So what you're saying it you don't have a source, you're just guessing. So in short, you're making shit up.
I'm going to go out and say they did not drop 7 Million users after cataclysm as that's unrealistic.
let me ask you something, is it good business sense to give a game you KNOW without a shadow of a doubt will make you a couple of million sales easily for FREE to anyone who subs to your mmo thats not on its last strings? no, its not, this means that Blizzard is intending to lose more money from loss of Subs to WoW then the amount of cash they would lose from giving D3 away for free to those who comit to a 12 month contract, effectively.
to HIT their 12 million number, if that number was truely the amount of active subs a YEAR AGO, which for the record in a subscription based game like wow can easily mean a huge difference in subscriptions within that time span, they had to account for the Chinese release of WotLK and the rise of return players who rejoined in order to prepare for Cataclysm. As someone who was part of that crowd at the time, I can safely say that there were ALOT of re-cancelled subscriptions after a month of the game, let alone a full year.
now, your a moron if you truly think that 12 million have been playing WoW for a year. seeing as how a good portion of those players returned purely to "test" cataclysm as the hype about it was that it was a "whole new game" but it was just the same shit streamlined.
Point is, 12 million was the amount of "subs" at a PEAK a year ago, accounting for a world wide surgeance of players coming back in anticipation of something that, ultimately, let down alot of players. Add to that, by purely looking at the new content blizzard is deciding to release, the fact that they are completely skipping content they wanted to bring out, the emerald dream, which was supposed to be the next expansion, in order to bring out a very asian, a very child friendly expansion, GIVING a game away for NO ADDITIONAL COST, when you commit to another 12 month subcription...
you can fill in the rest im sure. Blizzard has decided to make a last attempt at life for WoW using every dirty trick they can think of, if they had 12 million subscribers I very much doubt they would be going down this route, as, unless WoW is actually doing abysmally bad, to the point of dieing, why would a company effectively be struggleing so hard to keep their game alive.