While Stude was essentially calling for the PC gaming industry to come together to clear up this sort of confusion, there is more at work here than simply saying that PC gaming is hale and healthy based simply on MMO subscription numbers. For one thing, MMOs are merely one arm of the industry, not the industry itself. World of Warcraft alone must count for a significant total of those NPD numbers, not to mention virtual worlds like Club Penguin.
If we look merely at MMOs as the saviors of the possibly-declining PC gaming industry, then the slow rise of the console MMO will surely eat into that eventually. And what about the non-MMO games? If MMO subscriptions are the majority of sales, then doesn't that just point up the fact that things are, in fact, in a decline?
Is this more evidence that the future of gaming is the MMO? As much as we love our massive games, these sorts of apocalyptic utterances merely make room for indie titles that don't start out with any great hope for nationwide sales, allowing innovation to creep into the market. It might be time for the industry as a whole to embrace new methods in determining success.