I see a lot of threads here on the forums suggesting that WoW's recent 3 million subscriber loss is due to content being too easy. From this quite popular video (that's been posted a million times) http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...nd-the-problem! to threads like these: http://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/...sade-Mentality
People seem to suggest that if end-game content (raids, etc) were harder and less accessible, that would draw people back again. I have a counter theory which I will lay out below.
Let's be honest, most of Blizz's 9 million subscribers are casuals. They like easier content. This didn't used to be a problem back during BC days (when the game really took off, up to 10 mil subs) because only the hardcore 1% of the population were seeing the really end game stuff, but the casuals didn't notice or care, cause' they were just joining the game and getting their feet wet leveling and becoming accustomed with friends (this is what they spent most of their time on). When WotLK dropped, most of those casuals had hit the level cap and wanted to see some end-game content. And there it was, easy as can be and ready for all. The heroics were easy, the raids were all easy that any random PUG group could do them. The casuals played, enjoyed, and loved it. They became accustomed to this. They referred others, the game continued to grow (up to 12 million subs). Then Cata came out. All of the casuals was expecting the same end-game experience. But instead, only disappointment followed. Cata has been one of the hardest expansions to date. The heroics were hard (on release at least), and the raid content was un-PUGable. It lies in stark contrast to WotLK, which had much easier heroics and raids which were easy to PUG. Casuals became frustrated, unable to play and progress, and many stopped playing. I personally believe that is the reason for WoW's recent sub loss.
A lot of those casual 12 million people haven't played an MMO before, and they buy the game expecting a 40-hour adventure RPG, similar to Dragon's Age or Baldur's Gate. They expect to reach end-game content without having to slave away at the game for hundreds of hours before hand. They got their casual-friendly (RPG style) adventure in WotLK, with it's accessible content. They were happy with it. So, to have their world turned upside down with Cata is something many of them couldn't understand. "Why is this so damn hard? Why do I have to dedicate my life to the game just to see the last raid boss?". Now, old-school hardcore MMO regulars were used to the harder content (after all, they had already been through vanilla and BC days), but it was a big turn-off for casuals. After enjoying and becoming used to the user-friendly content of WotLK, you can't just go back to the hardcore vanilla/BC style of game without pissing off a lot of people. Blizz themselves even admitted Cata was too hard: http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...ewed-interview
Yet, people here still seem to suggest that subs are dropping because the game is too easy and too accessible. I don't understand that argument.