Blizzard Entertainment's Michael Ryder took some time out of his day to address a selection of questions about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and the company's development strategies over at GamesIndustry.biz.
Q: There's an interesting balance in deciding what's in a content patch, and what's in an expansion... is that tricky, or fairly straightforward?
Michael Ryder: The development team has a roadmap, and they think about what will come naturally in a patch. Of course they have to think about the time frame, and what's doable in the time they have to release a patch that comes out in a timely way, but also has lots of good stuff in it - whereas there's a more overriding long term thought process that goes into the expansion, because they have more time to get it together.
So I think it just falls out in that equation - what they feel is compelling and the time it will take to execute that. I know there's an awful lot of thought about what goes where, and at the end of the day it's going to come down to a creative process - a gut feeling on the part of the designers and producers about what can be done.