On the Shrinking Player Base of World of Warcraft

The editors at TenTonHammer have penned an editorial titled "Mass Exodus: A Post-Mortem on the Shrinking Playerbase in World of Warcraft", in which they analyze what they think are the reasons behind the drop in subscribers for Blizzard's juggernaut MMO. They also warn that this should be put in context:
First, and foremost, the weeks after the announcement have had some screaming about the fall of Blizzard. Yes, they're bleeding subscribers, but it's not the start of the end for Blizzard just yet. They have more updates and expansions coming out to keep the game going strong and it has way too many subscribers for it to end anytime soon.

Of course, Diablo 3 is going to cut heavy into the subscription base when it releases but you can bet that Blizzard is expecting that and will release D3 during a long downtime in the game.

Rift is now (winning) and no other game has hit WoW hard enough to put a dent into its subscription base. Yes, Rift did take some subscribers like every game has, but it's not dominating WoW into the ground. Games like Guild Wars 2 or Star Wars: The Old Republic may actually do some damage to the subscription base, but no game so far has made a sustainable mark.