Before anyone starts championing these statistics as the end of WoW's reign, let's take a logical approach to the data. Player activity spiked in January 2007, when The Burning Crusade came out with inordinate publicity for the game. No doubt many gamers with little interest in MMO tried out the title then based on its hype and then slowly moved onto something else.
The census does not take into account other markets such as China, Korea and Japan.
Current activity is still higher than pre-Burning Crusade levels by a decent margin and, if the trend continues at a somewhat linear pace, we suspect World of Warcraft player activity won't be at those levels again for another six to eight months. Now, if the MMO continues to decline, or reaches a level where it might actually have sizable competition, then perhaps Blizzard should consider another expansion to keep the hype going.
[Via WoW Insider]