A news story from MMOSite reports, “Blizzard admitted that they started to lose World of Warcraft users from the beginning of 2011. Specifically, they lost 600,000 WOW users in Q1 2011, 300,000 in Q2 and 800,000 in Q3.” They go on to say “If SWTOR succeeds in attracting over 1 million WOW users, World of Warcraft can no longer boast having more than 10 million active users.”
That’s a big loss but still, Blizzard has a large fan base with WoW. But WoW is not giving up that easily. They have a few ideas to keep old players interested and maybe even draw in new ones. For example, the new Patch “4.3 Hour of Twilight” and “Mists of Pandaria” the fourth expansion, aren’t going unnoticed. RIFT is not doing so badly either. Many gamers are showing an interest in this game. For this reason, many of the players leaving WoW may choose to try it instead of going with SWTOR.
So maybe these games will lose some players to SWTOR but it’s not likely the launch of Star Wars is going to completely kill the other games. There will still be people who want to play them. It’s hard to say how much of an impact Star Wars: The Old Republic will have on WoW and RIFT but the world will soon find out. You must also take into consideration whether or not they will have what it takes to keep the players they attract long-term.