A little story in the New York Times details SOE’s new strategy to offer free play item-based trading games and ad-driven revenue games instead of subscription based games.
“Right now our revenue is almost all subscriptions,” John Smedley, the unit’s president, said in an interview. “In two years, we would like to see no more than 50 percent of our revenue coming from subscriptions, and five years from now we think less than 10 percent of our revenue will come from subscription sources.”
At the same time, Mr. Smedley said he wanted to diversify his customer base, which is 85 percent male and 32 years old, on average. Women have become the major driver of the casual games business (games like Bejeweled and Bookworm), and Mr. Smedley wants a piece of that action."
So that’s it. They’ve basically given up on keeping up with Blizzard and are now looking for a new approach. They’ll probably continue to support their current users with expansions, but from the quote above it doesn’t seem that they are planning any new sub-based MMOs in the future.