2010's subscription revenue added up to $1.58 billion, a respectable amount but still 5% less than 2009. 2009 saw a 10% bump in subscriptions, and 2008 witnessed 21.6% growth. Connect the dots, and subscription revenue has most likely peaked and begun a downhill slide. Analysts predict that by 2015, revenue from subs will be as low as $1.33 billion. However, with the popularity of RIFT this year and the coming storm of Star Wars: The Old Republic, the subscription model may see a resurgence.
On the flip side, microtransactions from F2P models are rising exponentially, jumping 24% from 2009 to 2010 to account for $1.13 billion. With the two models combined, the industry saw a very modest 5% increase last year in revenue.
Screen Digest analyst Piers Harding-Rolls sees the writing on the wall: "The focus of many PC game operators has clearly shifted to micro-transaction‐based models -- in part due to competition in the subscription market especially in the high‐end MMOG segment, but also because of the flexibility micro-transactions offer operators in monetising gamers."