The Daily Grind: Are MMOs becoming too big-budget?

When it came out that Warner Bros had purchased Turbine Entertainment, the incident was not always received with smiles, but very few players were surprised. Trends have been set for big titles, budgets have been released, and they paint a picture of games that are further and further removed from the fairly low-cost initial developments that started the industry. Star Wars: The Old Republic could well be one of the most expensive games ever, judging by their alleged expectations for subscribers.

And while all this money produces some gorgeous games, we've seen what happens when a game launches without the numbers to support it. Expectations about performance rise, and the battle for dominance in the MMO market is no little affair -- Electronic Arts, Sony, NCsoft, Square-Enix, and now Warner Bros are throwing quite a bit of money into the ring.

So what do you think about the growing budgets and stakes being thrown into our favorite genre? Is it a good thing that results in better overall games? Or is it choking out smaller studios that have to compete with games that can afford a much larger staff and development team?
This article was originally published on Massively.