How Much Influence Does the Publisher Have?

I was just posting a reply on MMO Evolution today about how I initially had dismissed Vanguard because I knew that SOE had become its publisher. Since publishers provide a lot of financial backing to these games and get them out to the public, I was just wondering how much influence they really have over different aspects of a game? Is it different for every game or does it have to do with how experienced and successful the creator has been in the past? I would love to hear what anyone has to say about this.

-Kanthalos

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