Re: This clearly goes to show you...
You need to read better economics :D although you are correct about how insanely orthodox econ departments are. I studied econometrics, so we where the "geeks who want to be quants". Studied how the models are built, by people who help write them, and most of those are pretty wise to the ways of the world, and of the behaviors of groups of people.
In general, micro economics is very good, and usually quite scientific. If you have a very specific situation, you can model it quite accurately. And a model for a similar situation can be used as a basis for a model of a similar situation. There's also plenty of experiments that show that people are *not* rational when it comes to negotiating over money.
If you read the papers, there are often more caveats and assumptions than actual arguments. But it often ends up with a rule/model for every situation, all of which lose some amount of detail. So I'm always very careful about aggregated data, GDP and inflation by basket-of-goods can be manipulated to hide what is happening in various segments of the population.
How economics is used politically is roughly half the things that are conventionally "agreed" on will ever be implemented, and only if it benefits the groups currently gaining the most from the current system. So you either can use models to benefit real world stuff (operations research), use it to "beat" the market by predicting behaviors, or be used to justify whatever our political masters are going to do anyway.
The profit scaling from a free-to-play are massive. Your marginal cost for items is nil, your fixed costs are (hopefully) tied to the size of player base, and once you're news, then plenty of free advertising. It's like a theme park, either charge you $40 to come in and ride all day, or $2 a ride and reasons to come back each day. Why sell physical goods, when virtual ones cost you nothing and nothing to transport.