We made mention of Mike Morhaime's surprising words regarding Wrath's launch date during a recent conference call, but there's one thing we didn't really look at that Edge did. Mister Morhaime says Age of Conan's release a couple of months ago did manage to pull some subscribers away from WoW, but unsurprisingly, almost half of them came back pretty fast. Around 40% of them have come back so far.
This does not surprise me, really. That's usually how most MMO releases go, even if Age of Conan was the most heralded release since WoW. I'll admit, I haven't played it myself but I had ten or so guildmates of mine go and try it out. All of them ended up not playing the game after a month, saying that something was 'missing.' How delightfully vague, eh? They all came back.
A thriving, pre-existing community really helps a game's launch, and WoW had (and has) that in spades. You've gotta hand it to Age of Conan, though. For being a game that seems so niche in a market that has only moved out of nichedom in the last few years, they're putting up one hell of a fight. 40% of players have come back so far, sure, but 60% haven't. Yet.