I'm not sure why everyone thinks the FFG Worlds event will be less attended? This event is taking place the weekend when Days of Ice and Fire used to take place. Last year, there were 42 players in the Joust tournament. When I was at Gen Con in 2010, they drew that same number for Worlds.
From what I can tell, the Gen Con events are not changing in prize support, only what the event is called (although it is possible that instead of in the case of Thrones there will only be one card designed by the overall winner instead of three, but that remains to be seen). CoC and W:I will still get their champion cards from Gen Con, and from Worlds as well. This seems like a win-win. Gen Con events still have the prize and lure they had before, and we now have a new world-level event. One that national champions will be able to attend on FFG's dime, from the sound of things.
To be fair, I do live in Minnesota (about 1-1/2 hours from the FFG Event Center), and I've attended both Days and Arkham Nights. At Arkham Nights there was a guy I played with who flew in from Quebec. I don't know if it was Days, but a buddy of mine talked of a guy who came over from Australia. People have proven they will travel to MN in October/November, if the draw is important enough.
Let us look at what we are getting: superior support for Regional and National level events, including foreign National events, and a new World tier event held at an FFG organized location where they can control the atmosphere and not have to compete with multiple other games in the same arena. Are some people not going to make it to worlds this year. Yes, of course. Most people plan well in advance which large scale events they plan to attend. Will some people not be able to make the Worlds event ever? Yes, that is a strong possibility as well. But, we are getting something new, and this also shows that FFG is listening to the player community concerns and wants to improve their OP program and experience. To me, this is a good thing.
The down side is as it always has been -- combining all the events under the same roof at the same time. This means someone who plays multiple LCGs and mini games has to choose which game they will compete in, Also, the Event Center can't hold 40-50 people for each game, so either they will beusing additional space in the building they are in or holding events at other locations.
OR, we could all be wrong, and the Worlds event could be invite only (I hope not). But I think that would open more complaints that it would close.