Interesting essay, I have been a longtime @Microsoft gamer and have never explored the realm of online gaming; I think that might change.
I have been increasingly disappointed with the complicated structure of this tech behemoth. Yes they do a lot of things, but I don’t feel like they all of them all well. It is difficult to learn their diverse product lines when it is in constant development mode. Creating an account, repairing a device, and overall ease of use and function are horrible, time wasting experiences.
I agree with you that freeium methods are a fantastic answer to solving problems of getting around the tech giants control as mentioned above. They are also great for solving problems a world apart. Easy to use funding and gaming platforms will become ever more useful for changing the world of education, exploration, and economic opportunity.