Blizzard’s Rob Pardo has criticized micro-transactions in MMOGs, saying the increasingly prevalent payment system is unfair to gamers in subscription-based games like World of Warcraft.

Pardo, the senior vice-president of game design at Blizzard, made the comments during the Q&A session following his GDC address entitled “Blizzard’s Approach to Multiplayer Game Design.” According to a WoW Insider transcript, Pardo was asked if Blizzard had considered implementing micro-transactions in World of Warcraft. “We chose to go with the subscription-based model instead of that approach,” he replied. “We’ve taken the approach that we want players to feel like it’s a level playing field once they’re in WoW.”

“Outside resources don’t play into it – no gold buying, etc. We take a hard line stance against it,” he continued. “What you get out of micro-transactions is kind of the same thing and I think our player base would feel betrayed by it. I think that’s something else you have to decide on up-front instead of implementing it later.”

When it was suggested micro-transactions might make it easier for casual gamers to maintain pace with more serious players, Pardo said, “They aren’t going to be the ones spending the money.”

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