I have seen a few games, like the new The Sims for Facebook that have the concept of energy in them. In order to do stuff in the game, one uses energy and the energy recharges slowly over time. This means that one cannot play the games for hours non-stop without paying, but what is the rationale behind this? Why don't they let everyone play for as long as they want, but say that one has to pay for example for items in the game? Isn't one of the goals to have people spend as much time in the game as possible, to get them more hooked and thus more likely to spend money?
I would also be very interested in any research on this topic, where this is explained carefully with statistics?