But it also often results in higher profit margins. Guess which one FFG is likely to pick?
I understand your concerns, although I can't really blame FFG for trying to increase their profits. At the end of the day, they are a business after all. They started making board games with the intent of making money doing something they love. It may be true that they love board games, but that doesn't mean they don't want the money.
Besides which, if the decision results in larger profits, doesn't that mean they've INCREASED the fanbase? They may have alienated some (if there's one thing I've learned about gamers in my many years of gaming, it's that there are always some who cry bloody hell about the smallest changes to their beloved game system), but they've obviously replaced those people with others if the game is selling better than it used to.
People always talk about wanting a company to put the fan's desires above crude profits and political correctness, but the cold hard truth is that the fans are rarely, if ever, united in terms of what they want. Take Descent as an example: there are fans who want the game to remain the hardcore tactical combat experience it was in 1e and to hell with any nonsense about "logical storytelling." At the same time, there are fans who WANT the game to be an RPG-lite experience and are willing to sacrifice a little crunchiness in favour of a more "believable" experience. Both groups are perfectly entitled to their own opinion, and both groups are perfectly legitimate "fans" of the game (many people in both camps have purchased all the 1e expansions, have been posting on these forums since day one, and have in general been playing the game.)
What it boils down to is the old cliche that you can't please everybody. The best they can do is make the game the best embodiment of what THEY feel it should be. Those that agree with that vision will hail it, those that disagree will say it was a money grab. If the profit margins increase, FFG can go to bed content that THEIR vision of the game has proven successful. Or they can kill themselves trying to please everybody and go out business in a few years. THEN who will make expansions for your precious game?
PS: Can you honestly say that if you were a professional board game designer you wouldn't be thinking about profit margins at least a LITTLE BIT? Honestly.