesting topic.
When i started with minecraft the creative,browserbased version was considered to be the demo. It wasn't released yet, and one could prepurchase for 10 €. My boyfriend had a pirated copy from someone else, but it did not even take half an hour until i bought Minecraft using paypal. That meant i went without a monthly fee for any mmo that month. In most cases, monthly fees are THE way to get me to spend money on a game. Or Inventory Space, Character Slots... stuff like that.
I consider Minecraft the BEST investition i made concerning games. I am very happy that i bought so early. Some weeks later i bought a key for my boyfriend as i didn't want him to continue using the pirated client, and another month later i bought a key for my brother as birthday present. He was really happy about it. But with the current price... thats more than i have as a present budget.
The nephew (dunno if thats the right word- son of the sister of my boyfriend), 11 years old, very complicated background, absolutely loves Minecraft. It's extremely hard to keep him busy, we don't have a TV... and i used to take care of him some times so his mother gets some free time for herself. He's absolutely happy if he may come over to play minecraft. I have been letting him play offline on a friends laptop, or with my boyfriends account on BFs PC when my BF was out. And if his mother would tell me that she has time for that, i would install it on her PC with my account so that he can play offline at home. well, his mother did not call , and i don't have the resources anymore to take care of him.
I wanted to buy minecraft for this boy's last birthday. And then got shocked because it has become too expensive. I could not even buy it for myself if i hadn't already. I doubt i would now because the graphics look so old. I'm sad i did not get him a copy while it was 10 €.
He has no chance of buying it himself. The ones he knows that could buy it for him don't see whats so great about it. So he has his pokémon and TV and thats it. I don't know any play-opportunity he has that involves creativity. Just makes me sad
And i doubt that Notch would have a problem if i installed minecraft on his mums PC with my account. well, she doesn't call, maybe she forgot...
I usually don't have a favorite game, after a while i need a break from everything. there are very few games where buying is justified , if i play a game maybe 24 hours in one year... or even less, budget about max 15 € a month for games... it has to have things i really like that over games don't have. And especially when it comes to games release 9 years or longer ago, i don't see the point in paying. I had Guild Wars 2 as a present. I bought Sacred twice just because it wasn't that expensive when i bought and its a great game. My brother gave his "share-license" for Sacred 2 to me. I bought some MMOs with subsciption-based system, which is still the system i prefer. All features, when i want them.
But for Singleplayer games, most of them are just not good enough for me to be considered worth to buy them. especially if basegame+addons sum up to over 200 €. Thats just laughable from my point of view, if the actual "play time" is taken to account... would be over 20 € for one HOUR of playing in my case. And the play time is so short because when playing i soon get reminded why i stopped the last time. Bugs, perfomance, crashes...
There are some games that deserve my money, and if a game does i will save for that game. There are even some that are promising enough that i will buy them without testing- the coming simcity is such a game. I will be saving my game budget for that and deny myself subscriptions for that time.
If a company wants people to not pirate, i think subscription based models and f2p with cash-shop models are the way to go.
Or, like minecraft, if i have the chance to deceide that it's worth my money i will gladly pay. Buying Minecraft is was the decision i did never regret and totally worth it, even if there are some months in which i simply don't play it.