Its been obvious news, the PCU (Peak Concurrent Users) count has been rising steadily for the past few Sundays with last Sunday reaching over 48k. This is great news for the game but it presents a trend that could create serious issues if it continues.
Average daily server POP seems to be higher than it was this summer. The general feeling is that server POP does increase during the winter months when more players are indoors and log on. The question is this, does the higher PCU mean more people signing up or just more existing players logging on during the winter months? It’s yet to be seen if the subscription rate is actually increasing. If so, there are issues CCP could run into.
I’m fairly confident that as a whole, the server can handle quite a few people at any given time. What is a concern is single system crowding. Systems like Jita are rapidly growing and one has to wonder how many concurrent players in system the server could handle. There is also the matter of region crowding.
With the March expansion and the release of a retail boxed version of the game, you can certainly expect subscriptions to rise. Time will tell how this affects the game.