I'm getting a different take than some over Gen Con's recent pricing and hotel changes.
Badge price jumps: generally ticket prices increase to reflect increased demand, either as a way to slow down sellouts by raising the bar for entry (aka, the Disneyland model), or as a way to raise more funds for more staff and activities to accommodate the larger crowds. Or both. :p The show is getting larger and more popular every year, and it wouldn't surprise me if they needed to increase their revenue to keep up. Contrast this with a show like PAX Prime/West, which keeps its ticket prices low and as a consequence sells out in an hour or two every year (with tons of scalping on the day of the show).
Hotel changes: the biggest complaint with housing is that downtown rooms sell out so fast. The new "no more free changes or transfers" policy is, IMO, an attempt to address that, by favoring those people who are really sure they're going to attend, over those who want to grab a room now but may decide, for whatever reason, to not attend months later. While it does penalize those people who legitimately mean to attend but suddenly can't, that's got to be a pretty small number of people, and in order to accommodate them you have to basically allow everyone to do free changes and transfers, and you're back where you started with some folks camping rooms "just in case."
In both cases, the desire seems to be to improve the customer experience, more than a blatant cash grab--at least to me. ;) And if either of these new policies precede a sudden drop in attendance (that can't be explained by the "not the 50th anniversary" reason) or an inability to fill the room blocks, I'm sure they'll be revisited!