The Hollywood Reporter interviews Rob Pardo, Blizzard's VP of game design, about World of Warcraft. Recently named to Time's list of the 100 most influential people because of the MMO, Pardo talks about the games successes and failures, South Park, and payment models.
On microtransactions, Pardo says they would work for a game like Guitar Hero, where you just pay for more songs. He's wary of applying microtransactions to a game like WoW because they cheapen the experience; people show off the armor and weapons they win in the game, and being able to buy those items would ruin the game. Pardo also thinks that ad-supported games primarily work for subjects where players already expect ads, like car racing.
Will gamers play titles that cross Pardo's clear distinctions? Acclaim is considering an ad-supported fantasy MMO that would tell gamers that Coke just sponsored their armor upgrade. Would you play that kind of title or rather pay for a game without banners or pop-up ads?