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4-06-2009 @ 3:33PM
Fair question. =)The point of the post isn't to discuss my personal feelings about WoW's longevity, more to just report some Ghostcrawler comments. But of course I can't resist throwing in my personal opinion (hey, I'm a hack).At some point WoW's numbers are going to have to go down. There will be another big MMO that will take its place at some point. There will be something that does better than it. That's just the nature of the industry and the passage of time.As for why I think that time might be coming sooner rather than later, it's mainly because I see a slowing growth curve. In November WoW was reported to have 11mil subscribers, and we'll probably see a report soon that it has a million. So figure in six month time it's only increased a million subscribers, which is far less than it has previously.That doesn't mean that it's dying or anything else like that, of course. And that wasn't my point.My point is that, however, when it reaches that plateau of however many subscribers it maxes out on, the number must naturally decline. That decline will be quite interesting and educational to watch - and my pondering lies in how severe it will be. My guess there is that it will be very very gradual. Something like eventually, in a couple years, WoW will only loose about 500k subscribers a year. We've seen this gradual decline with EQ1 - which is really the only example of a successful large western MMO we have to look at. EQ1 has "bottomed out" somewhat in population now, and it still is very active. I do suspect the same thing tiwll happen with WoW. Of course, that bottom will probably be in the millions (5mil would be my guess), rather than the hundreds of thousands EQ1 is (250k to 500k is what I remember, although I don't have a link hand to cite).
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