Are platforms devaluing games to gain market share?

...Except that the example I showed was a game that was ported 1:1 from the PC version? If you want another example, look at Civ VI. Steam: $39.99, iOS: full game unlock $19.99. A 3/5 rating with a ton of people complaining about the price. The difference couldn't be more stark, yet it's exactly the same game.

Instead of just complaining that these players are "Mobile Peasants" (I'm sorry, what?) have you ever stopped to wonder why the value of marketplaces can be so different? Sure, part of it can be due to the way people use their devices - mobile players are more likely to want to play games on the go between commutes and therefore might inevitably value the experience less then someone deliberately setting time away to play a game, but people value products based on expectations.

There was a time during the early days when mobile games were valued much higher, and we saw many more devs experimenting with full game ports (there was a port of Bioshock for example), but over time the expected value lowered as devs competed in a crowded marketplace. These players are "used to" F2P because of how expectations have evolved over time.

And as much as you might value PC gaming over other means, there's nothing intrinsic about that format that hinders the popularity of F2P. Hell, some of the most popular games on PC are F2P games - Fortnite, League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO, etc. The thing is, AAA development hinges on the expectation that people are okay with spending ~$40-$60 on a single video game, and if that no longer becomes the case, devs will still need to make up the shortfall though other means. The fact that you said 20-40€ shows how even your expectations on the value of games has lowered compared to the industry MSRP, likely through the generous sales offered by Steam and other marketplaces.

The cost of game dev isn't getting lower any time soon, and if the kind of large scale AAA games we know and love become uneconomical due to static or decreasing prices in the face of inflation and aggressive marketplace offers, then the nature of these games will change.

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