World of Warcraft may never truly die. People still play the first Everquest, after all. But it will inevitably lose its place as the biggest MMO on Earth, and that day is now a little closer following the release of the game's latest set of subscription numbers.
Since May, the number of people playing World of Warcraft slipped from 11.4 million to 10.3 million. That's still a massive number, but it's also a 10% drop. Why the slide? Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime says it was mostly due to a drop-off in the game's "Eastern" markets.
I can't wait for the game's proper decline. Not because I hate World of Warcraft. It's just that the game has dominated the genre for so long it'll be nice to see something else take its place, you know? A little fresh air never hurt anybody.
Then again, there may never be a game to take its place, to be as dominant in the field as WoW has been. There's only ever been one Beatles, and they may only ever be one World of Warcraft.