The game is undoubtedly getting larger. Rise of Isengard expansion last year. Riders of Rohan due this year.
As for dying? That may depend upon which server you are on. Turbine are unlikely to ever publish that kind of data. However, if you assume some correlation between amount of forum traffic ( your post included) and server populations, I would hazard that things seem pretty healthy overall.
This chart shows the total number of weekly logins per server over the last two years for the predominantly US servers. (We don't know exactly how many individual players this represents, but it's a good proxy for server activity.) As you can see, the game still has nearly twice as much activity as it did before the F2P transition, although it's only about 1/3 of what it was at its peak.
Hmm, I can't post images in the Free Player General Discussion thread, but here's the link:
I don't think this means the game is dying, I think it just means there are just fewer new players "driving through" to check out the game. Those players who are actually interested and who intend on staying are just as active as ever, from my personal observations.
These statistics have been compiled by the German kinship Lux aeterna.
I'm thinking about how new games nowadays can affect players of LOTRO. One is D3. Maybe our players would really take some time to play the said online game but I hope our population wouldn't be affected significantly.
With SWTOR, many people of my kin went there (i would have gone with them, but commiting lots of money on another game, when i have hard time playing LotRO between all my alt-itis...) Recently i have seen more and more of them back in LotRO. So...
Thank you, Turbine, for listening and giving us an opt-out of FE! Good work!