I would like FC to make one last, probably final push for population increase. And I feel that the upcoming Steam release, or very shortly thereafter, would be the most opportune time.
1. Free month for old players. It's been a long time since the last one. There's been a lot of QoL improvements since 2011. If they saw people actually playing they might be impressed.
2. Upgrade the free experience to SLOOB. Think about it, when the FROOB experience began in late 2004 the original game content was "only" 3.5 years old. SL content is now 13.5 years old. I personally know several people who have been playing the free game, off and on, for the full 12 years. They just aren't going to pay you no matter what. Are the servers suddenly going to overload if they are killing things in SL instead of on RK now? The game desperately needs these SLOOBs - to populate leveling areas and battlestations, to farm symbiants, to buy, sell, and build the weapons and armor that are now too outdated for any fully paid player to want (tier, crep, perenniums, inferno dyna weaps, etc). It still leaves plenty for the free players to drool over to try to entice them to upgrade. Froob experience was originally half a game, now it's like a quarter of a game - and after level 100 paid and free players barely interact. Making them into sloobs just works!
2b. Allow the new SLOOBS access to mail (after a certain level), and GMI. Their inability to participate in the economy is frustrating to both sides and GMI is no longer tied to AI cities.
3. Price reduction. People beg for this for years. Maybe introduce $5 or $10 per month and see how it works. Even if you only offer it for 6 months or something, if timed correctly maybe it could help the population. A lot of people might be willing to pay $5 just to have the ability to log on, even if they don't actually log on.
That's it. Combine all this **** into a perfect storm of bait.
Oh yeah and Rocker for game director.