The true question is will CN stand the test of time? Thus far, one could argue that CN already has. As when compared to other spreadsheet games, CN has outlived the majority of them in terms of it's life span. Although, it would be unfair not to note that as far as member retention is concerned, following a typical bell-curve, we could expect CN to fade into obscurity in the next few years if measures aren't taken. What does this mean? Eventually, CN as all good things must come to an end. However, whether that time comes sooner or later depends solely on admin. At present, at 14,000+ players the CN community is still thriving, with new alliances being created and communities which tie into the CN community also still thriving and doing well.
However, in order to prolong the life of this game certain measures MUST be taken in order to ensure player retention. A lot of these are common sense, and have been suggested by myself in the Suggestion Box in the past.
1) Give the players some lee-way.
CN is one of, if not the most demanding spreadsheet game which exists. Although this has contributed to it's success in it's early days, this late in the game it's detrimental. You can not reasonably expect players to constantly maintain interest in their nation over the span of 1-10 years, players will invariably have real life circumstances which arise that would inhibit them from logging in to CN. And once years of work is lost due to nation deletion, you can expect that most of these players will not return. As it stands it would be beneficial to not delete nations who are inactive for 25 days, but rather archive their nation or leave it be, or whatever.
2) Give players a chance.
As somebody who has experienced destructive war in the early phases of Nation Buildingm, I've seen that it results in players not caring about their nation any more, and as such losing motivation to tend to it.
Before a player builds wonders, which usually doesn't occur till after having invested 6+ months into their nation (forgive if numbers have changed due to inflation), everything they have built can be destroyed in a single war. ie; they have nothing to show for 6+ months of building. This is why I have suggested an infrastructure water mark in the past, similar to that which we see in CN:TE. This would allow players the option of rebuilding at a cheaper price, and as such give them something to show for their months of building. This would greatly improve player retention.
3) Time zones.
This is probably the most common sense problem which has existed since the creation of the "quad attack", players exist on different time zones, and as such there is no one size fits all for time zones. I don't know what constraints exist in terms of updating nations, but if it were possible for players to nominate an update time, or select from a drop-down box which update time was most convenient for them, that would give players more freedom to tend to their nations and war at their convenience. And as such, benefit the community as a whole.
4) The future
NPC/RNG events, etc.
Creating events in TE which provide benefits that carry over to CN standard and other great ideas such as this can influence the community to generate more activity and interest. Which as a whole benefits the community.
Yes, CN can survive 5 more years if measures are taken.
Note: I apologize for the poor writing.