Blizzard's senior vice president of game design, Rob Pardo, has said players would feel "betrayed" if a micro-transaction system, of the sort common in free-to-play MMO games, was implemented in World of Warcraft.
Agreed. Fans wouldn't be happy of a micro-transaction model. I played Hellgate: London Beta and people was very pissed about the in-game advertising specially for a game you have to pay for monthly. Usually you pay for access to content to remove advertising in certain gaming sites. People feels cheated if on top of paying they also have to dig advertising. That's not entirely the case with the free gameplay + micro-transaction model, but pretty close. People pays a subscription for WoW and they feel they have certain level of power, and Blizzard keeps working on new content, maintains their servers, etc. On a micro-transaction model, WoW players would feel out of place if suddenly they saw real-life advertising within loot names, loot inscriptions, goblin and gnome inventions, dwarven beer, and other type of sublime advertising. And the possible threat that some of their personal information is handled by the wrong hands. Usually on this models, it is a third-party company who handles advertising in games. How secure is your personal data?
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