According to Sergey Titov, executive producer of The War Z, the majority of people who play his game are not upset about the risk of losing items they’ve paid real money for upon death. This assertion comes in response to calls on the game’s forums by players who want the system excised from the game.
Titov, though, references an alleged survey of 18,000 users in which “most players said, ‘don’t change that or we leave the game.’”
In a way, losing paid items upon death isn’t far removed from no longer having access to consumables one has purchased once they’ve been used. It’s just another form of limited access for which one pays real money. The distinction comes from the risk factor. Death in The War Z can come suddenly and, often, due to glitches, mishaps, or malevolent players, rather than being overwhelmed by a swarm of zombies in a desperate last stand.
The distinction, and The War Z in general, still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.