Generally, I’m pretty lenient with cosmetic microtransactions, especially in support of a game’s ongoing development. I’m happy to chip in to a live service game once I feel like the amount of hours I’m getting out of it has exceeded the value of my initial purchase price. That’s an entirely subjective threshold that will be different for everyone, but as a general practice that I’m free to opt in or opt out of, I find cosmetic MTX pretty benign (that’s not to say it can’t be sketchy/abused, but that’s more on the individual proprietor, and not the concept itself).
However even if I feel like MTX are generally acceptable, launching a buggy, barebones product with a fully stocked, fully functioning cash shop is simply not a good look. And no one should be surprised that it doesn’t sit well with gamers.
Now, the people who write game code, and the people who design and model cosmetic gear are not the same people on a development team. It’s not necessarily true that having a ton of cosmetic items to sell at launch is somehow responsible* for a lack of updates or content for said games. The programmers did not stop coding to texture a new hat any more than the graphics guys can stop modeling to help fix bugs, for instance.
(*Though, at some point the programmers did have to spend time building the MTX shop backend, so make of that use of time what you will.)
But from an optics standpoint, from a purely PR perspective, seeing a big shiny cash shop built on top of a shaky, still-needs-lots-of-love game just doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence or goodwill regarding a company’s motives. Don’t try to upsell me on leather seats while the car’s engine is leaking oil. In this day and age, developers could be at least a little more cognizant of how this looks, and so even though programming and art are two separate departments, maybe just don’t push the microtransactions until you’re on more solid footing with the important stuff?