According to this article, based on information from MMOGchart.com and warcraftrealms.com, the rise in WoW's subscription numbers has traditionally peaked around the holiday seasons and expansion releases. This should come as no surprise to anyone, but it also points out that we're not seeing as gradual an increase in subscriptions throughout each peak season. The last sentence of the article sums it all up fairly well: "If at the end of 2009 WoW's total subscription numbers are less than 10 percent higher than they were when 2009 started, I will submit that WoW will have officially entered its plateau phase. But even if that transpires, and if after four to five years WoW has declined and leveled-off into a steady state of a mere three or four million worldwide subscribers, it will still be a cash cow."
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