I get the fear of losing players but that's happening anyway? Why not instead build a model around leasing to people willing to create private servers. You can provide a hosting option for a charge or have them host with a separate provider then charge a monthly fee based on the number of players on that server. As that server's player base grows so does the monthly. You can even charge them for additional content/regions. Plus, if a server experiences enough growth you can track why said server became so popular and possibly implement changes into the main game. I'm sure the concerns is making the "code" accessible and abuse of main game but it's going to happen anyway. As you said with your post on twitter and the 9 bans you don't have the manpower; it puts a strain on the team. I don't condone private server but I feel it might be a profitable business venture if well thought out and packaged correctly.