Polygon: "When the world of Azeroth blinks out of existence, it'll likely take thousands of its inhabitants with it, and very much against their will. Azeroth is the fictional setting of Blizzard's World of Warcraft, long the most successful online role-playing game on the market and one of the few that's still supported by paid subscriptions rather than in-game sales or advertisements. World of Warcraft has been hemorrhaging subscribers all year, and as Dean Takahashi reported at VentureBeat, Blizzard is looking for ways to recoup those losses.
That turnabout should remind us of just how odd money can make the metaphysics of a massively multiplayer online game. To its players, Azeroth is more than just a commercial backdrop for fantasy role-playing campaigns. It's also a communal space with a rudimentary society and culture they've helped shape over time. For the most heavily involved users, that investment of time, money and personality can end up being quite substantial. Yet the fate of their hobby rests in someone else's hands."