As a back drop let me tell you that I played wow from vanilla to wraith..quit..then came back for cata then quit again. But putting in those five or so years has left a mark on me (for better or worse I haven't figured out yet). I doubt I will ever return for numerous reasons not the least of which is not knowing anyone from the early days that are still playing...but none of this either here nor there. I active/ casually follow a handful of blogs concerning WoW (and other games) and have started to notice a disturbing trend of people not posting anymore. Whether because they quit the game, moved on, or just got tired of blogging who knows but here is my question.
Is the phenomenon of WoW starting to wear off? Is the community of gamers shrinking, moving on to other games, or other forms of entertainment? Or is it just the blogs I follow are shutting down?
To some extent it's probably a combination of the two. WoW has been out for six years now. That's a long time to be a phenomenon.
But a lot more is probably due just to the blogs you read. People stop blogging and new ones start all the time. (I wonder if any of my readers remember Psyae.) When you're an avid player, there's a lot more incentive to search out new blogs. But searching out new blogs is a lot of work, and after a while it becomes easier and more comfortable to stick with the blogs you know.
I've always found that it's really hard to generalize the whole game from your personal perspective. Sometimes it becomes really easy to think of your situation and the people around you as "normal". Theres a lot of self-selection bias.
I really noticed this when I was following Elitist Jerks. A lot of the people who hang out there think of their experience as the normal one, when we all know that it isn't. But all their friends have the same experience, as do the people they hang out online, so they don't see everyone else.
As well, we're moving into summer, and there's always summer lulls.
So I don't really know if there's a general trend. That would require access to better data than I have. If I took my experience as normal, then there wouldn't be a decrease at all. For some reason, a lot of older players who quit have been coming back to us. But, as I said above, personal experience is often misleading.