Games Industry International had an interview with Rob Pardo, the lead designer of Blizzard's World of Warcraft MMO. One of the things he mentions is that big-budget single-player games are becoming an endangered species, and that he's personally a big fan of game designers being involved in the monetization design of games.
Q: One of the things that's been changing in the industry is the business model. In addition to classic retail sales and subscriptions we now see free-to-play, ad-supported and other variants. Do you think these new business models will affect the game designs and the design process?
Rob Pardo: Definitely. I'm personally a big fan of game designers being involved in the monetization design, because that's what will ultimately make for the best game. A lot of times I think those become very disconnected in the industry. Someone that's more business-oriented or production-oriented will graft a business model onto a game because that's what they think is going to drive the most revenue, but the game doesn't really support it. That's one of the things you've seen a lot with the subscription-based business model. I personally think subscription-based business models can still work, but you can't over-value your game. There's been some games in the past where they've put the subscription model on it because they thought they could get away with it. The reality is if you're going to do a subscription model you need to deliver an immense amount of premium content over time, because people are going to be looking at as 'If I'm going to be $10 or $15 per month, what am I getting month after month?' If I'm not spending enough hours in your product, it's just not going to make sense as a value proposition.