Is Organized Play Good For the Hobby?

I read an article about paying for games which basically, was saying that aside from Gary Gygax nobody really got rich from role-playing so buy stuff and support writers.

It also raised the point that, like musicians, RPG writers have been disadvantaged by torrenting.

I agree, but I think that unlike musicians, I can’t go out and play a live show to promote and make money from my games. I’m lucky because I have a regular job, and writing is a choice, but for some, it isn’t.

This got me to thinking: the closest I can come to “playing live” is running games at a con to maybe 30 people a weekend which, with travel, is not economical.

I also happen to run a (not for profit) con, which I love doing, but is not a vehicle for pushing my games.

Recently though I have noticed a lot of people involved in Organised Play have expressed no interest in coming to the con. Their opinion is that their play is heavily subsidised, or free, and there is no reason they should have to pay to come to a con when they get their games for free.

I can’t argue with that math.

Here’s the problem. By keeping their customers close through OP large companies reduce the likelihood that people will want to try something new at cons and shops.

That’s good for business, and I think it’s a great idea to offer such awesome support to their customers.

Which, eventually brings me to the question, is Organised Play good for the hobby in general or does it funnel people into a few games and reduce their chances of playing new games?

Also, going back to the article, does this in turn reduce peoples willingness to pay for games themselves?