Exactly Tiffs, exactly. They're turning games into money making scams nowadays, so no wonder they're controversial and people complain about them and scathing articles are written about them. The frustrating irony is that the power is actually with the consumer: just don't buy this garbage and the companies will soon be forced to stop these underhand practices and deliver proper games again.
The problem of course, which they exploit, is how to get millions of people across the world to act in this synchronised manner (the hive mind aka the Borg in Star Trek...) The answer is you don't, hence the practice continues. One can try to start campains, but good luck with that. The only other way is to legislate against this, but I can't see that ever happening, and even if it did, the companies would find sneaky ways round the restrictions turning it into an infuriating game of whack-a-mole leaving us no better off.
As for me, I've always ignored these pay to play upgrades and expensive trinkets, but I think the last straw for me is the way that CoD now limits the multiplayer game modes available at any one time. They have something like 12 modes available, but now only allow a subset at any one time are enabled, on rotation. Thus, my favourite, Gun Game, has been missing in action for weeks now for no good reason and that's extremely frustrating. I doubt I'll be buying the next CoD game now due to this, especially as online gaming with my friends hardly happens nowadays. It used to be an epic experience.