I just learned that it is common now to buy a game that won't let you do all of the flashy things - launch missiles, or use specialized skills, or something -- unless you 'level up' by either playing for what I consider an insanely long time, like dozens or hundreds of hours, or by paying real money to the vendor in order to play at the advanced level. This after you have spent real money to get the damn game.
This is like learning to play chess and finding out that the knight won't jump until you fork over some cash first. Or the queen can only go half the board length in one move. Why would anyone do this? Why is it normal?