There's a part of this interview I really want to highlight:
Rivera, now free from previously imposed NDAs, seemed eager to explain. Yes, a lot of it goes back to what was a very rocky relationship between Atari (Cryptic's previous parent company) and Cryptic. Rivera stated that Atari "never really did understand" the MMORPG market or Cryptic's involvement in it. Since Atari was a retail box company, its executives had trouble comprehending the persistent need for money to be spent on the constant upgrade of a game that had already been released. Finally, when Atari announced it would be divesting itself of Cryptic, Cryptic essentially "went dark."
No money went into Cryptic at all. A hiring freeze was put into place, and it was hinted that the staff, which at one time had a roster in the mid-30s, fell to about 20 people. Those people continued to work on placing what content they could get into the game while they all struggled with yet another change of ownership.
Rivera stated unequivocally that Perfect World Entertainment understands the game's potential and has a much firmer grasp on what an MMORPG actually is. PWE has a proven track record of making money using a free-to-play format.
Emphasis added. This explains a great deal to me. Many of us here on the forums had suspected something like this was going on behind the scenes. Atari mismanaged the game from Day One.
Given this new information, I think Cryptic did a wonderful job with the resources they had. I've worked in a critically short-staffed environment for a few years now. I know how hard it is to meet an expected level of service when you really don't have enough people to do it and morale is low.