Is there any other way to discourage things from going in that direction? Especially given that the only 'normal' way, just deciding not to buy the game, is rendered absolutely ineffective by Epic forepaying the publishers for missed sales? It's not impossible to see how some developers may be discouraged to go for the deals, knowing how much toxicity can be thrown their way should they do it. Epic Games provides insurance against the passive and morally correct "will not buy your game" protests, and they deny users the ability to voice displeasure on their store, but they can't shield the devs and publishers from backlash outside of their platform. Just like with user reviews and review bombs, if you leave them no other choice people will go for it, and they'll do it because it works.