Now I know the true reason behind all the sales and enticement; Mists wasn't able to bring the WoW subs back to the heights of Cata. In fact, Mists wasn't even able to sustain the release bump that they got.
That explains why it felt like the Ysera server was so empty, and even the CRZ often felt devoid of people.
To be fair, 9.6 million subs is probably more than the #2-#6 other MMOs combined. Still, it looks like the Mists experiment hasn't quite panned out as hoped. I doubt that means that Blizz will suddenly switch to a F2P format, since they're practically printing money with WoW, but I do think that it means Titan will move up to the front of the development lists.