I don't mind freemium in these scenarios:
- game is free for the first few level, pay once to unlock the rest
- base game is free, but if you want to also play the Mystic Island of Sintarra expansion or whatever, it's another $5
- game is free, various non-essential cosmetic addons, colors, logos, etc. cost
- game is free to see enough of it to decide, but you really need to pay a price if you want to play it (trial version)
I don't think most gamers mind those. What gamers hate is not so much freemium as neverending pay:
- games where you need some resource but it's glacially slow to acquire...unless you want to pay real world dollars
- games where your character is going to be completely pathetic unless you pay to improve him. New character? pay more...
- nearly anything where in-app-purchase refers to coins, tokens, levels, etc. - the idea of trading real-world dollars for in-game dollars
The only people who like these kind of ongoing subscriptions/IAPs are software publishers.
More and more, I avoid free games. I don't mind pay $5 or more for a game. I've probably got $75 in PanzerCorps expansions. But if PanzerCorps required me to spend real-world cash to buy Prestige to improve my units...NFW.
I can also get into games like Bloons TD5. I think it was $5 or something to play, and I've gotten very far without ever paying additional real-world cash. But you can pay money (not stupid - like $5) to get in-game cash if you want, but it isn't needed. Compare this with the rapacious business model of a Marvel Contest of Champions or something, where they routinely push $50 and $100 re-ups. If the cash is just an option to accelerate if you want, that's OK...but it's such a slippery slope that it quickly becomes "realistically, you'll need to add this game to your monthly budgeting..."
Another concern with all of these in-app models is...what if Tiny One Man Game Company, Inc. goes out of business?
tl;dr my post here is probably Captain Obvious, but to recap: it's not freemium, it's ongoing IAP or real-world-cash-for-in-game-cash that really grinds gamers' gears.