AAA companies are using everything to make people buy their game. Including the free games you would see in mobile, let me tell you what they are doing on free games:
- Lock powerful or cute characters and or weapons
- Pay-to-win method
- EXP is very low
and more this is just the common you see, there are much worse examples.
Many indie developers who do not know the methods or tricks will often do it wrong or worst then AAA companies. A few free games i played did microtransactions horribility:
- they make you see ads or the ads are just scams that do nothing.
- they never test anything or balance the game.
- awful connections
- running away or bad support
- the game gets abandoned.
I can not trust any developer with microtransaction, i and many of us are inexperienced to bring microtransaction. Not even plugins can help because something will go wrong every time. Dong microtransaction means maintaining the game it is what a mmo should be but isn't. So again if a company or game relies too much on microtransaction then it shouldn't do it. If no one understands how to do microtransactions fairplay for everyone then that game should not be using it.
i don't know itch.io plans but it has been staying alive this long so i'm guessing they have a good plan going for them.