That's a really fair point. I can see that being a player who utilises other games with the same mechanics and I totally agree it's not worse than other games in that sense. I do tend to avoid most games with in app purchases so my exposure is likely more limited than the average.
I guess for me it just feels like they're taking advantage of a community of players that may or may not have been playing AC since it's original franchise games. The same community who made them successful. As someone who played as a kid on the DS on Wild World, I suppose it feels like a carrot and stick the scenario. The games, as with most others of the time, were not P2W and were just 'buy the game and have fun'. AC has not typically been a competitive game and therefore the P2W concept becomes more 'play to enjoy'. Of course they have to make money, but it's a game that has long been marketed as child and family friendly and with only very few items available without being fortunate cookie items or event items that can take more time than people have available to play, it feels like its becoming an elitist game and it's not very inclusive for a game or developer of this caliber. It's probably made more apparent by the release and success of New Horizons which has (at the moment) not got additional in app purchases, instead allowing trading which is super helpful in NH and still an inability in Pocket Camp.
I'm still an active player and probably will be, but it's hard to see how they've treated a lot of their regularly playing and paying customers when the AR could have realistically been a separate app or game. That alongside the ever increasing prices just feels like a step backwards and a kick to the young fan base who still love the game but not the structure. Hopefully that gives more insight but I really appreciate the food for thought!