Well, how much money does Blizzard actually get after Vivendi gets it's cut?
Cause if I remember correctly, Vivindi was closing and selling off parts of it's company, like Sierra and Dynamix.
And you also have to remember the majority of WoW subcribers are in the Asian Market, where they (if I again remember correctly) have the gaming cafe's and they pay for the time they use. If anyone has more info on this would be nice to know.
And if ya look at the MMO's that are doing well are typically unique. City of Heroes, Eve Online, Anarchy Online etc. But also look at the timeframe of when Ultima and Everquest really got their success. Ultima banked on it's fanbase of Lord British, and then along came Everquest with it's 3d graphics etc.
The trick is getting people interested in the game, and then keep throwing out content to make them stick around.
Love it or Hate it, ya gotta admit with the exception of the end game, WoW is a very polished game. Not to mention that the Asian Fanbase alone will make sure Blizzard/Vivendi do make money for a good while.
And while WoW is currently the current MMO king, NC Soft is quickly rising amoung the MMO company ranks, especially with Auto Assault. (what can I say I'm a sucker for post apocalyptic game that has vehicles with guns).