The Daily Grind: Are we witnessing the bursting of a gaming bubble?

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The Daily Grind: Are we witnessing the bursting of a gaming bubble?
Bubble photograph by Jean-Louis Plot
The last few weeks have cast a dark shadow over the MMO gaming industry. At a time when MMOs release seemingly every other day and big blockbusters are just over the horizon, MMO companies are canceling titles, shelving games, cutting back, changing models, and laying off staff. CCP Games dropped employees and slowed its development pace; NCsoft and GamersFirst followed suit, though with assurances that their games would proceed as usual. In the last few days alone, we saw Gameforge let go both developers and titles, TurnOut halt development on Earth Eternal, and both LEGO Universe and Troy Online announce impending shutdowns.

What do you think? Are we dealing with a "gaming bubble" on the verge of bursting? Did MMOs become too popular too fast, such that the industry is now bloated and unsustainable? Is a culling of the MMO herd a necessary evil to improve the overall quality of MMOs? Or is this flurry of layoffs and closures merely a coincidence, a temporary downsizing due to end soon?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!
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