WoW - Why are MMOs having a population crisis? @ The Guardian
Alexander Gambotto-Burke talks MMOs with the likes of Flying Lab Software chief executive Russell Williams and Raph Koster.
Some of this can be attributed to WoW's success. The game's critical esteem and massive subscriber-base promise a very consistent and well-maintained MMO experience, so it's little surprise that when a smaller MMO's subscriber-base declines, WoW's inflates. "We see a lot of MMOs like that, where they get two-to-three months of a good reaction, and then their player-base disappears," says Flying Lab Software chief executive Russell Williams. "Where? Well ... they go back to WoW!"
For the majority of MMOs released after WoW, this rings true. After being released in 2006, Turbine's hyped and well-reviewed Dungeons & Dragons Online declined from 90,000 subscribers to 50,000 within a few months. A year later, SOE's Vanguard: Saga of Heroes lost 80,000 subscribers after its 120,000 peak in a similar amount of time. Other big-budget MMOs - 2006's Auto Assault, notably - can't even garner enough users to keep running for more than a year.