Puzzle Pirates has a deliciously useful way of letting players pay with time or with cash. Their dual currency microtransaction model lets players either buy doubloons with cash from Three Rings directly, or from other players with in-game gold via the in-game blind currency exchange. It’s a great way to let players either pay for their stuff with cash or time. (Yes, that simplifies it a bit, and every single doubloon has to be purchased with cash at some point, but still, it’s a great, fungible system.)
Out here in the real world, gamers who have paid in time (patience, really) can get their hands on a couple of great games:
Sure, your anguished cake jokes will be a little stale these days, but in many ways, these are games worth playing, years after release. That just costs a little… time.
It was worth the wait.
Edited to add:
Oh, and Myst Online: Uru Live is now open source, an interesting take on the “death” of an MMO.