Tulga Games bought the game rights and assets in 2003; EI Interactive bought it in 2005; and the current owner Vitrium bought it in 2007. Vitrium is the only company who has really done anything with it; such as making it compatible with Vista and Win7, and upgrading the client to support up to 1920x1080 resolutions, as well as bug swatting.
I think Vitrium are the ones who did the strange pay model they use now that I outlined above too.
I see people in the game, even at low levels; most of them Dragons. It's not busy by any means, but there are people playing it. The weekend was decently busy in the starting area.
What's amazing to me is the free lifetime deal. If you're happy with playing a Human, and don't need to put a lot of things on the broker at one time, then you can play completely free forever; no cash shop. I'm really enjoying the Dragon though, so now I'm hooked on that; I may just have to sub.