The (simplified) lifespan of an MMO
In a further panic MMO is moved to free to play model. If done right it extends the lifespan of the game. If done wrong (pay to win) the game degenerates into a wasteland of fan boys and dick jokes.
Server combining commences so the players aren't alone in a cavernous world.
Game becomes a living joke made light of by web comics and forums lurkers.
Publisher/devs sell the MMO to an overseas company which repeats the last three steps invariably kicking in a pay to win microtransaction system if it didn't exist already.
If the gods of the MMOverse are kind the game sunsets.