People keep throwing around wild theories for why subscriber numbers are down. Some people say that Cataclysm was a failure of an expansion. Other people say that something happened with China so WoW lost people from there. And still others claim it was a massive, near-simultaneous burnout, which merely by coincidence is during this expansion, suggesting that even if Blizzard had released an expansion called, and containg the relevant content: "Journey to Awesomeland: Let's all be Awesome, but not too Awesome, because that would ruin the fun, so let's go to Awesomeland and be moderately Awesome. Woo!" Yea, these wackos think that expansion would have been a 'failure' too.
Let's consider something more reasonable: the government is kidnapping Cataclysm players. I'm not saying it is part a sinister conspiracy to brain wash a large population which has already been trained to ignore morality in favor of following orders and getting rewards, in order to create a thinking but perfectly obedient army of super-soldiers. That just sounds ridiculous.
Instead I'm saying that on December 7th, Blizzard released Cataclysm. Within two weeks a man set himself on fire and the Arab world rose up. Coincidence? To us, probably. But governments are understandably nervous of the potential radicalizing effects of a game based on perpetual violence and killing whoever is most powerful. They may see the mass detention of WoW players as a simple cautionary measure to prevent more uprisings. And maybe the data supports them. One September 17th Wall Street was occupied. A month later Blizzcon was held and people yelled a lot while at the same time, people yelled a lot in New York and other cities. Again, the links are tenuous, but cannot and should not be ignored. The "squish" is proposed which would flatten item levels and essentially reduce the ilevel wealth gap, while a man who proposed a flat tax is accused of sexual harassment, not long after a homophobic rant at the previously mentioned Blizzcon. It all fits together just a little too well to be ignored.
Add to that the widespread and by democratic principles, correct, fear that gamers are violent asocial monsters and it is obvious that it would be negligent for the government to not be locking up WoW players en mass. Of course I saw this coming, which is why I quit, changed my name, and fled to a foreign country. Well, technically it is still part of the US, and my name is the same, and I think of it as more of a passive "lost interest" rather than an active "I quit", but beside being completely inaccurate, my point stands.
And that point is: run while you can, they are coming for you, and they are perfectly justified in doing so.
One last data point: the prison population is going up while the WoW population is going down. See?
Cataclysm is not the problem with WoW. Mass arrests of WoW players are the problem.
And what's with all the unmarked white vans driving around?