A disturbing new trend is developing in the MMO gaming industry in regards to developers and community manager's − a noticeable and marked retreat from their fans.
It's become more prevalent that community manager's are less interactive with their communities and have turned into a simple marketing tool. It's become almost common knowledge that a developer is simply there to code and meet that impossible deadline, rather then loving a game and participating with their fellow gamers. I don't believe this is the fault of the CM's or developer's themselves, but rather that companies want a tighter control over their message. With that control comes scripted messages, dissenting opinions silenced or marginalized... all the while telling their community that it's for our own good. It's done under the guise that they are providing a clearer message, that they are focusing their communication with fans.
People will pay more for better services, providing the income necessary to invest in improving or expanding those services further.
Modern, innovative, web based businesses have become masters at implementing this feedback loop via smart monetization of their services, whether it's subscriptions, micro-transactions, one-off payments, sponsorships, advertising, or (more often) a blend of any number of those. It's generations ahead of the traditional product/service -> payment model. This is due, in large part, to the hugely competitive market for web services, where competition isn't restricted by physical boundaries.