Anyone noticed that the sample of new mmo-champion stats is only 5,6 million characters as of today. When mmo-champion was doing last time those stats they stated that they had used 6,4 million character sample. Where have those 0.8 million chars gone?
I am pretty sure mmo-champion samples are as big as they can get from wow armory.
It does mean 12.5% of those characters that used to be in the armory at the end of 2011 are not available anymore. It is 0.8 million less of US and EU chars.
And you have to remember characters don't go inactive immediately. They do stay available on armory for a while. And if subscriber did come back anytime those characters would be back in armory. So this does reflect q4 2011 or earlier q3 results most likely.
I do remember ATVI Blizzard reporting wow had lost only 100.000 subs during q4 2011. This would mean other regions gained 900.000 subs. This can be indication of Blizzard buying cheap Chinese prepaid wow play time cards themselves to keep sub numbers up. There is nothing illegal for company to buy its own products afterall. This could be clear evidence that it actually did happen in q4 2011.