Thats the thing you dont realize. Anet, like any other business makes a forecast.for a specific year. And untill you as a random person know exactly how they did if compared to their forceast and what revenue they need to sustain + improve the game your statements are random at best. For all you know they did a lot better then expected.
Wow is a p2p and LoL is a f2p game Both game have a relatively steady flow of revenue if compared to a game that relies on boxsales. And wow whent from 11 million subs in 2012 to 7 million subs now. So despite losing 30-40% of their playerbase their revenue is still "trending upwards"? If that really is the case it proves my point exactly.
Revenue is irrelevant unless it drops so low that the quality will start suffering due to lack of funding. The only things that do matter:
- Is the community in a good shape
- Do we get enough quality updates / does the game keep evolving in a good way.
You are just trying to find a way to make it sound like huge drops in revenue don't mean anything. They do. They mean that people are paying less for the game. Let's not forget that the revenue model is based more around micro-transactions than it is off box sales, or else we would be seeing news for expansions instead of news that they are not going to add paid expansions.
As far as your forecast argument, I don't think there is any company out there that forecasts declining sales quarter after quarter like we have seen the last two quarters. So, you can say that they may be meeting their private hidden forecast that no one know about, but I'm willing to bet quite a bit they are not. Of course, maybe I'm wrong along with everyone else that is basically saying that GW2's sales are stagnant and unimpressive.
Again, I would like to reiterate that GW2 does not rely on box sales as you state when comparing them to WoW and LoL. If it did, then they would be working on expansions not Living Story updates promoting micro-transactions. It is pretty much conclusive at this point that GW2's revenue model is micro-transactions and not box sales. Arguing against that is arguing against everything ANet has said up until this point and would be flat out wrong.
Also, I don't think I said WoW's revenue is currently trending upwards, but it sure as hell trended upwards for years upon years after release - which is exactly the opposite of GW2 if you would want to compare them to the same time in their game cycle.
To say revenue is irrelevant is a pretty absurd statement overall. Revenue is the best indicator we have of how well the game is going. I mean, it is nice to say that judging whether the community is in good shape matters, but how do you do that? There is no measure to such a thing without ANet telling us, which they haven't. The revenue report is the best looking glass into the actual numbers behind ANet's efforts and GW2's accomplishments. It can be directly correlated that as revenue goes down, so does the micro-transactions in the game. Therefore, either people aren't buying what GW2 is selling or they aren't playing. Either way, it is a much better indicator than anything else short of insider information which none of us have.
Last, updates also have nothing to do with it. In fact, I would say the updates are of piss poor quality and the game is evolving in a bad way - so unless you want to subject this whole conversation and the direction of ANet to personal opinion, I would suggest that maybe it doesn't matter what you think about the updates, nor I.
Bottom line is, as goes the game, so goes the revenue.