The business model is NO different to gambling.
Create a desire to win and collect (much easier with characters loved by a wide audience, like Star Wars). Move & adjust the goalposts. Charge people as much as they can/want to pay to win.
A very few whales drop four figures that pay for the whole game. Another fraction spends $1 - $50 bucks. The largest fraction does not spend money. Developers cater to whales. Welcome to freemium.
A couple of questions for the forum:
1- Whatever happened to paying $40 - $60 bucks for a game off the shelf and playing it to your heart's content? The feeling of constantly being tempted to win faster by paying is annoying and many players end up feeling frustrated or upset that the game is explicitly not a level playing field. The difference between paying X dollars for Star Wars KOTOR and this freemium is that the devs incentives are different. In a full package game, the incentive is to give you a full/complete gaming experience, defined that as you will, often with a sense of closure. With freemium, the incentive is to keep you hooked and maximize ongoing profits (i.e. $100 pack available the same week as movie opening catering to the over-excited, likely under-age fan who will act on an impulse).
Follow up to 1 - People will say, "Well, that's the world we live in. The market has taken us to freemium." And my response would be: Will the gamer community ever ask for a fully developed game (hopefully Star Wars related!) where you would pay a fair price for it upfront and not need to worry about moving goal posts for in-app purchases?" What happened to a free demo version and then pay once for full price? Didn't work?
2- Will this gambling freemium model ever get regulated? How can people spend four figures on a cell-phone app that can easily (and almost explicitly) be gambling? It targets and tempts the same mental processes that cause gambling addictions. Gambling is fine, except that you gotta be over 21 to gamble at casinos...
Follow up to 2 - People will say, "What do you care if I can afford it." Wrong. This is not about how much four figures represents to your wealth/income. This is about aggressive tactics aimed at younglings designed to motivate you, then frustrate you, then present you with an answer in the way of spending more money. Many schemes follow similar patterns.
Finally, people will say "Well, this is the game that's being offered. If you don't like it, don't play it". Hey, sure. Peace and love, man. Funny part is that I do enjoy the game, login daily and have spent $1-$50 bucks on it and don't regret it. At the end, what I seek is the conversation and better games in the future. And yes, maybe a sense of closure at the endgame for this one.